Crocodile Farm - Crocodile and Tiger World
For better things to do in the Phuket area - see THINGS TO DO IN PHUKET
Below - this was written in 2009.
Phuket Zoo is not the only place in Phuket where you can find large and exciting animals in Phuket. The zoo is well known, all tuk tuk and taxi drivers are happy to take you, as they all make commission on the entry fee. But there is somewhere else. I only knew about it recently although it's quite obvious and is near the center of Phuket Town. The "Crocodile and Tiger World" has obviously seen better days.. or never really got off the ground, not sure which! My wife had been last month with the kids and a friend and her kids and they were the only visitors. We went again last week, and were the only visitors.
Now, the stated entry fee is 500 Baht. I suggest, if you decide to visit, that you try to bargain. We paid the "local" price. There are supposed to be some crocodile shows at 11am and 2pm - maybe some crowds turn up for this? The place is certainly in decline - we saw only a few staff - 2 at the entrance, one feeding the crocs and one sitting very bored next to a fridge selling drinks.
This place is largely about crocodiles. It's a crocodile farm, they breed crocs here and sell meat and skin (sorry, croc lovers). So... there are thousands of crocodiles here in huge enclosures. Actually quite impressive at times.
I'll just say again, there are a LOT of crocodiles - and when it's feeding time, and a guy throws baskets of fish into the enclosure, they come a running...
Within a couple of minutes, it's a croc free for all. Does not seem to be enough food, though I guess they get fish thrown at them on a regular basis. Teeth everywhere. You can view the croc enclosures from above, up a few steps, close but not too close...
It's a bit smelly to be honest - I think croc crap must be to blame! The crocs have plenty of space, well looked after.. except they are destined to be lunch and handbags! I tried croc meat once in Africa and did not think much of it. The zebra was better.
Moving on from the crocodile enclosures we found a few other animals - emu, ostrich and some rabbits (rabbits? wow!). In some large concrete pens were half a dozen tigers, all sleeping in the heat of the day. It looked clean, but I would not want to be one of those tigers. I believe they breed and sell tigers here too.
In a huge indoor area we found 2 young tigers in small cages. Nobody else around except aforementioned girl selling drinks. The young tigers played with us. One of them was very interested in my 4 year old son and appeared to be hunting him. I was a little disturbed by the lack of any staff, anyone looking after the tigers.
After the tigers we found some gibbons... one of them liked to try and attack us - he would sneakily circle around, not looking at us, then suddenly charge at the cage. I am not sure of the legality of keeping the gibbons here. The cages were certainly clean, the animals looked healthy, but ... read on.
This is an odd place. They have brochures, parking, plenty to see, but we were the only people there. What's going on? My wife reckons the money comes from the crocodile farm, opening to the public is just an extra. Obviously they don't promote the place much. Not much about the "Crocodile and Tiger World" online. I did find a couple of stories in the news back in 2009 about this place. Not good stories.
Not sure if this explains the lack of visitors, or if that is just due to a lack of marketing. There are parts of the farm we did not see, if the map we were given is accurate.. so I might go again sometime to find baby crocodiles. There is certainly a lot more to see at Phuket Zoo, but based on my experience of both the animals seem just as well or better looked after at this "Crocodile and Tiger World". But do bear in mind the news story above if you think about a visit.
In case you missed the note at the top of the page, this place no longer exists, but it does pop up on Google seaches!