Weather :

Timings : 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Entry Fee :
Adults: THB 150
Children: THB 70

Chiang Mai Zoo, Chiang Mai Overview

Spread across 200 acres, The Chiang Mai Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in northern Thailand. Housing animal species from all over the world, the Chiang Mai Zoo also has an Aviary, called Nakornping Bird Park, housing over 1500 species of local and international bird species.

Located in the foothills of Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Zoo hosts over 400 different species of animals. The Zoo is also a conducive picnic spot with a great view. The Zoo exhibitions are very similar to the natural habitat of these animals, providing them with a space of comfort and protection. The zoo also has tunnel aquariums holding world records as well. 

The Chiang Mai Zoo hosts a variety of rare exhibits. Some of them include the Submarine Flower Urchin, a tiny creature that loves dressing up. The other rare sights include Nautilus, Scorpionfish and Frogfish; that can hide in plain sight. Established in 1995, the Aviary was set up to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej's Accession to the Throne.

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Things to Do in Chiang Mai Zoo

Smaller Animals At The Zoo
Near the entrance of the zoo is the Cage Area, where you can check out smaller animals in traditional zoo cages. Since these cages are surrounded by colourful tropical flora, it would feel like a meadow. Here you will find Mouse-Deer; Barking Deer, Squirrels and Rabbits, and many other smaller animals.

Visit the Open Zoo
Beyond this area lies the Open Zoo, which houses a walled enclosure of over 40 acres. The animals here are not caged and also hosts a pedestrian walkover for visitors to observe them in their natural habitats.

The African Zoo Zone
Check out the exclusive African Zone, housing Ostriches, Giraffes and Zebras. The African Zone is also a part of the Open Zone. 

Drop By The Aviary
Take a stroll through the Aviary at Chiang Mai Zoo called the Nakornping Bird Park. 

Superstar Pandas
Visit the exclusive Zone set up for the Zoo's two superstar Pandas - Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui. 

Glass Tunnel
Walk down the 66.5-meter long freshwater tunnel, where you can observe the sea species through the glass tunnel. 

Freshwater Aquarium
Dive down for an underwater experience at the Freshwater Aquarium at Chiang Mai Zoo. The Aquatic Zone here provides a unique opportunity for diving and snorkelling with the fishes and river creatures here. 

Indulge with the Animals
Feed milk to carp (fishes) at the Aquarium between 11:20 AM and 02:20 PM. You can touch many marine creatures such as Starfish and Sea Cucumbers with your bare hands, at the pond here. You can also feed fish to the gentle Cownose rays and Leopard shark here.

Water Bicycling at Chiang Mai Zoo
Go Water Bicycling on the stream to see the beautiful view of a waterfall amongst nature. At just THB 60 for 15 minutes and THB 100 for 30 minutes, it is an affordable yet fun activity for both couples and families.

Water Activities
The Water Ball Activity is a fun activity for children especially. At just THB 90 per person, you could have a great time with your kids or by yourselves. 

Zoo Breeding Area
Check out The Breeding Area at the back of the Zoo, where you can learn a lot about animal conservation. 

Recreational Arena
Drop by the Recreational Area towards the pleasant lake at the back.

Zones at Chiang Mai Zoo

There are 6 Zones in the Aquatic section of Chiang Mai Zoo. The first Zone recreates the River basin in Deep woods. It has four sub-sections -

Zone 1 - River Basin in the Woods
The River basin in the Woods hosts an educational section to learn about the source and ecosystem the river streams. It houses various creatures like the Queen Crab or waterfall prawns which are the prawns that lay eggs at the headwaters in flooding season.

Water Basin - Rivers like the Chao Phraya River, Mekong River and Salween River travel through Thailand and irrigate the plains. You can learn about their ecosystem here and also see exciting creatures. The Bengal freshwater eel, Siamese Tigerfish and even the famed Glass Catfish which is considered to the world's most transparent fish, are some of the attractions here. 

Wetland Forest: A recreation of the wetland forests, this area is home to 20 kinds of freshwater fish originating from the Amazon basin. Some of the species include the Red-tailed Catfish, Dragonfish also known as Arowana, Megalodoras Irwini and other rare animals like Threadfins that are on the verge of extinction.

