I Wouldn't Go Again
Samui Aquarium & Tiger Zoo (Koh Samui)
Member Name: MollyWH
Samui Aquarium & Tiger Zoo (Koh Samui)
Advantages: The aquarium is quite nice
Disadvantages: Tigers are cramped and don't look happy, lack of staff
I visited Ko Samui Tiger Zoo and Aquarium when I visited Ko Samui a few years ago.
Samui Tiger Zoo and Aquarium is located in the South East of the island so you would need to take public transport such as taxi to this attraction. We hired out a Jeep for a day and visited the Zoo and Aquarium while driving round the island. We found the zoo easy to find as we just followed the directions on a map of Ko Samui.
We paid roughly £6 per adult for admission into the Tiger Zoo which personally we thought was a bit expensive as we visited the zoo later in the day and had already missed the Tiger Show.
Ko Samui Aquarium holds a collection of tropical and marine fish which are on display in fairly large aquariums. The aquarium is indoors, and you walk through a darkened corridor with aquariums either side of you, which are lit up.
There were a large selection of fish to see, as well as shrimps and seahorses. Although we found that the majority of the tanks were of a decent size, we found that some of the larger fish had rather small tanks with only enough room to turn around which I personally felt was unfair.
Moving on from here is a section which displays fish and marine life that are native to Ko Samui and Thailand in general. This section was laid out on the exact same manner as the first sections, with a darkened corridor and aquariums either side as you walk through.
As you finish looking at the smaller marine life such as the tropical and marine fish, you will find yourself entering the area where the other marine life such as the turtles, rays and sharks are located. We were pleased to see that these animals had huge tanks which visitors can view from above. In this section, there is a member of staff selling lettuce leaves and pellets which you can feed to the animals. We bought 10 bits of lettuce for £1 which we thought was fairly reasonable. We were then handed a pair of tongs and were told we could feed the Turtles with the lettuce. I really enjoyed this experience and we soon understood why we given the tongs!! The Turtles are obviously used to being fed and they were jumping over the top of each other to try and take the food from us, and I have to say their jaws looked very strong.
The last section on the aquarium was the Shark and Ray section where again, you can view the animals from above the aquarium. There is also a section where you can view the sharks under the water through glass panels.
In total in took us about 40 minutes to view all the animals in the aquariums.
The Tiger Zoo
In the Tiger Zoo are Bengal Tigers and Leopards. Personally, I did not enjoy this part at all. As I already mentioned, we arrived at the Zoo later in the day, around 3pm which meant that we had already missed the Tiger Show which is on every day at 2pm. We were told upon admission that we had missed the show, but we didnt mind and entered anyway.
The Tigers are Leopards are kept in concrete enclosures that were around four metres square which I felt was extremely small. There were several fans blowing onto the Tigers which I assume was to try and help them cool down in the bright sunshine of Thailand, although they didnt have much effect. The Tigers are all kept in separate enclosures and in total, we saw about 4 Tigers and 2 Leopards. The Tiger Zoo took us a grand total of 10 minutes to walk around.
I was not impressed with the Tiger Zoo at all, the enclosures were far too small, the conditions far too hot and I didnt feel that the animals were particularly happy here.
We had read that you can also see a selection of bird here, but we couldnt find any and there were no members of staff around for us to ask.
Having Your Photo Taken
Visitors can have their photo taken with a Tiger if they wish. This involves a Tiger sitting on a marble slab, and the visitor being invited to sit with the Tiger and have their photo taken. Myself and my boyfriend both thought this to be highly dangerous as at the end of the day, a Tiger is a wild animal and it takes time to build up a bond with an animal. I felt inviting tourists to sit with the Tigers was a rather dangerous idea. There was a £10 per person charge for this service.
When we visited, this section was closed so we couldnt have had our photo taken if we wanted to. We found the zoo to be very understaffed (the only staff we saw were the two women at the admission desk and the woman selling lettuce).
In summary, I wouldn't really recommend this attraction to people visiting Ko Samui, not if you are an animal lover anyway as you will just leave feeling sad. Although the aquariums and especially feeding the Turtles was enjoyable, I didnt like the fact that some of the bigger fish just didnt have enough room.
The Tiger Zoo was the worst I have ever seen. Obviously there is a Tiger Show at 2pm everyday and I would hate to think that this is the only time the animals get out of their horrible, small enclosures. We couldnt see any grassy, spacious enclosures so it would appear that this is the case.
We didnt see any facilities such as toilets or somewhere to get something to eat or drink.
Summary: I Wouldn't Go Again