Weekly Photo Outing

This week we visit the Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chonburi, about 15 minutes outside of Pattaya.  Another website is here.

Reading Primate

I enjoy this zoo for several reasons.  It’s close to Pattaya, The Sanctuary of Truth, and The Tiger Zoo, so it’s easy to plan a day trip where you visit all three.  You could easily spend 2-3 days at each location, but it makes for a dynamic and interesting outing to visit all three in the same day.  While the Khao Kheow Open Zoo is very large, only a small part of it will be of keen interest to photographers.  These will be the areas where you can photograph animals without some sort of barrier between you and the animal.  This is why I’m fond of the Siracha Tiger Zoo.  It’s the only place I know of to photograph tigers at play without heavy glass, plastic, or some sort of fencing getting in the way.

Curious Lemur

The entrance fee is 100 baht for foreigners.  For local expats, I’ve found that at many of these zoos, national parks, and the such where they charge more for a foreigner, if you have a work permit or some form of permanent residency proof, you can ask to be charged the local rate.  My assistant shows them my Thai driver's license and explains I live in Thailand, and I get charged the local rate.  This has worked at the Grand Palace, Ko Samet, Tiger Zoo, Open Zoo, Sanctuary of Truth, and many other places.

Smiley lizard

Khao Kheow Open Zoo in unique in that you can drive your car from exhibit to exhibit, parking is always available.  If you’re a photographer carrying lots of equipment this is especially nice as you can park at an exhibit, take note of which lens and gear you’ll want, and only take what you need from the car.  When you finish at on exhibit you drive to the next one.  There are also trams which can take you around on tour.


I especially like the Lemurs and monkeys.  Not long ago there were at least a dozen new lemur babies which were a lot of fun to photograph.  There are many different monkey and ape species with only a moat separating you from their habitat.  The distance for most of these exhibits is perfect for a 300mm lens, and often a 500mm lens will allow you to get very close and personal.  70 - 200mm lenses are also very popular for capturing the animals along with a part of their habitat.

Perching lemurs