Saturday 8 October 2011

Dusit Zoo, Bangkok

Dusit Zoo, Bangkok

The local Thai and Bangkokians also tend to call the Dusit Zoo; Khao Din, since it's build at this park and it's regarded as the most popular zoo in Thailand and includes some 1343 species of animals. It's most certainly the oldest zoo of Thailand, built by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) as his private garden adjacent to the royal palace.
After the King's passing, the garden was left unattended for years. In 1938, the revolutionary government asked King Rama VIII's regency to give this park to Bangkok City Municipality to be open as a public zoo. The King himself kindly bestowed deers and a number of other animals from the palace for public exhibition. The City of Bangkok operated the zoo until 1954. Since then it has been transferred to the state Zoological Park Organization, which also operates Khao Khiao Open Zoo, Chiang Mai Zoo, Songkhla Zoo, and Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo.

The main entrance gate

The last time I visited the Zoo must have been some 16 years ago and it felt that not much has changed. I do remember the reptiles sitting in big cages outside, they have moved inside into a reptile house and all around most likely things have changed. You can rent bikes to get around and there was a rail road car in which you van get around. We preferred walking and the zoo isn't too big so it's easy to navigate and walk around.

A map of the zoo

A taxi may be the best way to get there, since no skytrain station is nearby. Bus No. 18, 28, 108, and Air-conditioning Bus No. 528, 515, 539, 542 have routes going to the zoo.
After we left at 3pm, it took our taxi just over an hour to cover the 9.1km to the Windsor Suites Hotel in the Asoke/Sukhumvit area. Welcome to Bangkok traffic.

Our son was very happy to have seen the tigers, at last!

There are plenty of animals to be seen, inside the zoo, as already mentioned, some 1340 species. As always in Thailand, food is never far away and the immensely popular with Thais, KFC has an outlet as well. take some swimming gear for the kids since there's a big basin at the elephants corner which gives a nice cooling down and play opportunity for young and old. You can also paddle up and down the lake in a small water bike and there are various shows going on all day long, feeding shows and the like.
A nice touch to the zoo is that you can walk large parts at an elevated walk way, so you get a good view of all the animals from an higher point of view.

Water monitor or lizard

The above pictured water monitor or lizard has a Thai name that is very rude, if you say the name loud or in anger, you better starts running since it's one of the biggest possible insults in the Thai language.

Feeding the hippo

After our morning having spent with running around at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Embassy, we tired rather quickly and after just an hour or two at the zoo, we retreated back to the hotel. It's a good visit though and a nice way to spend a morning or afternoon in Bangkok, especially with children!


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