Phuket Zoo and Animal Parks
Aquariums, Zoo and Orchid Farms
Phuket Zoo and several of the other animal attractions around the island give you an unrivalled opportunity to get far closer to some of the world's most powerful and majestic creatures than you would have thought possible. It is important to realise that the Thai version of a zoo is very different from the western interpretation. With the animals being encouraged to perform for large audience, they can be more like circuses than zoos, and this distinction can be jarring if you're not prepared for it.
The tropics and exotic animals are intrinsically linked, with crocodiles, tigers, monkeys, elephants, birds, butterflies and snakes all here in Phuket, some performing fun shows while others enjoy a more sedate lifestyle. The opportunity to get up close to these remarkable creatures is certainly worth your while in terms of the sheer 'wow' factor.
Other Zoo and Animal Parks in Phuket
Phuket Orchid Garden & Thai Village
Located on a former tin mine, Phuket Orchid Garden & Thai Village has four restaurant pavilions, a playground for children of all ages, handicraft shops, workshops and a twice-daily cultural show (at 11am and 5.30pm). Good chance to see displays of Thai martial arts and dancing. Also has a large orchid nursery with a number of exotic and rare varieties.
- Opening Hours: daily 9am-9pm
- Location: just off Thepkasattri Rd on the north end of Phuket City.
- Tel: 076-214860, 076-237400
- Price Range: 400 Baht
Opened in 1997 and covering an impressive 12 acres, Phuket Zoo is home to a wide array of attractions, from peaceful paths through natural surroundings to exciting animal shows. Watch monkeys playing basketball, elephants balancing on one foot or the famous ‘head-in-the-crocodile’s-mouth’ show, or pose for photos alongside these and other animals. The zoo is home to many camels, tigers, ostriches, emus and a collection rare birds and fish in the Bird Park and aquarium.
It should be noted that Phuket Zoo has received mixed reviews from visitors. Some praise how entertaining the shows were, particularly for children, while others decry the animals’ living conditions. It can be a distressing place to visit if you are expecting a western-style zoo.
- Opening Hours: 08:30 – 18:00
- Location: 23/3 Moo 3, Soi Palai, Chaofah Road, Chalong
- Tel: +66 (0)7 637 4424, +66 (0)7 628 2043
Snake Shows in Phuket
Thailand is home to more than 50 species of snakes, including several poisonous varieties, and a spine-tingling (and safe) way to see them is at a snake show. Watch as seemingly fearless snake handlers charm, caress, harrass and even kiss various species of snakes, including spitting vipers and, most startlingly, King cobras.
Phuket Shooting Range (300 Baht; Tel: 076-280130) in Chalong, just west of the Chalong circle on Route 4028
Andaman Cobra Show on Soi Ta-iad, off Chao Fa East Rd, a few kms north of Chalong Circle,