Friday, November 4, 2016

Chiang Mai Zoo

On Monday we visited the Chiang Mai Zoo, which is located outside of the city, at the foot of Doi Suthep mountain. Yes, this was our second zoo visit in one week, after visiting Dusit Zoo in Bangkok. When we arrived we were overwhelmed by how big the zoo looked from the outside. And it is definitely huge!

The zoo was established as a private zoo in 1957, and later became open to the public in 1977. It's age does show in some parts of the zoo which have become overgrown and derelict,  however, it looks like they are constantly improving the exhibits,  as there were lots of signs of renovations.

The first exhibit we saw were the flamingoes,  and what I noticed straight away was how close you could get to the animals. We were so close we could have reached out and touch them! I wouldn't recommend that though ;)

Walking up to the zoo there is a beautiful waterfall and water fountain. There is an abundance of greenery, flowers,  and we also saw many butterflies. The whole area is like a tropical jungle.
Apparently there are over 400 species of animals on display at the zoo, and there is also an aquarium,  which we chose not to visit this time.

At the entrance of the zoo, you will receive a map, which you will definitely need walking around there. We saw several monorail stops going through the zoo, however it appeared that this had not been in use for a while. I bet it would have been a really exciting way to explore the zoo, though, as some of the tracks go right over the top of the exhibits!

There is also a mini train that you can take around the zoo, but we just decided to walk.
At the start of the zoo there is a 'mini zoo' where you can see some cute baby animals, like piglets, hedgehogs, and baby chicks.

Nearby to this were the hippopotamuses. Talk about getting up close and personal! There aren't really any high fences around any of the exhibits in the zoo, and this was no exception. For 10 baht (about 30 cents) you can buy some bananas to feed to the hippos, and see just how big their mouths and teeth are. It was a very unique experience.
The African enclosure was very similar in that you could buy snacks to feed to the giraffe.

Another stand out exhibit for us was the deer exhibit, which was quite big, and had a walkway and a tree house built over it, so that you could look down over the animals.

We noticed that some enclosures and exhibits were very well done, while others seemed to be quite old and in need of an upgrade. We were disappointed with the 'Turtle Kingdom', because a lot of the enclosures were closed for renovation, but I guess that's a good sign that it will be improved.

Overall, we really enjoyed 'trekking' through this jungley zoo, and one day if we ever come back, I really hope that everything will be up and running to make the zoo even better :)

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xx

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