Travel bloggers discussing Thailand often mention the unexpectedly brilliant time they had visiting the nation’s multiple zoos. You might think that all zoos must offer essentially the same experience but it seems like Thailand’s zoos are nothing like the ordinary. Whether you specifically enjoy visiting zoos or love watching wildlife in just about any form, Thailand is perhaps the topmost Asian destination to be in your list of must-travel places. It doesn’t really matter if you love the typical in-cage animal watching experiences or the more liberating open air zoos, Thailand offers something to satiate every animal-watching preference. Here, we are discussing six of the best zoos in Thailand…
1. Chiang Mai Zoo: a few thousand is not a crowd!
Located at the foothills of Doi Suthep Mountain, Chiang Mai is considered one of the most well organized zoos in and around Thailand. In fact, travelers to nearby international destinations often take a short trip just to cover this zoo, now home to more than 7000 animals and almost 1000 birds! It also has giant pandas in its habitat, which makes it one of the very few zoos outside China that possess the rare and very adorable Asian bear. It also offers you ‘Open Zoo’ where you can walk across a sky walkway to see 200 animals living in life-like habitats. There’s a non-Hollywood inspired ‘Twilight Zone’ where you can see a few more animal species when the sunlight is neither too bright nor at its dullest. http://www.chiangmaizoo.peam.biz
2. Songkhla Zoo: best in wild-like zoo experiences!
Located in Southern Thailand, this is perhaps one the more modern versions of an open zoo. Animals roam freely in their enormous enclosures. The zoo is famous for its breeding program of endangered species, like tapirs. Songkhla has another zoo experience to offer that makes its rather unique—Night Safari. Here, you can see animals, in their natural habitat, during night when headlights of the safari vehicles is perhaps the only guiding factor. The vegetation can be thick, creating the perfect forest-like aura.
3. Khao Kheow Open Zoo: learn a bit!
Being habitat to 8,000 animals is not easy but the Khao Kheow seems to do this rather effortlessly. Referred to as the largest zoo on the planet, Khao Kheow is located in the nature-blessed district of Si Racha. Besides animal exhibits, it also runs an educational program on wildlife – ‘Journey to the Jungle’. This is not just about being enlightened about wildlife, you will be thoroughly surprised with how understanding animals can be a life-awakening experience. You can take a tram around the zoo and get down at any of your favorite animal shows.
4. Dusit Zoo: no monkeying around in Bangkok’s top destination!
Located in Bangkok, this zoo has almost 2000 animals but what makes it special are the reptile shows and showcasing best of Thailand’s monkey heritage. You can enjoy the Reptile Exhibit to understand some of Asia’s lesser known reptilians while the Monkey Zone can be seriously entertaining for younger members of the family. There’s also a beautiful lake where you can rent boats for a pleasurable ride. Do not forget to enjoy the Bird Show, featuring some surprisingly smart parrots!
5. Sriracha Tiger Zoo: the BIG CAT experience like nowhere else!
Located at south of Pattaya, this vast zoo has 4 main zones: Tiger Breeding Zone, Crocodile Zone, Talent Show Zone, and Animal Zone. There’s a Tiger Cub Feeding Room which has adorable tiger cubs. You can even take pictures with them. You can also meet the ‘Scorpion Queen’ – a lady who set the Guinness World Record in 2008, by staying in a room with 5000 scorpions for 33 days. There’s also a chamber for rare animals, like single humped camels and many more and there is a reptile exhibit too!
6. Siam Insect Zoo Chiang Mai: get your dose of the creepy-crawlies!
Located in Northern Thailand, this zoo is a work of entomologist Pisuth Ek-Amnuay, who has been collecting insects for over 30 years. There are various insects exhibited which are native to Thailand. Don’t miss the giant walking stick, orchid mantic and the leaf insects. You can also stroll around the well-stocked butterfly garden. It’s a unique zoo experience if you like beetles and butterflies.
Each zoo is unique in its own perspective and offers a different experience. If you dream of getting a real, life-like, up, close and personal peek into the jungle life, these zoos are just the right place for you!
If you are visiting Thailand for the first time, and you are travelling to Bangkok, read our blog post on visiting Thailand for first timers.
I am an addicted traveler based in Sydney, Australia and I explored Europe, North & South America, East Asia & South-East Asia. I love sharing my travel knowledge, I want to benefit my readers and give valuable travel advice.