Our Bangkok trip was a pretty relaxed one, just the way we wanted it to be, so we didn’t really do much sightseeing (unless you consider going to Chatuchak “sightseeing”). Before the trip, I asked around and learnt that the Safari World Bangkok and Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World are two not-to-be-missed experiences for children, so we planned to visit both. (I’ll write about Ocean World in my next post.)
I found out that this website offers a good discount on the Safari World tickets, and provides the option of having a private tour, which means you don’t have to sit in the van/car with other families, and you can customise the itinerary too. I highly recommend paying extra for the private tour, which is what we did, because we didn’t think Noah would be able to last the entire day out without a nap. Do note that reservations have to be made at least a day in advance, so if you have a specific date in mind for your visit to the Safari World, do book it early, and print out your confirmation email. Do also specify that you want an English-speaking (or whichever language you prefer) guide, so that you won’t have any problems communicating with him/her.
Our driver picked us up from our hotel at 820am (he actually arrived earlier, but we planned according to the time given in our email, so we only managed to go down at 820am), and drove us to the Safari World. He was polite and pleasant, answering all our questions while managing to drive through the infamous Bangkok traffic. The car was clean and comfortable, which is important because we were going to be in that same car for the drive through safari.
Our guide joined us at the entrance of the Safari World, and we were surprised when she started speaking to us in Mandarin, since our driver spoke good English. We asked if she could speak in English, since C and Noah (okay and me too) don’t have a good command of the Chinese language, but she said no. To be honest, we didn’t really have a very good experience with her, because she couldn’t answer many of the questions that we asked her, including basic questions such as “What animal is that?”, which I thought was strange, since she was supposed to be our guide, and had been to the safari many times before.
We started with our tour of the safari, and our driver drove us around in the open safari park. He stopped whenever there were photo opportunities, and we were able to get some nice shots. Noah was really thrilled to be able to see all these animals up close! We could open our windows when we were in the first part of the safari, but had to wind them up when we entered the gated area with the tigers and large bears. It was quite unnerving for us to see the carnivores so near our car, but Noah didn’t seem intimidated by them at all, and even asked if we could open the window.
Large bird (can’t remember its name)
Oh, and we saw two rhinos mating! Our driver said that we were really lucky, since he had been to the safari on so many occasions, but had never seen that happening before. He even took some photos with his handphone! Haha. Of course, Noah asked, “What are they doing?” but thankfully, before we could respond, he said, “I think they are playing.” and peered out of another window to look at some other animals. Phew!
The horny (haha so punny) duo
Looking at the tiger
After the drive-through safari, our driver dropped us at the entrance of Safari World, where our guide took us to catch the orang utan show. There are quite a few different shows to catch, and I think all the tour guides ensure that the visitors are on time for every show, because it was so crowded!
We didn’t quite enjoy the orang utan show (they were made to “fight” each other and dance provocatively), and we requested to skip all the other shows, which worked out quite well, as the rest of the zoo was really empty throughout the rest of our visit. Think everyone was just rushing around to catch the different shows at the various locations. I was told that the zoo wasn’t fantastic, and that our Singapore zoo is much nicer, and from what we saw that day, I can’t help but agree. The shows are supposed to be the highlight of the zoo, but just not our cup of tea. In fact, we opted to skip our lunch there, even though it was included in our package, and asked to head back to the city for lunch instead.
Family picture at the entrance
No idea when this was the Best Public Toilet Award of the Year, but I’m pretty sure it’s not 2015!
Saw these tourists taking photos with the tiger cub, but we thought it looked dangerous!
Sometimes, it’s good to be short! Free entry if you’re below 100cm
Noah loves taking photos with mascots, even if they don’t look very nice
Brightly coloured parrots near the entrance
The different shows and their timings
Orang Utan Show
The highlight of our visit to this zoo was definitely the feeding of the giraffes. Noah absolutely loved it, and he was really happy that he got to feed them. We took turns carrying him up to feed them initially, but after a while, he asked to do it himself instead. Because we skipped all the shows, we were practically the only people at the giraffe enclosure, which allowed us to take our time, and Noah had a field day trying to decide which giraffes to feed.
Hello, Mr Giraffe!
Feeding the giraffes
“Would you like a slightly rotten banana too?”
Feeding the giraffe on his own
Think the giraffe thought we were going to feed it. Sorry!
We had to walk past several exhibits before we were able to exit the zoo, though I suspect it was because our guide was trying to show us what she thought we would like to see, even though we told her we wanted to leave. We came across some giant crocodiles, and when I remarked that they looked scary, Noah said in a soothing voice, “Don’t worry, Mummy. It’s not scary at all. It’s not real…” He wasn’t convinced when I told him that they were indeed real, because “they’re not moving what”. *rolls eyes*
Giant Crocodile (this one had its own enclosure, while some shared another one)
Some cute animal (no idea what it’s called)
We saw some walruses for the first time too, and one even came right up to the barrier. He did NOT look pleased.
If you’re headed to the Safari World with young children, I would suggest skipping some of the shows, so that you can spend more time feeding the giraffes, without having to squeeze with the rest of the visitors. You can apparently feed and ride the elephants too, but only at about 1pm, according to the zookeepers. We really enjoyed our drive-through safari experience, but the zoo itself wasn’t very interesting or well-maintained, and I think you’ll be better off at the Singapore zoo instead.
PPS. Don’t forget to book your private tour from this website at least one day in advance!
*This is the fifth post in our #GWTTinBKK series. Read about our hotel stay HERE, about our favourite restaurant in Bangkok HERE, our shopping tips HERE, and our food recommendations for the Siam area HERE. Please check back soon for the other posts in the series! In the meantime, you can take a look at some of our photos from this trip on Instagram, by searching for #GWTTinBKK.
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