What happens when a two and a half-year old girl and her mom decide to take the afternoon and spend it with a bunch of birds at the Phuket Bird Park? Well, a ton of fun and a bunch of memories that’s what!
A few weeks ago, Zoë and I were on our own for 4 days while Chad completed his diving certification here in Phuket, Thailand. I had been asking Z what she would like to do for our special time together and she said she wanted to go to Nana’s house. Since that was pretty much impossible (Thailand to America and back in 4 days sounds like hell in my personal opinion), I pushed her, in the most loving motherly way, to get excited about going to the Phuket Bird Park.
Z and I took a taxi to the Bird Park. Make sure that if you take a taxi that they take you to Phuket Bird Park, not Phuket Bird Paradise, they are close in location and sometimes the drivers get confused.
We arrived at the park and we, meaning Zoë, were happily greeted by a helpful park employee. The kind woman grabbed Zoë out of the taxi and held her while I paid the taxi driver. If we were back in America, I would have freaked out at someone taking my child out of a car and holding her without knowing them. Thailand is different and this kind of thing has become common place, I keep my eyes on her like a hawk, and let her make the decision if she wants someone to hold her or touch her hair or whatever it may be. But that is a story for another day.
The tickets to the Bird Park were a bit pricey, but Zoë was free, so I just had to pay 500 baht for myself ($15.50 USD). I was a little confused as we entered as a Thai gentleman, dressed as an Native American (with face paint and everything), was standing there greeting all who entered the park. My confusion was soon assuaged when I saw a booth that offered photos with the “Indian” for just 200 baht (I hope that you can feel the sarcasm I wrote in that sentence). Back home that area would have been protested heavily, to call someone an Indian and dress in their garb is a huge faux pas in America presently. Good thing I am not easily offended.
After the “Indian” photo-op, the path led us through the well manicured garden with immaculately maintained and clean bird pens. The pens were large, the birds seemed happy and healthy (none of them were lethargic or missing feathers or anything), and the walk around was lovely. There were local birds, tropical birds, and even turkeys! One could hear the turkey gobbles throughout the park actually.
The path curved around and led us up a hill. Near the middle of the hill was the Parrot House and a small snack bar. Zoë was enthralled with the birds and I was excited for her to be able to touch and feed a parrot. The parrot house was split into a few different rooms, one large room with small parrots that were flying around us, and other “cages” filled with larger parrots such as cockatoos along the side. Z suddenly got really nervous, which was completely okay, birds can be scary sometimes, but I bought a 100 baht piece of corn cob to hold for the parrots to eat from my hand. Zoë loved watching the parrots eat from my hand, but did not want to touch them anymore, when suddenly one tried to land on her arm. A fearful melt-down happened and while I was trying to console her I had a parrot that would not leave my head. i was trying to play it cool, especially trying not to think that the bird was going to poop on my head. I gave the leftover corn to the gentlemen helping us, somehow got the bird off my head and carried my poor apparently traumatized girl out of the parrot house.
Zoë quickly recovered with a cold bottle of water and some “pips” (potato chips) from the snack bar. The prices of snacks and drinks in the park were inexpensive, in fact just a baht or 2 more than they would be at the 711.
We walked up the path and the hill became steeper and steeper (this walk was not for the weak!) but Z walked the whole way. We stopped a couple of times to take some pictures with statues of prehistoric birds, but made it up the hill just in time for the bird show.
There are three bird shows daily and I would suggest planning your trip to the bird park around the show times. The arena where the bird show goes on is at the top of the hill and is the end of the path before the exit, so make sure to see all you want before you get to that point.
The bird show was fantastic, although I could not understand a word the MC said, she seemed nice, and the birds and otters in the show were cute, talented, and funny. Z was positively enamored with the red macaw’s. She also wanted to volunteer every time they asked for someone from the audience. She took it well when I told her that she would have to wait until she was bigger to perform with the birds. I think I will have to bring her back when she is about 8 years old so she can really participate in it.
As the show ended, Z asked if we could watch it again, but the next show was not for another 3 hours. I told her we would have to come back another day,
bribed treated her to another bag of “pips” (I know, total bad mommy moment) and we took a taxi back home.
We spent about 2 hours in the Phuket Bird Park, and I felt that I got my admissions fee worth. If you are traveling through, or you live in Phuket, I would definitely recommend checking out Phuket Bird Park. It is great fun for a half day activity.
Have you ever been to a bird park? What did you like about it? Hate about it? If you have a link to a post you wrote about it, leave it in the comments!