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Million Years Stone Park and Pattaya Crocodile Farm

Updated on June 23, 2011

The Million Years Stone Park

The Million Years Stone Park and Pattaya Crocodile Farm is located a short distance inland from Pattaya City over the Sukhumvit Road. Not immediately accessible by foot it really needs to be visited by private car, taxi or Sang Thaew. Many Pattaya hotels are able to arrange trips on behalf of customers. It would appear to be a 'must' for Thailand holidays in the Pattaya Chonburi area.

Garden view

Strange landscape

The Park is quite well signposted from the Sukhumvit road but as you get closer the signage goes awry and it is quite easy to miss the entrance to the collection altogether.

The collection first opened its doors to the public in 1992. It was four years in construction and financed by a local businessman, whom, it is said had a great appreciation of natural beauty. He brought to the place a number of interesting natural artifacts which he had collected as a personal hobby over thirty years. Today its spreads out over 70 acres and is a very popular venue for visitors to the Chonburi area of Thailand.

A case of overcrowding

Entrance to the park is 300 Thai Baht for an adult. Just inside the entrance there is a large and quite interesting gift shop which would appeal to most Thailand tourists. There are a few places dotted around where you can purchase food and soft drinks.

No safety barrier here

The Gardens

The gardens at the Million Years Stone Park are both beautiful and bizarre at the same time. They are possibly unique too in that I have not seen anything quite like them anywhere on my travels. Here huge unsually shaped stones compete with both natural and petrified trees to both complement and enhance the display of beautiful, shrubs, bushes, flowers and trees.

For the most part the paths are in very good repair and these along with the neat and litter free environment make it a pleasure to walk around.

One of the very rare signs

It is when one gets to the zoo side of things that the place starts to go downhill fast, like a runaway train. I have visited the collection twice before, it has not improved, or for that matter changed in any of my visits. It remains consistently bad.

I am not suggesting that it is dirty because it isn't. Everywhere is very much neat and tidy.

Honey Coloured Bear

 

I dislike crocodile shows. In fact I hate crocodile shows. They are not clever, brave or educational they are consistently cruel. What do people get out of watching animal abuse. This is akin to cock fighting or bear baiting and such senseless behaviour has no place in the modern zoo.

But this is not a modern zoo. There is no conservation, no education, no research, no enrichment, very poor signage. This is pure commercial exploitation and explains its links with the Tiger Temple and Sri Racha Tiger Zoo. All three much of a sameness of not really caring about the creatures they are earning their living from.

Many Tigers housed in less than adequate enclosures

Another Sri Racha

One of the nicest features of the collection is the Giant Mekhong Catfish in the lake. Public are allowed to feed and so it is not difficult to get a glimpse. They must be coming up to 80-90 kilo in weight now. I did notice that there was about quarter the number of previous visits.

The Aviaries are all very much of a sameness and several contain Macaws of uncertain parentage. There was a Greater and Lesser adjutant stork in adjoining aviaries. Interesting to compare...but why one of each? I would be inclined to double them up for a bit of company.

One of the better crocodile enclosures

There appears to be a deliberate attempt to hybridise Zebras with Domestic Ponies. Wow won't that be clever? NOT! Again one of these things which destroy any serious good zoo leanings.

There were Ostrich, Emu and Cassowary. Impressive looking Cassowary too.

Tigers? They appear to be trying to go into competition with Sri Racha Tiger Zoo. I counted 43 of them and I don't think I saw them all. Most were inadequately housed. There was one halfway decent enclosure for them but I doubt that it was possible that all ever got the chance to go in there.

 

Another of the rare signs

There were nine elephants including 4 calves. All appeared to be in good condition.

Loads of crocodiles. All shapes, colours, sizes and deformities. Some had space whereas others were very overcrowded. There was the opportunity to feed the crocs with baited fishing poles. The public like it and actually I would much prefer this as the 'crocodilian activity' than the cruel perverted 'shows'.

Elephants

One of the 'specials' here are the blonde Himalayan Bears. I saw four of these along with a couple of natural coloured ones. All were obese! I actually believe that such obesity is cruel.

There were a couple of leopards (one with an injured back), dromedary camels, Llamas, a few pheasants and not much else.

Barriers around the collection ranged from the more than adequate to the non existent.

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  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    8 years ago from South East Asia

    Thank you John Palmer. Impressions though can be decieving. The Tiger Temple is a corrupt manipulating and cruel tourist trap. Please check out this link and follow up the Facebook links from there. This is rich in insider factual information http://zoonewsdigest.blogspot.com/2010/06/tiger-te...

  • profile image

    john palmer 

    8 years ago

    wife & i went here and siracha, sickening and deplorable, i took some photos but gave up & left.I agree with everything you've said. almost! i have spent the whole day at the tiger temple fed them played with them washed them etc etc. these tigers are well treated, well fed and excersised, and in my view look HEALTHY & HAPPY.please don't just go to the tiger temple in the afternoon with all the tourists when its hot and the tigers are tired. pay the extra & go in the morning, i was left on my own after the 4 hour itinerary and invited to wander

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    8 years ago from South East Asia

    Thank you for your comment herik bang-olsen. I disagree though. Better to be dead than to be kept for minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, year after year in appalling conditions just to provide cash for a greedy human who is doing nothing for conservation, education or research.

  • profile image

    henrik bang-olsen 

    8 years ago

    In thailand bears and tigers get killed in the wild, therefor better to be kept in a zoo than in the wild ..

  • dohn121 profile image

    dohn121 

    9 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

    My father once told me that it was cruel that we should keep any animals in captivity, with the exception of dogs or cats as they are domesticated (livestock doesn't count, btw). When I was a kid, I told him that the animals belong in the Zoo an he disagreed, which led to a brawl. No, just kidding.

    As I grew up, I became to understand what he meant. It's amazing how we can easily come to accept some of the most horrific things in life because society conditions us to believe that certain acts are okay. The more we allow this to happen, the more less objectionable we are to future atrocities. You certainly know my stance in this matter. Perhaps in the next life, these same persons that exhibit cruelty to animals will he held captive themselves! Great job as always, Peter.

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    9 years ago from South East Asia

    Thanks Mike. I have visted the Chiang Mai places in the past but never bothered to photograph. Trying to revist now. Chiang Mai is on the agenda.

    I never get bored of the Soi Zoo's. I daresay there are more wallets emptied and hearts broken than bites...but then you never know ;-)

  • 4hourmike profile image

    4hourmike 

    9 years ago from Thailand

    Another nice Hub, Peter, thanks.

    I must admit, when I think of Pattaya, visiting a zoo does not immediately come to mind. Although some of the Soi do get rather zoo-like late at night.

    I have to agree with you. The conditions in these places are deplorable. There are a bunch of these "roadside zoos" up in the Chiang Mai area as well, the monkey show, the tiger show, the snake show. They're basically designed with the sole intention of extracting money from tourists, with no regard for the animals cooped up there.

    I'll probably stay away from this place.

  • awsydney profile image

    awsydney 

    9 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    I've been to this place albeit a long time ago. Impressive photos that you took. Cheers.

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