Thailand Elephant Symbol and Meaning

The elephant in Thailand is a symbol of the king’s power, and the elephant is also the most spiritual animal. Thailand is a subtropical monsoon climate, with forests accounting for 3% of the land area and dense tropical rainforests and valleys. This climate and geographical environment is very suitable for elephants. There is even an elephant village in Tak Corridor, Thailand, where people are friends with elephants. Thai people love elephants so much that Thailand also have a nickname of “The Country of Elephant “.

Read more: Elephant Tours

In addition to helping people to open up wasteland, build roads, log and carry heavy objects, domesticated elephants have also been credited to battlefield in Thai history. Like the storming horses, the ancient Thai war will be mounted by elephants and the monarch will use white elephants as royal mounts to increase the power of the gods. Several famous ancient battles in Thailand’s history were not only related to elephants, but also made great achievements in the war. A Thai historian once said: “without elephants, Thailand’s history may have to be rewritten.”

Read more: Thailand Elephant Guides

Chiang Mai Night Safari Park: Guides to Set into the Wildlife Territory at Night

This is presenting to you, the Chiang Mai Night Safari Park. A park that offers you amazing views and sights that is sure to make your entire stay adventurous and fun filled. With a theme similar to the Singapore Night Safari, the Chiang Mai Night Safari Park has so many activities that are there just for your pleasure. Visitors have the chance to visit the fun plaza. This plaza is fully set with a 13.5 meter wide circular fountain. Here, visitors can have fun playing around the fountain especially on a sunny day. You can also enjoy a digital zoo where you get the chance to view information about diverse animals in a 3 dimensional form. The following are also available: an interactive floor, an interactive wall, a multi touch table, piano step, music touch wall and an interactive laser gun. An amazing feature attached to the interactive wall exhibition is an infrared camera that senses your movement and adjusts the digital view to your current position thereby capturing your attention. You can also wear an animal head in the form of a hologram that displays contents in a 2D and 3D format. Here, the user can have their own magic show and enjoy the colorful animations vividly displayed on the screen.

Day Trips From Chiang Mai

There are buses available to convey visitors to the three animal zones available and at different times. The buses are set in a way that one is available during the day for day trips from Chiang Mai and another at night (night safari). 

See more Chiang Mai Tour Packages

Fun Memories Guaranteed 

Here at Chiang Mai Night Safari Park, visitors can be sure of a fun filled adventure from the range of activities that are available to actively engage users and provide them with memories to last for a long period of time.

Chiang Mai Activities 

There are three animal zones at the Chiang Mai Night Safari Park; 

  • Savannah Safari: This zone is open from 18:00 to 23:00. There are open sided safari trams that convey visitors round a 30minutes journey where they can view herbivores and prey animals such as giraffes, zebras, Thailand elephants, antelopes, lamas, rhinoceros, and diverse species of Asian and African wild deer. The trail is 2.4 km south of the lake and it lasts for 30 minutes.
  • Predator Prowl: This zone is open from the hours of 18:00 till 23:00 and it is located in the eastern part of the lake. As the name suggests, it serves as a home for the world’s most famous predators such as lions, hyenas, vultures, bears, Bengal tigers, pumas, goats, wallabies and deer. Open sided safari trams are also available to take visitors through a 30 minutes adventurous ride round the zone.
  • Jaguar Trail: This zone is open from the hours of 11:00 till 23:00. It is a walking trail that takes visitors through an amazing stroll round the lake. Here, you can take a walk and  get to see and learn about wild habitat like flamingos, tortoises, ducks, white striped tigers, jaguars, crested serpent eagle, fishing cat, binturong, grey peacock-pheasant, Asian golden cat and lemurs. 

Things To Do in Chiang Mai 

  • Night Safari: Here, visitors can travel by open sided safari buses to visit two zones. They first visit the Savannah Zone where they can see herbivores and prey animals such as giraffes and hyenas, and the next is the Predator Zone where they can see lions, hyenas, goats, pumas etc. Buses are available to leave by: 6.50pm, 7.30pm, 8.30pm, 9.30pm and 10.00pm.
  • Day Safari: Here, visitors can take day trips first to the carnivore zone where they get to feed animals such as zebras, giraffes, rhinos and kangaroos. The next trip is to the predator zone where they can see lion, tigers, zebras and hyenas. Buses leave from the hours of 3:00 – 4:30pm and the trip lasts for 60 minutes.
  • The Tiger Show: The tiger show runs on Mondays till Thursdays and on Sundays from 6.00pm – 7.30pm. It also runs on Fridays till Saturdays from 6.00pm – 7.30pm and 8.30pm. You can see a wide range of the most exotic tigers in India including the white tiger, Indochinese tiger and white lion.

