Phuket Island in Thailand is an alluring and breathtaking tourist destination, as it is mind-boggling and exotic. Its transvestites and cabarets in Patong Beach and a number of continuing Muay Thai competitions never cease to awe tourists and visitors. Nowhere else in the world could one see something as unique a medley of entertainments and attractions. But perhaps the most exotic attraction of all is the crocodile farm and its crocodile whisperers.
Connected to Thailand by bridges, Phuket is the largest island-province of Thailand on the Andaman Sea. It is considered one of the top tourist destinations in the world and, for those who have visited the island, perhaps even the best. Unlike other tropical destinations, Phuket does not only offer its white-sand beaches and spectacular dive spots, but also its mountains, waterfalls, wildlife and man-made attractions such Jungle Splash and Phuket Aquarium.
One of the more popular beaches in Phuket is Patong Beach. Tourists flock to Patong for a different kind of entertainment, one that is exclusively for the boys. While prostitution is illegal all around Thailand, it is tolerated and, in fact, expected in Patong. Let’s just say this place is not for kids, so travelers be wise and be warned! One the other hand, the crocodile farm and its crocodile shows are for children and people of all ages.
Just outside the town of Phuket is the largest crocodile farm in southern Thailand. It has a huge aquarium that is home to about 1,000 marine, freshwater and estuarine crocodiles and alligators. It is a crocodile sanctuary made not only to attract visitors but also to make sure these giant reptiles are preserved, protected and properly cared for. They are fed, bathed, and kept at a safe distance away from visiting tourists.
Curious spectators are not allowed to feed the crocodiles and this is being strictly enforced for safety’s sake. Feeding them not only disrupts their prescribed diet, but also makes the crocodiles aware that there are people around, and to these modern-day dinosaurs, humans only mean one thing – food. Tourists are also strictly prohibited from leaning on or climbing over the fences.
The world’s largest crocodile farm is in Bangkok, the Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo. Located 10 km from Bangkok, it is dedicated to the education, research, and preservation of Thai wildlife. Founded in 1950, Samutprakarn has over 60,000 crocodiles, as well as elephants and other animals. It offers a crocodile show, monkey show and elephant show. The most popular crocodile here is 20-ft long Yai. It weighs a whopping 2,465 lbs!
Crocodile farms in Thailand have been popularized worldwide through the news on TV and the Internet, mostly for the crocodile handlers, who bravely dance and play with the crocodiles. What’s so amazing in Thailand is that crocodiles are not only shown on display as they are in all other zoos around the world: in Thailand, crocodile handlers interact with the crocodiles. Crocodile handlers are not really trainers because crocodiles cannot be trained. These giant reptiles will always be dangerous and want to eat people. It is truly incredible and almost insane to see the handlers expertly catch and take hold of crocodiles that are way larger, longer and heavier than they are. But nothing is more insane than when a crocodile handler places his hands, arms and head inside a crocodile’s mouth. This is the highlight of the show, and many handlers have been injured from this entertaining act of bravado. As the crocodiles are not trained, the handlers simply rely only on how much they know of the habits of the crocodile and how long they keep their mouths open. If only to be witness to this stunning gamble the trainers make, the crocodile farm in Phuket is surely a must-see to all Thailand tourists.