Anurak Thailand Tourism The tourist website about Thailand by Thaiways magazine, the most comprehensive guide to Thailand.
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  Cover story : 25 Jan 05
Vol. 21 No. 20
By Dararai
Situated in the tropical zone, Thailand is rich in wildlife. When you go trekking in a jungle or a national park, chances are that you will meet some of them in their natural habitat. Even though you don't have much time to do so, you still will be able to experience first hand some wild animals' life without having to arrange an arduous trip to forests. How? That's easy. Let's go to one of the zoos scattered around the country. The trip can be finished within a day. Below you will find a brief introduction to five zoos under the responsibility of the Zoological Park Organization of Thailand.
Dusit Zoo
The first zoo of Thailand
This place used to be part of the Suan Dusit Royal Park of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V, 1868-1910), which was known as "Khao Din Wana". In the reign of King Ananda or Rama VIII (1935-1946) in 1938, the government of Field Marshal P. Pibulsonggram asked for royal permission to turn the site into a zoo for public recreation. King Ananda granted the request and gave some spotted deer together with a few other animals to inhabit here and named this zoo "Dusit".
Situated in Dusit District in the heart of Bangkok about 30 minutes drive from the Grand Palace, it is the only place in the world where an albino barking deer is taken care of. It features a nocturnal animals exhibit, white tigers and a bird aviary with flamingoes as its star.
An albino barking deer
At present, this 118-rai (47.2 acres) site houses 2,410 animals. The total number of visitors in 2003 was 1,915,770. And as it is set amidst natural surroundings with a large lake, Dusit Zoo provides pedalo services for visitors as well. It opens daily from 08:00 to 18:00 hrs. Tel: 0 2282 7111-3 Fax: 0 2282 9245.

Khao Kheow Open Zoo

This zoo has been opened to the public since 1978. It is located in the Khao Kheow wildlife sanctuary, Chom Phu Hill, Chon Buri province (81 km from Bangkok). Covering a total area of 5,000 rais (2,000 acres), the zoo is the habitat for more than 8,000 animals, most of which are various kinds of birds. The highlights of the zoo are:
• The "Night Safari" programme in which travellers will go on an autotram to explore the forest under the moonlight for 3.5 kilometres. (Night Safari Opening hours: 19:00-21:00 hrs. Daily).
•The walk-through aviary where exotic birds proudly present their elegance. In addition, the Khao Kheow Open Zoo provides adventurous activities like camping, walk rally, bird watching and nature expedition.
In 2003, the number of visitors was 1,059,806. It opens from 08:00 to 18:00 hrs. Tel: 0 3829 8188-9 Fax: 0 3829 8272
Chiang Mai Zoo
This is the first and only zoo in the northern Thailand.
Being part of Doi Suthep-Doi Pui National Park, Chiang Mai Zoo shares the same verdant vegetation with the park.The zoo occupies a large hillside area measuring 531 rais or 212.4 acres.
Established in 1974, the zoo is located at the foothill of Mount Doi Suthep. Two giant pandas from Sichuan, China are the star of the zoo.
"Must visit" spots here are: Penguin and Cape Fur Seal Exhibitions. A camping area is also available.
Nowadays, up to 7,404 animals live here with a total of 611,634 visitors last year. It opens from 08:00 to 18:00 hrs. Tel: 0 5322 1179 Fax: 0 5322 2283
Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo
You can witness leopards living in nature here in Thailand. In Nakhon Ratchasima's 545 rai (218 acres) area, visitors will be fascinated by the ways of life of these wild African creatures. There are 1,188 animals living in the zoo. Moreover, the Jurassic Park here is the star, especially for kids as there stand huge replicas of various species of dinosaurs. In addition, the "Night Safari" programme is available here from 18:00-22:00 hrs. The zoo is situated 13 km off Nakhon Ratchasima town. It opens from 08:00 to 18:00 hrs. Tel: 0 4435 7355-6 Fax: 0 4435 7354.
Songkhla Zoo
In 1989, this 911-rai (364.4 acres) Songkhla Zoo was set up with an aim to be a breeding centre of Asian tapirs which were becoming rare. Up till now there have been four kinds of conserved animal viz. brow-antlered deer, Sumatran serows, Fea's barking deer and Asian tapirs. The zoo opens from 08:00 to 18:00 hrs. Tel: 0 7433 6038-9 Fax: 0 7433 6040.
If you are interested in any of these zoos, you can visit or Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) at tel: 0 2250 5500,, for more information, or consult your travel agent or hotel concierge to arrange a personal trip for you.
In addition, zoos run by the private sector are in abundance all around the country as following:
Bangkok: Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm & Zoo, Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo
Kanchanaburi: Safari Park
Pattaya (Chon Buri): Pattaya Crocodile Farm, The Million Years Stone Park and Pattaya Crocodile Farm, Sriracha Tiger Zoo
Phuket: Phuket Butterfly Garden and Insect World, Phuket Zoo.

For the correct pronunciation of romanized Thai words, see
Romanization System of the Thai Language .

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