Located in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the Chiang Mai Zoo was established in the 1930’s by an American missionary who wanted a location to teach soldiers how to survive in a jungle environment. This missionary began taking in wounded animals and before long found he needed more land to house these animals while recovering. After his death, the Zoological Park Organization took over the property and in 1977 it opened as the official zoo of Chaing Mai. This eco-tourism attraction is nestled on the foothill of Doi Suthep Mountain and is adjacent to the Chaing Mai University in Northern Thailand.
One of the main draws of the Chaing Mai Zoo is their resident pandas. They have three giant pandas, one of which was born at the zoo and remains one of the few to be born in captivity outside of China. Lin Bing is the name of the panda, but he is just one of the more than 400 species of animals resident in the zoo. In addition to the pandas there are penguins, elephants, lions, camels, koalas, reptiles, insects, birds, rare and beautiful vegetation and more.
The zoo has a variety of exhibits including: a nocturnal animal house, the adventure zone, snow dome and more. In addition the zoo recently opened the zoo aquarium complete with a long sea tube through which visitors can walk. The aquarium replicates one of the earth’s marine ecosystems and is home to 2,000 different kinds of sea life.
Covering more than 200 acres, the zoo is easily explored via the Chiang Mai Zoo Monorail. With two waterfalls, camping areas, animal breeding areas, shops, restaurants and more, the monorail provides a scenic view of all that the zoo has to offer.
One of zoo’s missions is to provide education as well as entertainment. To this end the zoo offers a variety of educational programs open to local schools, and is free of charge. From the variety of ecosystems on the planet to prehistoric animals, the zoo is a wealth of information for everybody.
The Chaing Mai Zoo is open daily and offers a variety of scheduled animal shows on a regular basis. There are additional fees for the adventure dome, snow dome, monorail and aquarium but even so the admission fees are extremely reasonable by western standards.
Offering visitors a chance to see the famed panda Lin Bing in addition to spending the day exploring a world-class park, the Chaing Mai Zoo is a must-see for both tourists and residents.