ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Chai Nat National Bird Park

Updated on September 20, 2009

Chai Nat National Bird Park

Twice I had passed through Chai Nat en route to elsewhere in Thailand. Twice I had seen signs for the National Bird Park and twice I had been unable to stop because my colleagues had not been interested.

Chai Nat itself appeared a neat little city. They must really love birds here I thought because on practically every roundabout or corner there was a huge, presumably plastic, painted bird. Usually a Hornbill but sometimes a Stork or an eagle.

The countryside around the city was a haven for Painted Storks. They are here in their thousands. They circle above going up and down in the thermals or perch in trees or wade the rice paddies. With so much wildlife persecution going on they are a joy to watch.


In late 2008 my girlfriend was in retreat in a Buddhist Temple in Uthai Thani and because she was only allowed to eat once a day and I was not allowed to touch her I found myself with 'free' time and a hire car.

So after taking food to my girlfriend I set out with three Thai friends to visit Chai Nat National Bird Park. I had taken them along because they are very good friends but also because Kai said he knew a short cut. It turned out it was still a two hour drive away. A slightly difficult journey because my three companions only have about a dozen words of English between them. The one word they all shared was "Slowly" and they used it frequently. I did not consider myself to be driving fast but perhaps I was anxious to get to the park. We arrived shortly before midday and so ate at a roadside stall before venturing inside.

My Companions

The Park

As with so many Asian Wildlife collections there was a massive impressive entrance. So often this leads one to believe that the inside will be as good or better. Phuket Zoo is a case in point...a very BAD zoo with a flashy entrance.

I was not surprised to find that there was a huge difference between the 'Falang' price and that for the Thai's. I did not object paying for all three because I know they live very poorly but somehow Kai managed to wangle himself in for free. One point on price differences though I wonder what sort of reaction there would be if we tried the same trick in the UK....Japanese one price, Scots another?

Entrance showing some of the Straw Birds

The Bird Park was quite beautiful. Some lovely trees, neat manicured gardens, well constructed paths and, on the whole, well constructed aviaries too. There were the bits I didn't like. I don't like aviaries where the public can get right round and I don't like those that are completely roofed over (partial exposure to the elements is desirable). Most of these were like that. Perching too was a problem. I suppose 70% were well perched and the rest had no perching at all. Sadly too it was the aviaries that needed repairs. Food was none too imaginative and it would seem that sweet corn and pappaya was fare of the day for most.

Signage was better than in many places but again a bit faded. The birds themselves were a pretty standard bunch...nothing to make a special trek to see but all looked in exceptionally good condition.


This place lays claim to "Largest natural cage in Asia". I don't quite know what this means but it not true. Does it mean tallest? Well it is pretty tall but I suspect the one in Chiang Mai zoo is taller. Does it mean largest area? I reckon the one I saw in the south of Thailand in the Hat Yai Bird Park (only it was empty) was maybe twice as big again. Still it was impressive here. What let it down was that it was largely populated by Peafowl (many of the aviaries were as well) and little else of interest. There were virtually no flying birds...well I didn't see any. What then was the point in being big? Ten foot tall all over would have been quite enough.

The collection also claims to be the biggest Bird Park in Asia. This is absolute rubbish. Has Jurong been removed from the equation? Even the tiny Penang Bird Park must have 40 times as many species if 'biggest' was to be considered from another angle. I'm not knocking it. I liked Chai Nat Bird Park but facts should be facts.

Okay critique over. I could pick my way round but, truth be known I quite liked the place. There were a few deer representing the mammals and the lakes were well stocked with fish. What really sets this place apart from other collections was that this place is host to the annual 'Giant Straw Bird' competition which takes place during Chinese New Year celebrations. It was these gigantic structures which drew my attention to Chai Nat in the first place. They are all over the town when I first passed through. I thought they were fibreglass. But no.

The zoo has many of these gaudy, and sometimes quite realistic monsters dotted about. They even have an exhibition hall to show how they are constructed. Wire frame, rice straw, paint, glue and a lot of hard work.


Construction Materials

Straw Bird Construction Process

We headed straight home after our visit but I noted there was a 'Monkey Temple' in the vicinity and also a Crocodile Farm. Someone said there was a zoo too but I could not get any details. I will bear these in mind if I am ever back in this neck of the woods.

Retired Straw Birds

Worth a Visit?

In a word "Yes". 

Zoo News Digest

Follow news and views of zoos at Zoo News Digest 


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)