Chiang Mai Zoo: A collection of animals big and small.
Chiang Mai Zoo was established in 1974 by Harold Mason Young, an American missionary who came to Thailand as a volunteer to teach survival skills to soldiers during the Korean War. At first, Young rented a piece of land and turned it into a centre to take care of animals injured by hunters. As the number of animals grew, so did the size of the zoo (with help from the provincial government). After Young’s death in ’74, the zoo became under management of the Zoological Park Organization, and continues to be the official zoo of Chiang Mai. The zoo is situated in a lush evergreen environment comprising of two waterfalls, reservoirs, camping spots, and animal breeding grounds. It also offers spectacular views of the city, as well as provides recreational activities and other facilities.
Located on Huay Kaew road in Suthep Sub-district, the zoo is about 5 kilometers from town. It covers an area of 531 rais (… acres), and contains over 8,000 different animals from Thailand and around the globe. The pandas at Chiang Mai Zoo are not the only highlights of the zoo; it’s actually all 2,000 species of animals at the zoo. However, since the pandas are on loan from China, they are the main attraction. If you want to take a look at how pandas live in cold climates, feel the chilling cold of -7 degrees Celsius, and/or try out snowboarding, make your way inside the “Snow Dome”.