We had read good things about both of Chiang Mai’s zoos so we thought we’d pick one of them to try. One is the regular type of zoo – go during the day, see animals in enclosures etc, etc. The other one is called the Chiang Mai Night Safari and boasts a tram tour through the Savanas and another dubbed the Predator Prowl.
The kids picked the Night Safari, we think in part because of the promise of staying up past normal bedtime. More proof that Asia lives at night – the trams don’t start running until 6pm. We had dinner at our favorite next-door neighbor Japanese restaurant and then arrived at the Night Safari at about 7:30.
We got dropped off about 300 meters before the entrance because there was a brightly lit market happening with booths selling food, souvenirs etc, a Ferris wheel and stage waiting for a show. It wasn’t very busy – more people than the Water Park yesterday- but nothing close to a crowd.
Once inside we headed to the Savannah tram which left almost immediately. There were separate entrances for the Thai tour and an English tour but given the low attendance we got the combo. We’re accustomed to hearing announcements in multiple languages but this was the first time English was the second language. We noticed the guide’s Thai descriptions were two or three times as long as his English ones…we’re thinking perhaps we missed out on some of the details.
The Safari is at night because the animals are more active and it was quite dark as we drove the tram route. When we got to the first spot and they turned on the spotlight, one of the kids said – awww, they’re in enclosures, it’s not a real Safari. So the illusion was pretty good to that point.
Next we headed over to a Predator Show – similar to what they have in zoos everywhere but with a Thai flair. This one had wild boar, a lion, a jaguar and two tigers, one of which went for a swim for his reward.
We got a chance to see a dance show described as a version of African tribal dance but the music was closer to pop music. We enjoyed it – from the perspective of seeing something felt authentic Thai, rather than authentic African.
Last but not least was the tram ride through Predator Prowl which delivered pretty well on the predators. We saw lions and tigers and bears (oh, my!) plus hyenas, pumas, a red wolf and a sleepy crocodile. They really were more active than when we’ve seen them at other zoos which was pretty cool.
Despite their claims they have go to bed too early, the kids started fading as the clock headed toward 10pm. Plus, even though it was advertised as being open until 11, everything was starting to shut down so we headed for home with some good memories of the Chiang Mai Night Safari.
One thought on “Chiang Mai, Thailand; Day 25”
Love your posts. Your comment about the description in Thai much longer than in English reminded me of a flight I had out of Cancun on Mexicana. The pilot spoke at least a minute before takeoff and then switched to English. He said ‘Here we go!’ That was all we got in English.