A trip to the zoo in Korat

February 10, 2013

One of the main attractions for tourists in the city of Korat (Nakhon Ratchasima) is the zoo. Apparently it is one of the better zoos in Asia and it could even be better than zoos in Europe. Now I have been in many zoos around Europe but I am no zoo expert. But last Sunday there was not much else I had to do so why not find out what the zoo is like here?

The zoo is located a little out of the city (it was about a 20 km drive to get there) and when we walked to the car we looked up and noticed the clouds above us. Not even halfway our trip it started to rain, and it started to rain hard. Roads became rivers and traffic was slowed down because of limited visibility. As sudden as it started to rain it also stopped again, and started again, and stopped again. But with the help of GPS (on the iphone) we finally reached the zoo entrance after 30 minutes of driving slowly.

The entrance to Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo

The entrance to Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo

Once you enter here you can just follow the road and you will end up at the front desk where you have to purchase your ticket. Like many parks in Thailand there are different prices for Thais and foreigners. The price to enter for a Thai is now 70 baht  (September 2011) and foreigners have to pay 100 baht (about EUR 2,50 with the current exchange rates). Keep in mind also that the parking space is located behind the front desk, so when you enter the park by car you need to pay 50 baht parking fee.

The entrance ticket to the zoo for foreigners

The entrance ticket to the zoo for foreigners

Once the car has been parked it is time to decide how to get around in the park. The park is quite large and I would not recommend walking there. As you probably know it can become quite hot in Thailand and you will need your sparse energy to look at the animals. Options to get around are a small train that drives around in the park (priced at 20 baht per adult and you can hop on and off as often as you like) or you take a more individual way of going around the park by renting a bike (at a cost of 30 baht per bike) or by renting an old golf cart.

We choose the last option, also because it was still raining a bit and this way we had a roof over our heads. The price for renting a golf cart is 300 baht for one hour and 500 baht for two hours.

The following prices apply for renting a golf cart

The following prices apply for renting a golf cart

I would recommend renting the cart for 2 hours. We took about 1,5 hours to get around in the park and get on and off at several spots to see the animals. If you rent the cart for an hour you will be in a hurry all the time. After driving around for 2 hours you can always go by foot to the shows/performances (which can take up to 30 minutes per show).

They see me rollin - high powered speed monster golf cart

They see me rollin – high powered speed monster golf cart

Let me not go into the details of which animals they have at the zoo or what they look like; you can imagine an elephant I hope. What I do want to conclude about Korat zoo is the following:

This zoo is in my top 5 of zoos I have been lately! The animals are visible in a natural habitat instead of in a concrete box and the park is well maintained. The signs giving more information about the animals are in Thai though, but lets be honest, who reads these things anyways? And while I am not a big fan of the double prices (different prices for Thais and foreigners), the price difference in this zoo is acceptable (most of the times you are required to pay, at least, double the price Thais have to pay).

Feeding Mrs Giraffe (or is it Mr Giraffe?) a nice banana.

Feeding Mrs Giraffe (or is it Mr Giraffe?) a nice banana.

And the most fun thing in a zoo like this is feeding the animals. For 15 baht you can buy like 20 bananas and feed the giraffes, bears, or elephants. And this kind of interaction with the animals is something that makes a zoo in Thailand a lot more attractive than one in Europe. So if you have nothing to do in Korat one day, I would recommend you to borrow about 300 baht from the bank and treat yourself on a day out at the local zoo.

For questions/remarks you can contact me at: eric@stuckinthailand.com

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