Koh Samui: Paradise Park Farm Part 1

Travel Period : 9th June – 13th June 2011

{ Previous Post of How We Got Here: Journey to Paradise Park Farm}

Day 1 – Morning to Afternoon

After driving through the park’s entrance, we came across a small parking area for vehicles. Looks like they had not found a need to have a big parking space since there wasn’t many visitors there most of the time?

The entrance fees for the park are 300 baht for adults and 100 baht for children over the age of four, so we only needed to pay for Cat and myself as Dar was free.

Stepping into the place, we freshened ourselves up at the clean toilets located near the entrance. Anyway, the surroundings were quite cool as we were already high up on the hills. While in the Gents, I looked over the low wall and was delighted to see many deers living at the grass patch below! Seeing them made me think that this would indeed be a wonderful place to start our holiday!

Coming out from the toilets, we walked onto a concrete road leading inwards with several large cages on both sides, housing mostly birds in them. We didn’t know where we should begin with as we were spoilt for choice. Timingly, a friendly male staff came forward, greeted us and started gesturing us to walk into the cage nearest to us. While we were still trying to react, he began to place some melon seeds and small pieces of vegetable onto our palms.

We were probably still overwhelmed by the new environment then so it took us quite a while to finally understood that he was trying to ask us to step into the big cage and feed the birds using the seeds and vegetables on our palms. We were a little hesitant initially as we were concerned over Dar’s safety. By the way, there was no extra charge for the feeding.

After the three of us went in, we saw that the nests for the colourful Parakeets were made from coconut husks and lined up neatly on one side. Initially, they kept close to their nests watching us, wary of their new visitors. We ourselves were a little nervous too but soon held out our hands and opened up our palms.

Seeing food, several birds started letting their guards down and soon landed onto our palms and fed on the seeds. It was a nice feeling for me though Cat was felt some pain on her palm due to the sharp claws of the birds as they landed on her.

As for Dar, we had him wear his hat so that the birds wouldn’t go near his face. He wasn’t afraid of the birds though. Instead, he kept extending his arm to touch them but they flew away before he could succeed.

Before we left the cage, we threw the rest of our seeds onto the ground and a family of rooster, hen and chicks came rushing out from their small hut and rushing to eat them up. This bird feeding experience was especially refreshing for Cat as I already had close encounters with the lories back at Jurong Bird Park. Nevertheless, I still love this feeling of being among the birds.

After we left the cage, we spotted a black gibbon sitting on the floor, chained onto a long chain. It felt cruel to chain an animal down like that but  the gibbon did actually had a lot of free space to move around. Furthermore, we had seen a large cage on the other side of the park which we believed was his real home, when the visitors have gone home and the park closes for the day.

Anyway, it had very nice fur and we could see that he was well taken care of and was clean. Upon seeing it, Dar showed interest and wanted to get close to it. Though we could see that the gibbon, whose name is Coca Cola, was docile and looked very tamed, we were still cautious as we could never know how wild animals might suddenly react.

The same friendly staff handed us a comb and gestured us to comb Coca Cola’s fur, which I did. It would just sit there obediently while I combed it, and I could feel it was enjoying the activity. I then passed the comb to Dar so that he could try combing it too, which he did so gladly.

Soon after, we were asked to feed some water to Coca Cola, using the metal spoon in a small bowl with water. We did as told but somehow, the gibbon would just keep turning his face away from us and rejecting the drinks. I guess he was probably just not thirsty then.

After we bid farewell to Coca Cola (resulting in Dar’ protests), we came across a flock of painted doves who were roaming around freely. Their wings had probably been trimmed thus they were unable to fly away from the park’s premises.

At this moment, the staff handed us some seeds again, asking us to go into another cage so that we could feed the Concures (another type of parrot) in it. This time round, Dar was keen to feed the birds too but instead of holding the seeds in his palm, he started throwing them onto the ground instead and waited for them to fly over.

As in the other cage, he kept trying to move closer to the birds to touch them but wasn’t successful again. This time round, I also had to watch his movements since there was a high ledge on one side and he might trip and fall off.

After we met up with Cat outside the cage, we walked towards the restaurant and came across some Eclectus and Macaws. The green and red Eclectus were particularly eye-catching with their bright coloured feathers and the former was Cat’s favourite. Meanwhile, Dar kept himself entertained with a small playground nearby.

At this moment, the ever friendly staff came over again, this time offering a long sock-like cloth for Cat to slide through one of her arms. After doing as instructed , he placed one of the Macaws onto her protected arm and I started taking photos of her and Dar with it. We then moved on to take more photos with the Eclectus too.

After that, Cat handed me the protective sock and I had another Macaw rested on my arm (see first photo above). What an interesting experience it was for all of us! Furthermore, all these ‘services’ had come with no extra charge at all.

At that point, we started noticing that the friendly staff was seemingly taking special care of us as we realised that the other visitors present at that time were not given the same treatment. Besides having a young child with us, our keen interests towards the animals there might be why he was keen to introduce his animals to us. Come to think of it, we really should have given him a tip for all his excellent services but unfortunately, that thought had slipped our minds then.

Anyway, while I was still wearing the protective sock, the staff took out an iguana from a cage and placed it onto my arm. We were then asked to touch it and strangely, it felt exactly like those rubbery replicates of iguanas we had seen in toy and souvenir shops — a cold and rubbery feeling.

Dar also bravely touched it and he was alright getting close to the reptile, until the staff took out another iguana unexpectedly and attempted to place it onto Dar’s shoulder. That action caught Dar by surprise and he quickly jerked his body backwards in shock and cried loudly. From that point onwards, he refused to get close to any iguana any more. Sigh… That was one wrong move by the staff…

After he removed the iguana from my arm, the staff tried to help calm the disturbed Dar down by leading us towards another section of the farm. It was made up of a small area surrounded by a very low fence. Some adorable pet animals like rabbits, guinea pigs and hedgehogs were being housed in them.

The rabbits had fur so white and pure that they looked like those fluffy soft toys we see in stores! I’ve never seen such beautiful rabbits and were thus amazed see so many of them there at the park. As for the hedgehogs and guinea pigs, they were very shy and would constantly hide underneath the coconut husks which acted as their homes. They were nice to hold and cuddle too.

Unfortunately, Dar wasn’t interested in any of these cute animals and headed towards one of the big cages with a brown gibbon named ‘Pepsi’ (their names are so easy to remember!) sitting outside it instead. Looks like he was much more interested in monkeys and birds. ^^|

Like ‘Coca Cola’, ‘Pepsi’ was considered quite docile too but it was slightly more active. It would swing around while constantly giving out a funny howling sound. Not sure what the sounds meant though.

Anyway, while Cat was filming the gibbon as it howled, I was looking away for a moment and when I turned back, I saw it lunging towards me from the corner of my eyes. I was still carrying Dar in my arms. Its sudden forward movement gave me a scare and I subconsciously let out a small shout as a result. My reaction alarmed Dar and he started crying. We then had to spend some time to calm him down again after he had recovered from his iguana shock. -_-|

As we made our way back to the main path later, the staff handed me a basket with some bananas and a packet of grains in it, asking us to help buy the food to feed the animals in the next section which consisted of deers and horses. At only 30 baht per basket, we readily bought a basket to show our appreciation and support for the park.

With that, we were ready to start exploring the next section of the Paradise Park Farm – where we fed deers, a horse and other animals!

{ This post was written in 2011 after the trip }

[More Info]

Location: 166/76 Bophut, Suratthani, 84320, Thailand

Next Post:  Paradise Park Farm Part 2