Koh Samui Zoos, Farms & Cuddly Animals
There comes a time on everyone's holiday when yet one more day by the pool makes you want to howl.
There's jungle trips and mummified monks and bungee leaping - but if this is just too active for you then there's always the option of checking out our four-legged visitors. Some of them are scaly and fierce, some don't have legs at all and go hiss, but others are fluffy and nice to cuddle. And all of them are no more than a 30 minute drive away!
Samui's got a butterfly farm, an aquarium, monkey shows, a crocodile farm. a farm with lots of big cobras, and even cute baby tigers - but take care because mummy's got big teeth!
Although all of these are well-documented via the internet (oh - that's us!) and local publications, here's a rundown so you know what lies in store for you when you get here and that gorgeous beach finally loses its allure.
Samui Snake Farm
You'll find the Samui Snake Farm in the southwest part of the island at Ban Talling Ngam.
There are very few different types of snakes on Samui and the chances are that you'll never see one. But the island is home to both King and Queen cobras. Neither of these are the aggressive sort and will slither away in alarm at the first sight of you. In fact the only place you will probably get to see them is here, at the Snake Farm.
There's also other species that are not indigenous to Samui, such as pythons, spitting cobras and raccoon snakes. But you'll also get to see scorpions, mongooses and crocodiles as well as a fearless snake-handling show by boys who should know better (or have been bitten too much to care!)
A steep wall and a moat separates spectators from the snakes and there are 2 shows each day at 11:00 and 14:00. And, speaking of crocodiles ...
Lucky you! Samui boasts not one but two crocodile farms where you'llget a chance to gawp atthese scaly amphibians - not that you'll get to see any in the wild onSamui - thankfully
The main one is near to Samui's airport and it's quite big - anoverall area of 7,000 square metres - and there is lots more to see thancrocodiles. As well as crocs, caimans and alligators you'll find snakes,lizards and monkeys also, totaling over 100 different species.
There are two shows each day, at 14.00 and 16.30 and the cost is 100Baht for an adult and 75 Baht for children.
The second is close to Namuang Waterfall on the west coast - a chanceto combine a gentile afternoon at the waterfall with a touch ofreptilian drama!
The highlight of the show is a woman who happily sticksher head inside a crocodile's mouth - presumable right after feeding time!
Both these crocodile farms are popular and feature on all the "SamuiTours" and one big advantage of going with a tour group is that theywill pick you up and return you to your hotel again afterwards.
Samui Aquarium & Tiger Zoo
Another excellent value two-in-one excursion is to the Aquarium and Tiger Zoo which are both located at the Samui Orchid resort in the southern part of Lamai.
There are all manner of undersea exotica including sharks, turtles and a hundred different multi-coloured reef-species. There are aquatic shows each day and you can even swim with the sea lions!
The aquarium is open each day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Right next to the aquarium is the Tiger Zoo where you'll see leopards as well as Bengal tigers. There are usually several playful cubs romping about and, if you have the nerve, you can even have your photo taken with one of the big tigers. Failing that how about feeding a sweet little tiger cub? it's fun for all the family!
It might not sound so dramatic as a jaw full of pointy teeth but the Butterfly Garden houses some of the most breathtakingly beautiful species imaginable. As well as the many species to be found on Samui there are also giant, brilliantly-coloured specimens from all over Asia including many rare varieties.
The entire garden is covered with a net and the butterflies can enjoy the natural freedom they have in the wild. Also of interest is the active breeding program and there are many instances of caterpillars and cocoons scattered amongst the trees and bushes.
The Butterfly Garden is located close to the Buddha's Footprint in Lamai, so this is another chance to combine two outings into one.
The Monkey Theatre makes for a fun day out and not only includes all sorts of unexpected simian surprises but you'll get to see a few elephants too!
Monkeys are a working part of Samui's coconut industry and are trained to hop from tree to tree, twisting off the coconuts as they go before returning back to their handler for a cuddle and a treat - presumably a bag of monkey nuts?
At the theater they show these special monkey skill. Try to get a seat at the front as audience participation can be most amusing!
Located not far from Chaweng and close to the ring road in Bo Phut, there are three shows a day at 10:30 am, 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm.
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