Bangkok’s concrete jungle might seem an unlikely home for 60,000 crocodiles, but at the Samut Prakan Crocodile farm on the city’s outskirts, that is exactly what you get. Founded in 1950 and now the largest crocodile farm in the world, the park has morphed into an all-purpose tourist trap with “crocodile wrestling” shows, elephant rides, a mini-zoo and a dinosaur park.
But it is the “disabled crocodiles” section which holds perhaps the greatest interest; a collection of genetic freaks and one-of-a kind crocodiles and alligators. Rare albino alligators, a two-headed croc baby and a man-eating monster with two tails are just a few of this elements reptilian freak show. Recently crocodiles painted to look like pandas have been put on display, in an attempt to cash in on nationwide panda-mania following the birth of a bear cub at another Thai zoo.
But perhaps most startling of them all is the infamous six-legged specimen. During a ceremony to commemorate the park’s forty-fifth anniversary, held after heavy rains, the croc smashed through the plate glass window to its enclosure and was washed straight into the screaming crowds.
It was rounded up, but apparently locals still say that stray dogs go missing after heavy storms…
Know Before You Go
From Bangkok, the Park is located near the end of the 511 bus route (from Sukhumvit Road), or along the no. 7, 8, or 11 bus routes in Samut Prakan city, about 45 minutes from central Bangkok.