Chiang Mai Zoo in Thailand: an overview. photo reviews
The Chiang Mai Zoo Zoo is one of the best zoos not only in Thailand, but throughout Southeast Asia, and one of the ten most interesting zoos in the world.
The American missionary Harol Mason Jr., born in Myanmar, picked up and nursed wounded wild animals, and in 1957 Chiang Mai provincial officials allocated 24 acres of land for them at the foot of Doi Suthep.
After Mason’s death in 1974, the Organization of Zoological Parks in Thailand began to work at the zoo, and at the same time the area was expanded to 200 acres, 1 acre = 4,046.86 m². In 1977, the official opening was held, and now, having paid an entrance fee of 150 baht, anyone can visit it.
The territory of Chiang Mai Zoo is huge. On her inspection and acquaintance with the residents of the park should take a whole day from 8:00 — 17:00. For convenient moving around Chiang Mai Zoo, it is advisable to use a map — with its help it will be easier to create your own, most interesting route.
You can move through the park on foot, as well as in an open bus or on an air-conditioned monorail train. The advantage of the monorail is that the road goes high above the ground, so you can admire the unique panoramic views of the park. But there is a drawback: animals are not always visible, and the train is moving rather slowly, which is inconvenient due to lack of time.
The bus route is laid throughout the park, there are 6 stops marked on the map:
- At the pavilion with pandas and «snow house».
- Aquarium, restaurant.
- Adventure park and koalas habitat.
- Elephant village, aviaries with orangutans, artiodactyls, crocodiles, penguins.
- Show seals.
- Observation deck and animal shows.
Travel by bus and monorail is paid, and much more profitable, it turns out, to buy an unlimited ticket giving the right to use transport during the day an unlimited number of times. By the way, it’s impossible to drive a hare because the controllers check the availability of tickets at the entrance and exit, as well as at several stops.
Pandas in Chiang Mai
The most important advantage over other zoos of the country and the main pride of Chiang Mai are giant pandas, who not only foreign tourists come to admire, but also residents of Thailand, and even from the most remote provinces of Thailand.
A pair of adult pandas Zhuang Zhuang and Lin Hui have been living here since 2003, in 2009 they had a baby born Lin Bing. This furor throughout the world made the fact that this baby appeared in captivity due to artificial insemination. His birthday became a holiday of the whole country, and in 2012 the Ambassador of China personally congratulated the kid on his birthday cake.
Entrance to the pavilion with pandas is paid for separately — with adults 100 baht ($ 2.7), with children 50 baht.
By the way, these animals are rather passive, and it is better to guess the time of the visit so as to see their feeding — this process starts at about 15:15. If there is a desire, you can take a picture with pandas: a 6×8 shot costs 200 baht ($ 5.5), and 12×18 will cost 400 baht ($ 11).
This nature reserve is home to 7,000 animals, including tigers, lions, panthers, giraffes, elephants, crocodiles, koalas and others. The cages are practically absent here: all animals are in enclosures enclosed by ditches with water, and only some of the predators have a grid. And elephants are generally «in the open access», without aviaries and cages.
The park has one of the largest aquarium in Asia, which is a 133-meter underwater tunnel, second only to the aquarium in Bangkok. The collection of inhabitants of the deep sea here is truly impressive: 20,000 fish and a variety of marine animals. To get to the water park can be for a fee — for adults it is 520 baht ($ 14), for children 390 baht ($ 11). For visitors, the aquarium is open on weekdays from 10:00 to 17:00, on weekends from 9:00 to 17:30.
Focusing on the map, it is very easy to go to the bird sanctuary, which is a huge area covered with a grid. Staying there can be compared to being in a chattering paradise. There are a lot of paths along the bird sanctuary, and it doesn’t matter which one to take — there are a lot of different birds around, and in whole flocks.
In Chiang Mai Zoo you can not only watch the inhabitants of the enclosures, many of them can be fed, stroked and photographed with them — all this, of course, for an additional fee. For example, with a koala such a pleasure, it will cost 1,000 baht ($ 28), daily from 9:00 to 15:00.
Also, free shows with seals and animals take place here — the exact schedule of all performances can be viewed on the park map.
What else interesting
Next to the pavilion in which the pandas live, there is a snow house Snow Dome — the cost of visiting 100 baht ($ 2.7), a children’s ticket, 150 baht ($ 4) an adult, you can plunge into the winter, and even play snowballs.
In the Australian zone, near the koalas residence, there is a magnificent Adventure Park with a chic playground for children and an Indian wigwam. There is also a souvenir shop in which you can buy t-shirts and bags with pandas.
Adventure Park is located on the shores of a picturesque lake, and right from this shore on a rope you can fly to the opposite shore. This is an attraction Zip-line, costing 120 baht ($ 3.3) for adults, 80 baht ($ 2.3) for children.
On the opposite bank, not far from the aviary with pandas, there is a decent restaurant and toilet. If there is a desire, you can ride catamarans or in the middle of giant balls around the pond — they can be rented near the restaurant.
Next to the sixth bus stop there is an “observation deck” with a height of 10-12 meters. This platform is located on a tree, inside a wide trunk, which is made steep spiral staircase. The truth is unclear whether the tree is real or is it artificial styling. Unfortunately, there are no special species there, since almost the entire overview is covered by trees.
How to get there
Chiang Mai Zoo is located at the foot of the mountain Doi Suthep — on the outskirts of the Old City. 100 Huag Kaew Rd 50200, nearby Chiang Mai University. This is a significant advantage in distinguishing the Khao Kheo Zoo in Pattaya, which is 40 km from the center, and the lack of urban routes.
You can get there by rented transport: bike, bike or car. You can take a taxi — it will cost about 100 baht ($ 2.7), or use the local bus (red tuk-tuk) — travel 40 baht ($ 1.1). At the entrance to the zoo is equipped with a huge paid parking. Parking cost (time is unlimited) cars 50 baht ($ 1.4), bike 10 baht ($ 0.3), bike 1 baht.