Behind TheZoo: Here, visitors can have personal experience with the care of animals. They get to touch and bathe animals and learn about bathing and cleaning animals like gaurs, elephants, and white rhino’s. This is an interactive and educational session with experienced staffs available to take visitors through each lesson.

The Best Time To Visit The Chiang Mai Night Safari Park. 

Visitors planning a trip to the Chang Mai Night Safari Park must be sure to set their schedule to a time that suits them. The English language tram leaves after 19:45 so visitors that do not understand Thai must be sure to set their schedule to this period. It is equally important to note that the different animal zones have different opening times. African Savanna and Predator Prowl are evening zones and are open from 18:00 to 23:00, while the day zone which features the Jaguar Trail is open from 11:00 to 23:00. It is also advised to leave for the park after sunset as this is the period the animals become most active. The laser light show also has two rounds; the first one is at 20:00 and the second at 21:00.

In a bid to allow visitors access to the wide range of activities offered at Chiang Mai Night Safari Park, there are three types of ticketing services available. The first type allows a single entry access to the Jaguar trail and the Laser Light Show. Type 2 allows a single entry access to the Jaguar Trail, Laser Light show and two Tram Rides to the Savanna Safari and Predator Prowl. Finally, the third type is the type 3 ticketing that grants single Entry access to the Jaguar Trail, Laser Light Show, and two Day-time Tram Rides to Savanna Safari and Predator Prowl, and two Nighttime Tram Rides to Savanna Safari and Predator Prowl.

Khao Yai National Park

Khao Yai is without doubt the best national park for habitual visitors where it is relatively simple to watch many curious animals

It was the first national park in 1962 and, currently, it is the third one largest in the country, extending 2,168km² of forests and grasslands into Prachinburi, Saraburi and Nakhon Nayok Provinces. Its checkpoint is only 2.5 hours away from Bangkok.

The average altitude of the national park ranges from 400 to 1,000 metres asl., and Khao Rom mountain is 1,351 mts high.

The park is a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO, encompassing five protected zones from Khao Yai to Cambodian border. There are more protected areas like Thap Lan, Ta Phraya and Pang Sida National Parks and Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary.

Wildlife

Flora

More than 80 percent of the park has various types of flora such as tropic and dry evergreen forests, mixedand dry dipterocarp and deciduous forests, and grassland. There are about 2,000 species of plants that amaze the visitors. Lofty trees coated in mosses, climbers and epiphytes, matted trunks with figs, fallen lianas and spiny rattan palms, graceful ferns, colorful lichens and ever-changing fungi.

TropicalMoist  Evergreen  Forest: 

It  covers  around  70%  of  the  park. Dipterocarps are an important species found within these forests.

Dry Evergreen Forests:

They cover the lower hillsides of Khao Yai. Within the many kind of species of plants, there are Dipterocarps, Hopia and Bamboo.

Dry Deciduous Forests: 

These forests also coat the lower slopes of Khao Yai. Here the most prominents plants are Xylia, Afzelia, and Lagerstroemia.

Hill Evergreen Forests: 

It grows above 1,000 metres and trees are smaller and there are a big number of ferns, epiphytes and mosses. Within here, the most significant varieties are Lithocarpus and Castanopsis.

Grasslands: 

These areas provide a grazing area during the whole year for some of the animal population. They supply a very welcome to the woods and its visitors. The park is pruned annually by burning to inhibit invation of trees and to purvey grazing for some animals.

Fauna

Wildlife in Khao Yai’s forests is abundant of 46 mammal species, at least 74 of herptile and various of invertebrates, but all of them are often difficult to see. Mournful hoots from Gibbons give a peculiar morning wake-up call. If you walk very quiet through the forest, you may have luck and see some of these apes on the trees. Sometimes it is possible to see Pig tailed macaques on the roadsides. Civets, porcupines, squirrels and wild pigs are other species. Snakes and lizards are usually noticed by a rustle in the undergrowth.

Mammals: 

One of the main allures are the White-handed or Lar gibbon and the Pileated gibbon. Numerous animals can be seen on the meadows as gaur and Sambar and Barking deer. Elephants rarely are spotted at salt-licks or, if you’re lucky, on the way in the evenings.

There are many carnivore species such as clouded leopardsgolden catsmarbled catsdholes and leopard cats. About tigers, the last official record was in 2005. Nevertheless, some people continue declaring some sightings so then visitors still coming to the park, and they say they could see these ferocious felines along the wayside or hunting on the pasturage and close the Sai Sorn reservoir. Other mammals include asiatic black bear, Binturong, serow, sun bear, Hog Badger, Mouse-Deer and Pangolins.