Beauty and the Beasts - You can check out exotic creatures such as the Axolotl or the Mexican Salamander in this section. The Mexican Salamander, which is a three-legged fish, can grow back any body part. The Wolf Herring, a nearly extinct fish from the Mekong river, looks like a knife. 

Zone 2 - Predators Monster
Predator Monster is a large cave is the biggest indoor reptile exhibition in Thailand. Here you can see Tarantulas, Chinese water dragon, Chameleons, Red-Eyed Tree Frogs, and even Green Cliff Frogs. The Green Cliff frogs are rare species found only in Doi Inthanon, Doi Suthep and some other nearby places in Thailand.

Zone 3 - Ocean Survey
Ocean Survey is a playground for sea creatures, where the natural colour and beauty of the coral reef houses a variety of tiny fish, such as Butterflyfish, Angelfish and Clownfish. You can also see fascinating sea creatures like the Conger Eel, Ribbon Eel, Cobbler fish, Milkfish and even the rarely seen upside-down Jellyfish. Brownbanded Bamboo Sharks can be found laying eggs here.

Zone 4 - Secret Underwater
Secret Underwater is a 66.5-meter long freshwater tunnel representing life under Mekong River. There are rare freshwater fishes here such as the 2.5-meter long Arapaima Gigas, Giant Freshwater Whipray, Himantura Chaophraya, Chao Phraya Giant Catfish, Albino Striped Catfish, Giant Barb as well as the Mekong Giant Catfish.
 
Zone 5 - The Amazing Miracle
The Amazing Miracle is a dedicated area to the dangerous sea fishes like the Giant Moray with sharp teeth and Arothron Stellatus with very sharp spines.

Zone 6 - 6 Blue Under Water World
Hosting a massive aquarium with a wide variety of jellyfishes, the 6 Blue Under Water World is the last zone. The most noteworthy species here are the Upside-down Jellyfish whose body colour is similar to seaweed.

Chiang Mai Zoo Animals

The Chiang Mai Zoo is home to more than 400 species of animals including birds, fishes, wild animals, reptiles and smaller animals as well. 

Highlights
There are two Pandas here sent by China in 2003. They became the most frequented animals ever since. There are also other regional Southeast Asian animals like the Giant Mae Khong Catfish and the rare Serow here. These animals are said to have existed for almost 7 million years now. There are many indigenous animals from other parts of the world like Kangaroos and Dingoes from Australia, Giraffes and Zebras from Africa, Alpacas from South America, Scops Owls from Europe and the Humboldt Penguins from the Polar Regions.

Nakornping Bird Park
There are also more than 1500 birds here in the Aviary called Nakornping Bird Park. There is a colourful collection of local birds and ten other kinds of foreign birds such as the Painted Stork, Brown Fish Owl, Pot-bellied Eagle-Owl, and the Helmeted Hornbill.

Visitor Tips

  • Be prepared to walk a lot. Most of the areas within the zoo are to be visited by walk.
  • Carry sunblock, hats and sunglasses.
  • Apply and carry an insect repellent. Since Chiang Mai Zoo is quite vast and forest-like, it is bound to be swarmed by mosquitoes and other insects.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing so that the heat doesn't make you uncomfortable and you can walk around easily. Wear shorts if you want to participate in activities like Water Bicycling or rolling in a Water Ball.
  • Wear comfortable, waterproof shoes or flip flops.
  • Carry your own snorkelling gear if you plan on snorkelling here. However, there are renting facilities too.
  • Carry water and some energy bars or some quick bites as there are not many eateries except for the recreational centre towards the end.
  • Carry blankets, food, paper plates, paper cups and other necessities for an eco-friendly picnic, if you wish to set up a picnic at the zoo.
  • If you are not physically fit to walk this 200-acre span, you can take an air tram bus to explore the zoo. They have tours where the drivers also serve as guides.
  • Contact the park staff in case you have further queries. However, it is always recommended to learn the basics of the local language as English is not commonly spoken. 
  • Carry a camera. However, turn the flash off while taking pictures of the animals. 
  • Since it is a vast 200-acre area, it is better to map out an itinerary and know the highlights before going there.
  • Ensure to maintain distance while approaching these animals as not all of them have the same temperament.

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