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.
Animal Parks in Phuket
Phuket Aquarium: An island vacation wouldn’t be complete without fish, and we're not talking about seafood, either. For an afternoon of fun – learning about what you eat and what might eat you (not really) – the Phuket Aquarium is required viewing. Recently renovated and with thousands of tropical, colourful and exotic marine creatures, the Aquarium is a hit with youngsters who may not have come up this close and personal with such unusual sea life before.
Over 30 tanks of freshwater and saltwater creatures give children lots to reasons to point and say, “Mom, look!” The fascinating weirdness of the undersea world cannot be overstated: cuttlefish hover like spaceships, razorfish look like sinking sticks, and the so-ugly-you-can’t-help-staring stonefish could go by no other name. The diverse selection includes eel, crab, shrimp, sharks, and fish that range from brilliantly coloured to cleverly disguised. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Open from 08:30 until 16:00, seven days a week
- Tel: +66 (0)76 391 126
- Price Range: Adults 100 baht, children 50 baht.
Phuket Bird Park is a beautifully arranged plot of hillside land has exotic flora, winding paths, odd memorabilia, no less than three cafés, a souvenir shop and of course hundreds of beautiful birds from all around the tropical world.
The experience starts with a lovely wooden bridge – the sort you see in Disney cartoons with multi-coloured butterflies darting about – and a display of indigenous masks along with what appear to be didgeridoos (an Australian aboriginal instrument). Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 - 17:00
Showtimes: 10:30, 13:30, 15:30
- Location: 400m after We Café Salad & Coffee on Chaofa West Road toward Wat Chalong
• Best to bring mosquito repellent
• Well-interspaced rest stops with three cafés onsite
• Attractive souvenir shop
• Phuket Bird Park is possible to do in a wheelchair but it is challenging due to steep slopes
- Tel: 076-367576
- Price Range: Adult: 500 baht, Child: 300 baht
Phuket Botanic Garden in Chalong offers an alternative recreation choice for visitors; especially those with an interest in gardening. This orchid pavilion display, rainforest garden, winter garden, with many rare plant species and more than 30 other selections will entertain the whole family.
Each zone has its own characteristics and plant collections that will definitely grab your attention. Don’t forget your camera! Read More...
- Opening Hours: 09.00 - 17.00 Closed on Wednesday
- Location: On Lung Por Chuang Road, Chalong, south of the island. If coming from Phuket Town, you’ll spot a small road commonly known by the name Soi TOT located before reaching the famous Wat Chalong. Make a turn there.
- Tel: +66 (0)76-367076
- Price Range: Adult 500 baht, children 300 baht
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,
Tiger Kingdom is a new arrival on Phuket’s attractions scene. It allows you the opportunity to get up close and personal with several Indochinese tigers of varying ages and sizes that have been raised by hand in captivity since birth. Tiger Kingdom is an attractive, squeaky-clean setup located right next to the Go-Kart track in Kathu at the foot of Patong Hill. On four acres of land, it cost approximately 100 million baht to build.
Stroll into reception and you’ll be greeted by a small army of orange-shirted greeters who will lead you through the paperwork necessary in meeting a big cat. For starters, you’ll need to sign a waiver exonerating Tiger Kingdom in case an accident happens, but this is standard procedure and you’ll have to do the same to bungy jump or to go on a zip line through the jungle. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 – 18:00
- Location: Foot of Patong Hill next to the Go-Kart track
- Tel: 076-323311-2
- Price Range: 800 to 3,500 baht