Wildlife and Nature in Thailand

October 4, 2012 by

Local Recommendations, Sightseeing, Things To Do

Giraffes at Khao Khieo Open Zoo

Giraffes at Khao Khieo Open Zoo. Photo credit: Tom Marshall via Flickr.

It would be a travesty to travel all the way to Southeast Asia without interacting with some of the local wildlife. Luckily, such interactions aren’t difficult to arrange.

For starters, Bangkok has a great deal to offer. Despite being incredibly modern and heavily congested, you and your family really can get access (often hands on) to a wide variety of wildlife in or very near the city. The Bangkok Snake Farm is home to hundreds of snakes, including sea snakes. You can pet many of them, pose for a picture with a big fat snake hanging from your neck (not an activity for everyone, that one) and observe as snakes are milked for poison in shows put on daily in the afternoon. The Bangkok Zoo started off as the King’s private collection. Today, it contains thousands of specimens, including mammals, reptiles, and birds. Some of the most popular animals in the zoo are the famous white tigers, but there’s much more to see, so be sure to schedule plenty of time.

Outside the major metropolitan areas, the possibilities are endless. The so-called “Black Waterfall” in the Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary is a marvel. Rated by many as one of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls, Ti Lo Su is an astonishing 900 feet high and more than 1,500 feet wide and is surrounded by healthy rainforest teeming with an abundance of exotic flora and fauna, much of which is easily accessible thanks to private tour groups and helpful park staff.

Thailand‘s first great national park, Khao Yai was established in 1963 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. The park is an excellent destination for nature lovers interested in embarking upon a distinctly Southeast Asian safari.

- John Reality

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