In 1969, the Zoo Organization Committee of Thailand decided that the former Dusit Zoo didn’t offer adequate space to its animal population and planned an expansion into nearby national park land. The result was the Khao Kheow Open Zoo, and with 2000 acres (809 hectares), it’s among the largest zoos by area in the world.
Located in the forested foothills of Chonburi, the open zoo features several large, open enclosures with natural barriers where the animals are free to roam. Guests can hire electric golf carts at the entrance to better explore the park and get up close to many of the animals within. There’s also a butterfly garden with more than 40 species, a walk-through aviary with 80 kinds of birds and a special After Dark program, where visitors can observe the zoo’s nocturnal residents at their most active.
The Khao Kheow Open Zoo is located about a 90-minute drive from Bangkok along Highway 34.