Chiang Mai Zoo is suitable for child and family, Quite a fun for the kids
Chiang Mai Zoo is located at the foot of Doi Suthep – Pui National Park, just behind Chiang Mai University, and covers a huge area of secondary rainforest, foothills and river dales backing on to the national park itself. The natural forest setting certainly helps to elevate the zoo above regular city zoos such as Bangkok’s Dusit Zoo or Regent’s Park but yes, it is a zoo and not a safari park.
As zoos go, this can be a fairly good one and it’s definitely the perfect the kingdom has to offer. Most animals seem nicely taken care of in spacious cages or fenced off areas and though some enclosures, corresponding to that for the monkeys, still depart a lot to be desired, the zoo is always upgrading and enhancing its facilities.
Other than the aviary and aquarium a large cross section of native fauna stay on the zoo: elephants, tigers, crocodiles, bears and gibbons for starters, plus imported species resembling koalas, giraffes, zebras and penguins.
The Chiang Mai Zoo Aquarium is certain to become a landmark destination in Thailand an international attraction to be proud of, certain to capture the hearts and minds of tourists from far and wide.
In essence, it is a living museum that boasts South East Asia longest and most spacious underwater pathways crystal clear Sea Tube tunnels that place the observer directly in the center of enormous 360 degree aquatic habitats. Each of seven individual exhibits showcase a distinct environment, completely self-contained, and carefully populated with an authentic cross-section of native species.
As one of the planet great ecosystems with nearly 2,000 species of marine creatures, the Mekong serves as symbol of the diversity that the Chiang Mai Zoo Aquarium seeks to replicate. Thus, it brings together thousands of examples of exotic marine life from around the world to their new home, living together in a haven thousands of miles from their native environment, and cared for by their attentive human custodians.
Aside from its appeal as an exciting natural attraction, the Chiang Mai Zoo Aquarium also serves as an important learning center for the study of marine life and biology throughout the South East Asian region and the rest of the world. In pursuit of this goal, the Chiang Mai Zoo Aquarium is destined to draw visitors from around the world to experience what must certainly represent a proud achievement for the wonderful people of Chiang Mai and the gracious citizens of Thailand.
The Chiang Mai zoo’s star animals are undoubtedly the pandas, which are on a 10-year loan from China, and for which you have to pay extra to see. That’s partly because they have to live in an air-con enclosure, which rumour has it even has occasional artificial snowstorms… which brings us on to the “snow dome”, another popular attraction for Thais who’ve never seen snow before, and which also charges a separate entrance fee. The snow dome, of moderate interest to Westerners, is a kind of overgrown deep-freeze with a toboggan slope and igloo among its attractions.
Other non-animal viewing attractions in Chiang Mai zoo include go-carting, elephant rides, inflated plastic balls on the lake, a trained bird show and an “adventure railway” ride. The latter is so kitsch it’s good, and involves a brief ride around a deer and goat enclosure with added plastic dinosaurs that move their heads when you pass and a giant King Kong that roars and flashes his red eyes. Even odder are the model Akha and Mabri exhibits.
Chiang Mai zoo is large and you’ve got three options for getting around : foot, monorail or bus. Most of the main sites can be included in a walking itinerary but be warned: it’s a fair old walk and there are plenty of hills. Much of it is however in the shade and cafes and snack bars are liberally sprinkled around the site. Allow two to three hours to do a loop around the central area on foot.
Chiang Mai Zoo Fees
- Parking Fee: Car 50 baht / Motorcycle 10 baht / Bicycle 1 baht
- Entrance Fee: Adults 150 baht / Children 70 baht
- Panda Fee: Adults 100 baht / Children 50 baht
- Aquarium Fee: Adults 520 baht / Children 390 baht
- Snow Dome Fee: Adults 150 baht / Children 100 baht
- Adventure Park Fee: Adults 20 baht / Children 10 baht
- Open Sided Bus Fee: Adults 30 baht / Children 30 baht
You can turn up at the zoo, pay your 100 baht entrance fee, then pay a supplementary entrance charge for the pandas, (110 adults, 50 kids), aquarium (450 adults 350 kids) and so on, though there is a combined zoo and aquarium entrance fee which is a slightly better deal: 520 baht or 390 baht for kids gets you a ticket for both and includes a minibus shuttle to the entrance. Anything between 90 and 135 cm classifies you as a kid, regardless of age, and anyone under 90 cm is free, so a good deal if you’re vertically challenged.
Hours : Zoo open from 08:00 to 18:00
How To Get To Wat Doi Suthep:
To get to Doi Suthep-Pui National Park from Chiang Mai, take route 1004 northwest. Top end of Huay Kaew Rd, just after the arboretum and immediately before the road starts to climb up Doi Suthep.
- To get to the zoo by public transport, a 40 baht red songthaew ride will do it or you should be able to get a tuk tuk for 150-200 baht or so from downtown.
- By car rent with drive from Chiang Mai City. Many Chiang Mai tour company or travel agent can arrange return transport via air-conditioned mini-bus
- By renting the mountain bike or Motorbike.
- By making private tour from Chiang Mai to the Zoo. You can combine with Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and the other attraction nearby like Bhubing Palace (Royal winter Palace) and Doi Pui Hmong Village.
Wat Pha Lat is a hidden jungle temple. The temple was originally used as a resting place for people on the pilgrimage up to worship to Doi Suthep up on the mountain. Then the location developed into a meditation retreat and a monk residence.
Perhaps the most famous and important temple in Chiang Mai every visitor must pay a visit. Wat Phra That at Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai is a spectacular Buddhist Temple. Doi means a mountain so Wat Phra That is the temple on Suthep Mountain. But the temple is popularly known as Doi Suthep after the name of the mountain, I suspect because it is easier to pronounce?