Zoos can be a mixture of wonder and sadness. To see some beautiful creatures close up and yet others in captivity whilst realising that breeding programs, like for the Pandas at Chiang Mai Zoo sustain an otherwise endangered species. What I would say about Chiang Mai Zoo is that it has one major redeeming feature - the opportunity to feed the animals. I have not been to a Zoo where for less than $1 you can feed leopards, jaguars, elephants, emus (bananas!), stingrays (very creepy) and hippos!!! I have never been so close to a huge hippos chomping mouth before!!! For this reason alone I am giving the Zoo 4 out of 5.
The acquarium is not a patch on the one in Shanghai. The monorail is the slowest form of transport I have ever been on, even a horse draw cart would be faster. And parts of the zoo are in a phase of rebuilding or state of disrepair. We used the visit as a bit of a more relaxed, slow paced thing to do in between more high octane activities, and it was a good day, because as I said before, you can feed the animals.
Tip: we avoided the weekend and so there weren't a lot of people around and so we had no queues or delays and could walk straight up to every opportunity to... pay 10-20 baht to feed the animals.
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