Situated on the slopes of Doi Suthep, the Chiang Mai Zoo and Aquarium is Thailand’s oldest zoo and a favorite with visiting families. Hundreds of species are represented between the zoological park and its aquarium, including a pair of giant pandas. The aquarium’s 436-foot-long (133-meter-long) aquatic tunnel ranks among the longest in the world.
The expansive grounds of the zoo and aquarium are often a hit with younger travelers, who get two attractions in one. The zoo, its panda house, and the aquarium each require separate admission tickets, but you can opt for a combo ticket for the best value. Both facilities host feeding sessions and educational performances throughout the day—a great way to learn more about the animals residing here. Families looking for a hassle-free experience can book admission with included round-trip transportation from hotels in Chiang Mai.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Chiang Mai Zoo and Aquarium is a favorite with kids and families.
- Give yourself two to three hours to explore both the zoo and aquarium attractions.
- Don’t forget to bring sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat.
How to Get There
The Chiang Mai Zoo and Aquarium is located west of the city center on Huay Kaew Road. The easiest way to reach the zoo and aquarium from the old city is by taking a red songthaew (truck taxi) or by hiring a tuk-tuk. A shuttle bus ferries visitors between the zoo and aquarium entrances for a small fee.
When to Get There
The Chiang Mai Zoo and Aquarium is open daily from 8am to 5pm. The best time of year to visit the zoo in particular is during the dry season, between November and mid-February, when temperatures are cool. Rain is frequent in this part of Thailand, and the aquarium offers an indoor alternative when the weather isn’t cooperating.
History of the Panda in Chiang Mai
The Chiang Mai Zoo is currently home to the only pair of giant pandas anywhere in Southeast Asia. Lin Hui and Chuang Chuang have been at the zoo together since 2003. In 2009, Lin Hui gave birth to baby panda Lin Bing, who was returned to China in 2013.