Approximately 1 million of insect-eating bats dwell in a cave on the border of the park. About 3 km to the north away from the Pak Chong entrance gate, and going up to the hill. It’s very important not enter the cave because you could disturb the bats. Also, it’s not a good idea using flash when taking pics.

Birds: 

Lots of them! Over 320 species! They make their presence known by a tweet or flutter of wings. You will really need patience, good field glasses and a bird guide. It is highly recommended start with the grasslands, waysides, the old golf course and the watching towers. Hornbills are pretty easy to spot, also hear the chirrup of the Indian Pied often seen in big flocks close to Nong Pak Chi Tower in the evenings, or the sound of the Great Hornbill generally viewed in pairs or alone. Another often-seen species are Siamese fire-back and silver pheasants.

Reptiles: 

Some sightings of Siamese crocodiles happened. There is a debate about the emergence of crocodiles: some people think they were released there while others believe they are part of a genuine wild fauna. These reptiles are not aggressive with humans and they don’t grow larger than 3 metres. These can be seen along the river from Pha Kluamai Campsite to Haew Suwat falls, sunbathing on the side of the riverbank.

Regarding snakes, take care and think them as dangerous animals unless you know the contrary! And about Geckos, they are frequently catching insects on walls and ceilings of buildings.

Climate

The National Park has three remarkable seasons, with an annual average temperature of 23°C.

Rainy season (May–October): 

The ambient is humid with temperatures of 27°C during the day and 13°C at night.

Cold season (November–February): 

Cloudless sky, sunny and cool days.

Average temperatures are from 22°C to 10°C. Good weather for hiking.

Hot season (March–April): 

Humid climate with a maximum of 20–30°C and a minimum of 17°C.

Fees/Permits

The entry for Thai residents is 40 baht; for foreigner adults is 400 baht and children under 14 years old, 200 baht; Bicycles, 10 bath; motorcycles, 30 bath; cars 50 bath.

Note: Foreigners living in Thailand are not allowed to pay the Thai Resident fee even showing a Thai work permit.

The entry fee is per day, it means you have to pay each day that you enter the park. If you go out of the park and then go back the same day, you don’t have to pay again.

What to see

Visit some of the wonderful waterfalls during the Rainy Season. In June, July and August they can be full of water. Under these wet conditions flora also will be at its best. In Hot Season falls would be dry and swimming is not allowed.

Haew Suwat Waterfall, worth seeing for anyone visiting the park, this stunning waterfall was made famous in the film ‘The Beach’. Further downstream you can find more falls but smaller and quieter.

Haew Narok Falls is a three tiered of 150 metres structure. The name means ‘Sunken hole of hell’ because of its foreboding rumble that could be heard by poachers long before they could see it. On the top of the falls you can find an ‘elephant fence’, built in 1993 in honor to seven elephants that glided down when trying to rescue one of their babies.

Pha Kluaymai Falls, on the trail to Haew Suwat falls, is more peaceful than the other waterfalls. It can only be reached by walking, anyway it is great to watch wildlife while your journey.

Non Pak Chi Watchtower is tall tower that makes a magnificent point to stake out the surrounding grasslands and saltlick. From there you can watch sambar, muntjac, boar and, if you’ve luck, elephants or even gaur. It overlooks the Nong Pak Chi Reservoir, where the birds take flight. Best moments to visit it are at dawn and dusk.

Pha Diew Die viewpoint, a 20 minute scenic drive, is going to the main north-south road through the park, with a turnoff about 200 metres south of the junction for the camping grounds and Haew Suwat falls.

These two scenic viewpoints present fantastic look-outs. The first is through a raised boardwalk, going to a natural break in the trees, the second is next to the route at the end of the driving-path.

Go on an organised tour:

Khao Yai Wildlife Tours: 

Accompanied by an experienced, English-speaking guide you can wander around jungle and observe wildlife. These tours are a great way to discover the fauna of the National Park, you can see from Asian elephants to pig-tailed macaques and white-handed gibbons to real flying dragons. After sunset, it is a good opportunity to search for the nocturnal animal life. It will be your best chance to look at wild elephants, the most exciting experience. There are available 1 to 4 day tours focused on wildlife, birdwatching, herping, and visits focused on nature photography.

