The Chiang Mai Night Safari located in the province of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand is a fabulous attraction for all ages to enjoy. If traveling through a game park at night in an open vehicle and viewing some of the most dangerous predators in the world sounds appealing to you then this is one attraction you don't want to miss.
Located just 10 kilometres from Chiang Mai town centre within the foothills of the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, this zoo come theme park was officially opened back on the 6th of February, 2006. Set out over a 200 acre site this world class attraction contains a variety of animals from all over the globe and is open to the public both day and night, although I would recommend you visit at night.
The Chiang Mai Night Safari was modeled on a similar attraction that is located in Singapore however, as the Chiang Mai safari has been constructed within a national park it has also had to comply with environment regulations and in this respect it has met with some opposition from members of the Chiang Mai community.
HOW IT WORKS
The night safari is basically a theme park and operates in the following way. There are three zones in total, however the Night Safari is divided into two different zones, which include:
The Predator Prowl Zone which houses around 200 animals, includes African Hunting Dogs, Tigers including White Tigers, Lions, Wolves, Vultures, Canadian Wolves, Crocodiles and Asiatic Black Bear.
The Savannah Safari
Zone which houses around 300 animals, includes Water Buffalo, Lions Cheetahs, Zebras, White Rhino's, Giraffes, Ostriches, Emus' Kangaroo's, Dingo's, and Wilderbeast.
The third zone of the zoo is called the Jaguar Trail Zone but this area is only open during the day. It consists of a 1.2 kilometre walking trail which wraps around a beautiful man made lake. This zone contains around 400 animals, including Jaguars, Leopards, White Tigers, Monkeys, Camels, Miniature Horses, Wallabies, Koala's, and Cranes.
Visitors are taken through both of these zones on an open sided tram along a 5 kilometre long circuit. Trams run every 15 minutes between the hours of 7.30 PM and 10 PM. There are trams for both English and Thai speakers so you can choose which is more appropriate for you.
The tram journey takes approximately 1 hour to complete and provides an authentic safari type feel as the tram moves slowly through the dead of night. Along the route visitors can expect to see zebras, tigers, lions, hyenas, and giraffes just to name a few species.
The tram stops at different vantage points to allow the visitor time to view different animals within their habitats. The tour guide uses a spotlight to assist in the identification of particular animals and provides some commentary regarding the animals. My tour guide also spoke English which was helpful in answering some of my questions.
I visited the night safari back in 2009 and was really impressed with the uniqueness of this attraction, the variety of animals on exhibit, and the knowledge and friendless displayed by the staff.
The safari also includes a restaurant, a Photo Corner (where you can
have a picture taken with some of the baby animals), and a souvenir
shop. There is also a Laser Light Show that is held nightly at 8 and 9 PM which most kids will enjoy.
Chiang Mai is located approximately 700 kilometres north of Bangkok within the northern Thailand region. You can reach Chiang mai by plane train or bus. Flights from Bangkok to the Chiang Mai International Airport take just over an hour. The route is serviced by a number of carriers including Air Asia, Bangkok Airways and Nok Air. Tickets are usually around the 2,000 Thai baht range.
Trains depart Bangkok's huge Hualamphong Station (which was built back in 1913) daily. Travel time is approximately 13 hours and sleeper carriages are available.
Likewise, buses depart Bangkok's Northern and Northeastern Bus Terminal located at Mo Chit daily. The journey to Chiang Mai takes about 11 hours and air-conditioned 1st class buses with a toilet are also available.
If you are already in Chiang Mai, The Chiang Mai Night Safari is located off the Chiang Mai - Hang Dong Road (Road 121) and is located approximately 10 kilometres from Chiang Mai town.
The Chiang Mai Night Safari opens daily between the hours of 10 Am -11 PM. The cost of admission is 500 baht for adults and 300 baht for children.
There is also a Day Safari which is open daily between 3 PM and 4.30 PM.