The Institute of Marine Science Aquarium & Museum, also known as Bangsaen Institute of Marine Science (BIMS), is located near the Bangsaen Beach within the grounds of Burapha University. It is a popular educational attraction in Chonburi and a favorite among schools and colleges as a trip destination. It houses huge collections of fishes, crustaceans and other aquatic species found in Thailand. It is divided into three sections: the Marine Aquarium, the Marine Science Laboratory and the Marine Science Museum.
The Institute of Marine Science Aquarium & Museum was initially funded by a grant from the Japanese government in 1982. The goal was to provide the public with an educational form of entertainment and to raise awareness of the marine life, the sea vegetation and the environment. At present, it has an affiliation with the Burapha University.
The Institute is a great source not only of entertainment but also of learning for the Chonburi residents, the students, as well as the many tourists that have visited the place. Certainly, the goal they have set long ago in the founding of the museum is still being met, as apparent in the pack of tourists visiting the Institute daily. And because of its educational commitment, the Institute has become an important institution among marine biologists and students alike.
If you’re already in the area, visiting the Institute would be a nice way to spend an afternoon, especially with your kids and the whole family. The experience would not only educate the kids but would also leave an impression on them of the role of humans in the protection and preservation of living things under the sea. The chance to observe them closely would only be a plus.
THE MARINE AQUARIUM AND MUSEUM
There are different marine species on exhibit. It also features different underwater plants, aquatic invertebrates and other oceanic creatures. There are also breeding ponds and differently sized aquariums containing different species of the sea. The creatures are mostly from the surrounding seas of the Gulf of Thailand. Some of the sea creatures on exhibit include giant saltwater food fishes, black-tip sharks, lobsters, crabs, water fleas and other invertebrates.
THE MARINE SCIENCE LABORATORY
The laboratory of the Institute has the most advanced research facilities. Studies and research on different aquatic life and species are being done here. Preservation of certain marine species, including breeding of different fish, are also part of the laboratory’s function.
Opening Hours: The Institute of Marine Science Aquarium & Museum is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 8:30 AM to 4 PM. It is also open during public holidays except on Mondays. A small admission fee is required for entering the premises.
How to get there: The official address of the Institute of Marine Science Aquarium & Museum is 169 Long-had Bangsaen Road, Saen Suk, Muang, Chonburi, inside the Burapha University. To get there, from Sukhumvit Road, head Northwards through Sri Racha and Nongmon town. At the first traffic light, turn left and continue straight ahead for about 3 kilometers. The entrance to the Burapha University is on the left side of the road, and the Institute lies within the grounds of the university.