Read more: Thailand elephant tours

Khao Yai Jungles and Waterfalls: 

It is a two-days journey through this fresh jungle which is habitat to wild elephants, bears, snakes, porcupines, tigers, gibbons and parrots. The first day is a trip til the sunset into the uncanny bat caves. The second day is a trip to the waterfall, going across tropical wildlife. To conclude the journey, and back at your sylvan bungalow resort, relax in a herbal sauna.

Greenleaf Guesthouse & Tour: 

You can choose between a half-day and a full-day tour. Half-day tour includes swimming in a precious natural spring, visiting an underground cave below a buddhist temple and, after twilight, watching 2 millions bats flying. Full-day tour takes you for a walk on hidden jungle tracks into the National Park, to see the fauna with the pick-up truck and on foot, during an easy 3 hours walk. The price includes lunch with water, fresh fruits too, and stopping at the falls and at a look-out point.

The guides speak English very well and they are very clever at detecting even the smallest animals on the path. Even they will provide you special socks to protect you against the leeches.

Read more: Thailand tour guides

Where to eat & drink

Eat Within the park

The park centre is the main area to take a meal in cafe shops, broadly available even out of season. There are many cafe-type food stalls around the zone but their opening hours are certainly not well defined; so you need luck.

Eat Outside the park

The area around the northern entrance of the park has many eateries and shops to fit all wallets and tastes. From the entry, going 3 km to Pak Chong, you will find a small Tesco Lotus and a 7 Eleven; between these last two, there is a market which is open in the afternoons. Something important to consider: most eating spots shutt early.

About Drink

No bars are available within the park but you can find many places to buy drinks close to the northern entrance.

Read more: Thailand travel guides

Tiger Kingdom Phuket

A visit to Tiger Kingdom Thailand offers guests a chance to interact with tigers in Thailand. There are lots of Indochinese tigers available with differences in size and age. The uniting factor between these tigers is that from birth, they have all lived in captivity and they have been brought up by hand. Living in this tiger temple, tigers have an environment which is clean and very attractive. 

Tiger Kingdom Phuket

Tiger Kingdom Phuket

Visiting the park

To visit any of the tigers in the tiger zoo Thailand, simply walk into the reception. There are greeters in orange shirts ready to welcome you to the sanctuary. They will also put you through the necessary paperwork. One of such is a waiver. This is standard in most facilities where accidents might occur. This waiver exonerates the facility in the event of an accident. 

The Tiger Kingdom has some rules which visitors need to abide by. They include the following;

  • The flash of your camera must be turned off
  • All your belonging should be left in a locker
  • Take off your shoes
  • You should wash your hands
  • Areas you are allowed to visit is determined by a computer depending on your ticket number

Life for the animals in the Tiger Kingdom

This Phuket zoo promotes a unique breeding program. It is run as a part of the “conservation” culture of the zoo. Since the tigers in the Tiger Kingdom are hand-reared from birth, they will not survive if they are set free into the wild. For this reason, it is difficult to identify any positive area where the funds which the facility generates is spent. The term hand-reared implies that the Tigers are taken care of by humans after being taken away from their mothers as cubs. As a result, the Tigers cannot survive on their own in the wild and depend on humans for the basic necessities like shelter and food.

It becomes necessary to separate tigers into separate living quarters as they grow older. The Phuket tiger park does this when a tiger is about two years old. This is to prevent fights between the older tigers and the younger ones. This will also prevent the animals from becoming aggressive and wild. All tigers are kept in their cages throughout the day with the exception being when they go out to take pictures with visitors. 

Interacting with real tigers

Tigers come in varying sizes. The smallest, small, medium and big are the four recognized sizes. The popularity determines the price of the tiger. In terms of popularity, the large adults and the Cubs rank the highest. Depending on your budget, you can decide to combine various types. It is important to note that the Tigers don’t come at a cheap price.

While compiling this article, these were the prices in Tiger sanctuary Thailand; 1,000 baht for the smallest, 900 baht for small, while the medium and big go for 800 baht. It is also possible to combine two tigers during purchase. In this case, you can get a Full Monty (big + medium + small + smallest) for 2,800 baht, a three tiger combination (smallest + small + big or medium) for 2,300 baht, and two tigers (big or medium + small) for 1,400 baht. It doesn’t matter if an individual will take a photo or not with the animals, payment is made on entry and it can be a bit expensive. 

Tiger Kingdom Phuket

Tiger Kingdom Phuket

Conditions for visiting the tigers

  • Individuals who use a walking stick or wheelchair are restricted from access into a tiger cage. 
  • Access to the Big Tiger is only available to individuals over 160 cm in height and above 18 years.
  • Access to the Medium Tiger is only available to individuals over 160 cm in height and above 17 years.
  • Access to the Small Tiger is only available to individuals over 150 cm in height and above 16 years.
  • Access to the Smallest Tiger is only available to individuals over 120 cm with an accompanying adult.
Tiger Kingdom Phuket

Tiger Kingdom Phuket

Why are the tigers so friendly?

