I hadn’t intended on visiting the Dusit Zoo in Bangkok. Although I am a huge animal lover, zoos aren’t normally on my short list of sights when visiting a new place. I love the idea that zoos provide children and adults with a chance to see wildlife they would otherwise never get to see. In theory, zoos are educating people and possibly providing conservation efforts such as breeding programs for endangered or at risk animals. However, zoos often leave me feeling depressed and disappointed in humans. The con list in the debate against zoos, and the caging of exotic animals for human amusement, is long and a whole other post in itself.
I had visited the Grand Palace and received a free ticket for the Vimanmek Mansion in the Dusit area of Bangkok. The mansion is the world’s largest teak building and it was once the royal residence. I found the mandatory guided tour of the mansion a bit of a snooze and crept off on my own. It took me about 5 minutes to walk through the whole exhibit as only a fraction of the rooms are open to viewing by the public. After I poked my head into the Royal Thai Elephant Museum, which is a one room exhibit on the same grounds as the Vimanmek Mansion, I decided to walk back to my hotel.
That’s when I happened upon the zoo and decided to take a chance. It turned out to be a fairly nice zoo. There is a large green space with a lake on one side and the majority of the animals housed on the other side. The shade provided by the trees was a nice break from 33 C degree heat and it was worth the foreigner price of 100 baht for admission. They have all the animals people like to ooh and aah over: tigers, giraffes, hippos, zebras, and a lion. The seal show was receiving loud applause as I walked by. There was even a squirrel who threw a nut at my head as I walked under his tree.
If you enjoy walking, this is a great way to spend a day in Bangkok.