The audience for this article is farang living in Bangsaen. The Sriracha Tiger Zoo is a great way for someone from Bangsaen to spend an afternoon. Burapha University is in Bangsaen and more and more visitors from many countries find themselves learning and/or teaching at Burapha University. You go to the zoo to get three pictures in particular. The first and most important picture is with a tiger cub! There are two places to do this. One has a nicer backdrop and an older cub. The other one has a backdrop that is not as nice but the cub is younger. I went for the younger cub since the backdrop doesn’t matter much anyway. As of July 20th 2013, a farang pays 450 baht to get in and a Thai pays 180 baht to get in. The picture with the tiger cub is an extra 150 baht but they print out the picture there and then and the quality of all such pictures at the Sriracha Tiger Zoo is excellent. I did have some pictures taken with my digital camera but their scanned picture which can be seen above was far better.
The second must get picture is with the Scorpion Queen (pictured above). I have seen this sort of thing before but was never tempted. Generally some bozo in a T-Shirt is putting the scorpions on you. The Scorpion Queen is a lot better than some bozo. The lovely lady put about six scorpions on me and unfortunately the scorpions are black as was my Hawaiian shirt so I recommend wearing a lighter shirt so the scorpions are more visible. There is a rumor that tigers don’t like red or orange so pick a color other than black, red or orange for your shirt that day. Some Thai ladies had outfits with tiger prints on.
The third must get picture is with the crocodile (pictured above). Again you will run into this sort of picture set up all over Thailand but this crocodile was special. The crocodile is gigantic and I have seen a lot of crocodiles while living in Thailand! You use your own camera but it’s only a 100 baht versus the usual 150 baht.
If you want pictures with wild animals then there are plenty of places that provide this service in Thailand. Pattaya has Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden and Bangkok has Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo that are similar to the Sriracha Tiger Zoo but both are not day trips from Bangsaen so if you are looking for some afternoon fun from Bangsaen then the Sriracha Tiger Zoo is the way to go. The Sriracha Tiger Zoo website mentions their food but this is not why I would go there.
If you are hungry then I would recommend the Saturday buffet at the Pacific Park Hotel restaurant which starts at 6 pm which is when the zoo closes! The buffet is 300 baht per person and features Japanese, Thai and Western dishes. Sriracha is home to various Japanese factories and has many Japanese workers and expats living in Sriracha but finding a good reasonable Japanese restaurant that is gaijin friendly is actually not easy. I would recommend the Zenmaru Udon restaurant pictured below for price and atmosphere.
They have little Japanese style rooms upstairs with a lot of ambience and I would order the chicken cutlet, with noodles under the cutlet and curry on the cutlet, but they just call it the curry dish. The menu has pictures so just look for a breaded cutlet and you will do ok. You can get more exotic Japanese food that is generally not available in more touristy Japanese restaurants but some of this food is too exotic and pricey but hey you only live once. However, no Japanese beers at Zenmaru Udon! Heineken and local Thai beers are available. Zenmaru Udon is just down the street from the Pacific Park Hotel and if you pass a hospital then you have walked just past the restaurant. The Pacific Park Hotel is in turn right next to the Sriracha Robinson which is also a lot of fun.