It easy for animals to develop strong bonds with its caretaker when it is younger. Building trust is easy for the pet tigers at the Tiger Kingdom since the trainers relate with them from a young age. Regardless, the personalities of each tiger also play a part. Some are very trustworthy and friendly while others are not.  

It is easy to assume that these tigers are just house cats which are overgrown. This is because they have been trained as pets from the early stages. For this reason, it becomes important for staff to always remember that the Tigers are not domesticated. Anything can happen.  

Getting great pictures of the tigers and petting them is quite easy for tourists. This is possible since the cats sleep most of the time and are very lazy. Getting too close to the animals becomes nearly impossible if they are awake and ready to play around. Although a sleeping tiger provides a lot of opportunities, a lot of tourists prefer to see the Tigers when they are awake.

Tiger Kingdom Phuket

Tiger Kingdom Phuket

Facts & Problems

Is there any form of abuse?

The internet is full of articles complete with inaccurate details on beatings and abuse of the tigers in Thailand. In reality, there is affection and respect between the tigers and trainers. The same way you will train a pet such as a dog from small is the same principle which they apply in training the tigers from the cub stage. This is why the Tigers remain friendly and it is possible for staff to control the tigers.

Are the Tigers given drugs?

Another false information which is circulated is that the Tigers are given drugs. There are various reasons why this is implausible. The first is that there is no drug that will remain effective all through the day since the feeding of the tigers is only during sunrise and sundown. During these periods, tourists are usually not around to know if drugs have been given.

Giving drugs to animals like tigers can also pose a serious danger. Some of the side effects of these drugs are drowsiness and it also makes them lose awareness of their environment. The only time drugs are administered for safety is during treatment of the tiger. In this case, the maximum duration of sedation is one hour. Any longer and the life of the tiger will be at risk.  

Do they overfeed the tigers?

Overweight is a problem in most tigers which are captives. The same also applies to other animals in captivity. Providing a diet and environment which will match what the animals find in the wild is a major cause of this problem. It is harder to replicate such conditions for certain animals. 

Another serious problem is the unrealistic expectations of visitors. The disparity between how a visitor visualizes the tiger and the actual appearance is the real issue. While the Tigers meet the recommended weight, people expect to tigers which are plump and feel much better when they hug. This is why they assume the Tigers are malnourished when they come in contact with them.

There are various nutrition specialists available in Tiger Kingdom Phuket. The main job of these specialists is to ensure that the Tigers remain healthy. To achieve this, they supervise the diet and observe the food which the tiger receives.

You might like to book: Thailand Wildlife Tours

Best places to see Thailand wildlifes

Khao Sok national park

Being the most popular mainland national park destination in South Thailand, Khao Sok is a rainforest with great diversity of plants and wildlife. It is one of the few bigger national parks in the country relatively easily accessible by public services from nearby Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak, Surat Thani, Ao Nang (Railey Beach). The main attractions of the park are iconic limestone hills, waterfalls accessible by hiking through the lush jungle, raft houses sperad over Khao Sok lake, caves, few waterstreams of which Sok River is the most popular one.

Khao Yai

Covering 2168 sq km, Khao Yai is the third largest National Park in Thailand. It incorporates one of the largest primarily intact monsoon forests in South East Asia, which earned it the status of a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is one of the best places to spot wildlife in Thailand and to get a taste of what South East Asia has to offer in terms of biodiversity.

My first trip to the park was very impromptu – I didn’t do any research and didn’t really know what to expect. I just caught a bus from Bangkok to Pak Chong and picked a guest house with the cutest name – Green Leaf. Little did I know, it was run by the best guide in Khao Yai National Park – Mr. Nine.

Ang Thong National Marine Park

2 islands comprise this protected archipelago. If you’re picturing a “park-park”, replace picnic benches in your mind with, oh, three dozen more islands. 41 of the islands are uninhabited. Sea gipsies are said to live on one, living as traditional fishermen.

Why visit Ang Thong Marine Park? Even if you’ve spent time in other beautiful corners of Thailand – this place has extra-special all over. It’s remote, a few hours’ boat ride from Koh Samui (depending on the boat), though the islands’ composition looks even further removed. (Mountains and rock faces are limestone, as opposed to Koh Samui’s rich, orange-red, earth). The trip’s highlight is Emerald Lake at Ang Thong which you’ll likely recognise from the movie The Beach.