Phuket Butterfly Garden
Update March 2015 - Sorry to say the the Phuket Butterfly Garden has now permanently closed.
We had been once before to the Phuket Butterfly Garden, years ago when our daughter was little and before our son was born. Somehow never made it back until a couple of weeks ago. Our daughter said she wanted to go again. She'd just been on a school "field trip" and they'd been studying the life cycle of the butterfly, so I think butterflies were one of her current favourite things.
The full name is Phuket Butterfly Garden and Insect World - yes, they have more than just butterflies! It's just north of Phuket town in the Sam Kong area not far from Tesco Lotus. It's reasonably well signposted, not too hard to find.. they also have a pick up service which can be quite a good deal (see the website link below). Entrance is 300 Baht for adults, 150 Baht for kids. Adult in this case means over 10 years old. Locals like us pay a bit less, but I think that's only fair for "regular" local visitors... twice already! And we'll go again soon, as after we'd left our daughter told us we'd not seen everything yet...
Before you get to the garden you have a rather good educational area and lots of displays with horrible scary things such as huge spiders, scorpions and the biggest damn millipede I have ever seen. Oh, and leaf insects, stick insects, all kind of things. There is also a lot of information about butterflies including a "multimedia presentation" (a video) about the amazing transformation from egg to caterpillar to butterfly.
(above) The Butterfly garden has a very good educational section
Out into the garden. I saw a brochure that says "imagine while you walk in a tropical garden.. with thousands of butterflies". I guess there are hundreds, but don't go imagining some fantasy scene with butterflies filling the air. My kids were more interested in feeding the fish... (They did walk around and look at butterflies too).
(above) Fish feeding at the butterfly garden
I wandered off in search of photos. It's not big, you can't lose the family here. All around you find butterflies and caterpillars too. There are signs describing the different species. It's all very well done and nicely looked after.
I was not alone in trying to get butterfly photos.. and this guy had a much nicer camera than me!
I did manage a couple of good photos with my little Canon Powershot. Actually pretty good camera for macro photos, but I want to upgrade soon! OK, there may not be thousands of butterflies, but there are a lot and the more you look, the more you see. There are said to be 40 different species here and they have a special breeding program on the premises - this being the area that we missed, so my daughter said. She's seen it on the school trip.
Good for the kids, well worth a visit. They even provide umbrellas for rainy days. Along with the zoo and Phuket aquarium, we have a good selection of animal related things to do here in Phuket. I guess you could count elephant rides and snake shows too if you like. One day we'll take the kids for an elephant ride. I know it's super touristy, but the kids will love it (so will we!).
Phuket Butterfly Garden is open every day 9am - 5pm, certainly worth a visit, especially if you have kids. Or like butterflies.
• New Blog Post - Butterfly Garden 2010
• Phuket Butterfly Garden Website