Exotic Thailand and its capital Bangkok will surprise you with a huge selection of places that are definitely worth visiting. This includes the country's oldest zoo, Dusit, or Khao Din Park.
Tourists, and especially those traveling with children, will love this zoo with its well-kept park area, exotic vegetation and a large number of animals. Below we will explain how to get there, tell you interesting facts about its origin and why this place is attractive.
History of the Zoo
Originally the Dusit Zoo was not a zoo at all, but a botanical garden and had a slightly different name - "Khao Din Wana". It was built in 1895 by order of King Rama V and was intended exclusively for the family of the reigning monarch and contained a private collection of animals.
Dusit Zoo is part of Thailand's protected historic reserves.
Under the King, the last absolute monarch of Thailand, Rama VII, the park was improved and expanded. In 1938, at the request of the country's prime minister, the king gave permission for the park to be opened to the public. Rama VII also gave the zoo animals from his collection, particularly crocodiles and monkeys. This is where the modern history of the Dusit Zoo began.
Zoo these days
The zoo receives over 2 million visitors each year and is one of the most visited places in Bangkok. It belongs to the Zoological Park Organization, which oversees the maintenance and health of the animals. Today Dusit Zoo is a whole complex covering an area of 188,800 square meters. It includes not only enclosures and pavilions with animals, but also stores, cafes, attractions, playgrounds and even a zoological museum that tells the history of the place.
Here you can find an animal hospital and an educational center for visitors of all ages. A distinctive feature of the zoo is that many of the animals are allowed to be fed. In the special children's zoo, the youngest visitors can feed, as well as pet and play with the baby animals.
In addition, you can enjoy hiking in the park area or on the lake on a rented catamaran, witness a spectacular animal show and even ride elephants.
Performances with animals are held both on weekdays and weekends. You can see trained seals, monkeys and even royal elephants.
On the territory you can ride the cute train, which will certainly please the children, and if you want you can rent a bike or scooter.
Prices for additional services are low and will not hit the pockets of the average tourist.
The zoo is currently home to more than 1,600 species of all kinds of animals from around the world. This number includes about 800 species of birds, about 200 species of reptiles and 300 mammals. Here you will find both large fauna such as hippos, elephants, giraffes, rhinos and smaller animals such as meerkats, lemurs, rabbits and foxes.
The giraffes here can be viewed from two levels. The path is the first level, the second is on the bridge, which is located at the level of the giraffe's head. From the bridge it is convenient to feed them, which is very pleasant for children.
Monkeys, various cats of prey, antelopes, ponies, tapirs, wombats and bears also live here. Among all the variety, you can see rarely seen South Asian species. The hallmarks of the zoo are the white Bengal tiger and the albino deer. The usual cows, goats and sheep can also be seen here.
For Thai residents, zebras, giraffes, camels, kangaroos, and penguins are exotic animals.
Speaking of penguins, the zoo has a special room for them, where they are kept at a temperature suitable for these animals.
Dusit has created an "Island of Birds. It is a piece of land in the water, where bird aviaries, covered with netting, are placed. Here you can see parrots, peacocks, flamingos, pheasants, cranes, pelicans, and even a large raven, a relative of the crows we know well. The ponds are inhabited by a variety of fish and turtles, which do not mind tasting the bread from the hands of visitors. The terrariums feature a large number of reptiles: snakes, varanas, lizards, snakes and even a dragon from Komodo Island.
Most of the enclosures in the zoo are constructed so that people are not protected by bars, but by a special invisible moat with water. This allows you to get a better look at the local inhabitants and take picturesque photos. The aviaries here are very large in size, which allows the animals to feel relatively free and comfortable. This factor, as well as the exchange of the Dusit Zoo with other zoos, contributes to a high birth rate among the animals living here.
How to get there and how much to visit
The zoo is close to Victory Monument BTS station and can be reached by buses #12 and #18 from Victory Monument, or on foot, which takes about 20 minutes. Buses #28, 108, 528, 515, 539 and 542 will also take you directly to your destination. You can also take a cab or tuk-tuk from anywhere in the city, or the Bangkok Metro.
Cost to visit the Dusit Zoo: 150 baht for adults, 70 baht for children. Children under 3 years old are admitted for free. Opening hours: from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Usually enough two or three hours to see the entire park.
Monday through Friday you can visit the sea show, starting at 10:30, 12:30, 15:00. Weekends 10:30, 12:30, 13:40, 15:00.
Map of the zoo
Useful information for tourists
- The Zoo is located in the historic center of the city in the area of the same name near the Royal Square, the Ananta Samakhon Throne Hall, the Parliament, and the Chitrilad Palace.
- On the territory of the zoo is a food court with traditional Thai cuisine. To eat a full meal is enough 40-60 baht, and no extra charge for the location. And there is even everyone's favorite supermarket Seven-Eleven.
- It is best to visit the zoo in the morning or evening, because during the day the animals hide from the scorching sun and are not active at all. Don't forget to bring a hat or cap and sunscreen to feel comfortable while visiting the zoo.