Tag Archives: crocodile show

Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm & Zoo

There is something uniquely Thai about Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo. I am not sure that the animals are abused as such, but they are certainly not treated with ‘reverance’ in the way that Western zoos apsire to. Infact, this isn’t a zoo at all. It’s a farm. There are around 40,000 to 100,000 crocodiles at any time, depending on whose figures you believe. Eventually they will all be processed into handbags, shoes and steaks. All of which can be purchased on site, including on a plate in the restaurant.

Opening the farm to the public, holding shows and the addition of other animals, is a sideline. Farmers in the West are only just waking up to the need to diversify, this is diversification Thai style.

Anyway, no shortage of visitors to this attraction. Its about 28kms from central Bangkok. To get there take a taxi, a tour, or a bus – from On Nut BTS station buses 25, 507, 508 and 511 will take you right to the entrance. It opens daily from 8am to 6pm and costs 300 Thai Baht ($10) for adults and 200 Thai Baht ($6.7) for children.

The main attractions are the crocodile wrestling shows and the elephant shows. They take place throughout the day for a duration of approximately 30 to 40 minutes a show. The crocodile show involves young Thai men putting various body parts in the crocodile’s mouths, picking them up and other stuff generally considered inadvisable with large dangerous reptiles. The elephant show has the large beasts doing tricks including playing football and walking the tightrope.

The ‘zoo’ covers 3,000 acres. There is a mini-train which takes visitors around the various enclosures. The animals on show include tigers, lions, chimpanzees, leopards, pythons and camels. If you still crave more interaction with the animals then you can get in the enclosures with the crocodiles. Well, OK, one crocodile to have your photograph taken. You can also feed the crocodiles. It costs 20 Baht (67 cent) for a chicken carcass.

Depending on your perspective this is either a good day out, a slightly weird experience, or a lesson in how South East Asian people tend to view animals. Thailand never fails to be thought provoking, and the crocodile farm is likely to make you think. Bring a peg for your nose. It smells, and not of roses.

If you want to go on a tour of Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo Isango do one. They pick you up at your hotel at 1pm. The tour lasts 4 hours and includes entrance fees and english speaking guide. The tour costs $30 a head. Click on the button below to find out more.

Bangkok for Kids (Part 1) – Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo

Bangkok isn’t the best city for kids who may have difficulties in appreciating the culture, and architecture, in the same way as older visitors. Parents need to give some thought to interspersing visits to the main attractions with activities that will appeal to a younger audience. Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo ticks all the boxes on this front and is a wonderful experience for the kids.

Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo is about 30km outside of Bangkok. The road journey takes about an hour. There isn’t a convenient rail link, so you need to either take an organised tour, your own private hire taxi, or a public bus. Bus number 123 from the Royal Grand Palace, or bus number 84 from the Krungthonburi BTS (Sky Train) station, will both drop you directly outside.

Alternatively, you can go with a tour group to Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo. Isango do a tour that takes in the Floating Market, the Elephant Ground and Zoo as well as the Rose Garden. They pick you from your hotel at 6.30 am and return you to your hotel at 6.30 pm. The tour includes lunch, all entrance fees and an English speaking guide. Click on the button below to find out more.

The Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo is open from 8.30am to 17.30pm. Entrance fees are 600 Thai Baht ($20) for adults and 350 Thai Baht ($12) for children under 130cm tall.

The three major attractions are the elephant shows, the crocodile wrestling shows and elephant rides around the grounds.

Elephant shows take place daily at 1.45pm and 3.30pm and involve dancing, races, football, games and ‘Yutha Hathi’ – which the re-enactment of a great battle with actors in traditional dress riding on the elephants.

The crocodile shows happen daily at 12.45pm and 2.20pm, which the Thai ‘crocodile wrestlers’ performing tricks and stunts with large crocodiles.

Elephant rides will set you back a further 500 Thai Baht per person ($17) and are available from 10.30am to 3pm daily.

The facilities are set in 25 acres of land, and include a mini zoo, a restaurant, waterfalls and immaculate gardens.  The zoo has baby elephants, monkeys and snakes amongst other animals. You can easily spend half a day here. There is also a decent restaurant with Thai, Halal and Indian food on offer, which is open from 11.30am to 2.30pm.

For those of you with concerns about the ethics of animal shows, or the treatment of the animals, our view is that the animals are fairly well taken care of and are in good health. The animals are expensive to buy, so the financial incentive is there to ensure they remain in good health. Do bear in mind also that elephants have long been kept as working animals in Thailand, and the first elephants at the Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo were purchased from a logging business which had ceased operating. To the best of our knowledge all the animals at the Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo have been born in captivity rather than taken from the wild.