One of the Top Attractions in Bangkok
the whole family can enjoy
Dusit Zoo may not be high on the list of attractions for the average tourist on holiday in the city, but it’s an ideal setting should you be a kid attached to a family. Other than checking out the usual suspects associated with zoos around the world, you can easily relax here for a good part of the day on the lush lawns under the shaded wooded area in the park while watching an assortment of foreigners and Thai families enjoying a day out.
Other than getting up close and personal with a variety of animal and bird life, kids can let off all the steam they like with things such as elephant rides, animal feeding shows and pedal-boat rides on the lake. If your kids can have so much fun, you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll be spending quite some time here too.
It’s definitely a great place for kids to go crazy. While you are here, don’t forget to let the kids go wild examining the animal statues scattered around the zoo. There are life-size figurines of elephants, bears and a few prehistoric creatures.
Local and International Wildlife at Dusit Zoo
Dusit Zoo forms a lush green wedge between Dusit Park and the Chitrlada Royal Villa in the Dusit District of Bangkok. It is the oldest zoo in Thailand having been open for close to seventy years now. It’s probably one of Asia’s better zoos too.
The zoo was originally built by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) as his own private botanical garden adjacent to the royal palace. Ever since 1954, the zoo has been run by the state-owned Zoological Park Organization.
The zoo is home to about two thousand animals, mammals and birds of various species both domestic and international. Some come from as far as Africa and south, central and north America. The object is to provide wildlife conservation and breeding as well education. Before his death in 1910, the King was kind enough to donate a number of animals from the palace for public viewing.
Entrance and Fees at Dusit Zoo
Entrance fees to the zoo are not unlike any other place of interest in Thailand. However, I’d like to point out that there are price differences for tourists and locals. It can be somewhat annoying knowing that foreigners sometimes have to pay double or triple the going rate that is often favoured by Thai people. It’s no use complaining either as this is the normal protocol here.
Examples of price variations are as follows: Entrance fees for adult foreigners is 100 Baht and 50 Baht for children. Adult Thai nationals pay 50 Baht and 10 Baht for the kids. Older Thai children, including high school pupils and university students, pay 30 Baht. Thai teachers, soldiers and police in uniform pay 30 Baht.
Entrance is free for Thai persons who are handicapped, those who are practicing monks and people who are 60 years and older. I am not sure whether the latter applies to tourists over the hill as I haven’t quite got there myself yet.
There are three entry points to the zoo. The main gate is on Thanon Rajwithi and another entrance is across Thanon U-Thong from the Elephant Museum. The third entrance is a short distance away from Wat Benjamabophit on Thanon Rama V.
Educational Shows at Dusit Zoo
There are several animal educational shows staged at the zoo which is set in place for both the young and older people to enjoy. It’s also a great opportunity to learn about some of the animals you may not have seen or heard about before. Interaction with many of the animals is also allowed under strict supervision.
Apart from the everyday monkey, elephant and crocodile shows, that are so frequently held in Thailand, there is also educational bird shows complete with demonstrations. These might include parrots, macaws, hawks and the likes whereby you’ll learn about their eating, communicating, flying and roaming habits. It just makes your outing that much more exciting. Enough said then.
There are several shows daily, so there shouldn’t be any need to rush. Mondays to Fridays the shows are at 11:00 am, 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm. On Saturdays and Sundays, the shows are at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm. The grounds open daily from 8:00 am until 6:00 pm. So there is plenty of time.
Animals, Mammals, Reptiles and Birds
Besides the animal shows, it’s great to simply wander around the vast grounds and gaze in amazement at the mammals and animals like the Bengal cats, the Asian elephants, the Sumatran orangutans, the African hippopotamus and the American big black bear. Other wildlife at the zoo includes crocodile, monkey, gibbon and snake. And since you are here, see if you can spot the one and only albino barking deer in Thailand.
If you are here when the sun goes down, you may be able to observe creatures such as bats, brush-tailed porcupine and the bushy binturong also known as an Asian bearcat, lurking about the darkness in their natural forested environment.
Getting to Dusit Zoo
The best way to get to the zoo is to take the BTS Skytrain to Victory Monument station and then a taxi down Ratchawithi Road. The cost of a taxi ride from the station is about 50 THB and the journey will take approximately 10 minutes. The actual address is 71 Rama V Road, Chitrlada Sub-district, Dusit District, Bangkok.