COEX Mall and Aquarium
Constructed on the model of the typical modern mall, this cathedral of consumerism breaks the mold in terms of scale, at the very least. COEX is home to a massive cinema complex, hundreds of storefronts, several food courts featuring a profusion of both good and bad cuisine (it is wise to be discerning in this department), a massive bookstore, and a gaming area where live, filmed tournaments are mounted regularly for an enthusiastic public. Several ancillary stages see seasonal events and public appearances by celebrities and politicians.
One massive draw for the complex is the COEX Aquarium. The only theme-oriented aquarium in Korea, the aquarium houses nearly 100 exhibition tanks, and still more specialized tanks designed for
breeding. 600 distinct aquatic species are represented and literally
tens of thousands of marine creatures are on display for visitors.
Themed exhibits include the “Inca Empire” (featuring ancient,
archeological relics) and the “Amazonian World” (complete with
tropical fish, sharks, stingrays, and, oddly, several otters). The
“Seven Seas” exhibit features aquatic life from the Mediterranean to
the poles. The “Ocean Kingdom” section houses polar bears, and the “Marine Touch” area provides visitors the chance to interact with baby sharks and other creatures.
(Image courtesy of the Korea Tourism Organization: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/index.kto)