The Million Years Stone Park is a rather bizarre attraction featuring unusual rock formations coupled with exciting animal shows. Specialising in the ancient, as the name suggests, the top exhibits include fossilised trees and the closest genetic relatives to prehistoric monsters: crocodiles.
The 30-hectare (70 acres) park is located in a quiet village just off the main highway to Bangkok, where it has been since February 1992. It was founded by a local businessman with a love of nature and a large collection of unusual natural objects, including stratified rocks and Thai-style trained trees (which are a little like Japanese Bonsai tree, but bigger). This collection makes up roughly half of the park’s area, which is laid out as a very pleasant landscaped park. It is a peaceful place, good for enjoying at a leisurely pace and for taking photos with usual backdrops. Sadly, there are no information boards in the park, so those with an interest in geology will not be able to learn much from the fascinating displays.
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The other half of the park is the crocodile farm and zoo. It is important to note that this is a zoo by the eastern definition. Unlike a western-style zoo, where the focus is on conservation and recreating natural environments, the animals in the Million Years Stone Park can be quite closely interacted with. You can feed the crocodiles with a chicken on a fishing pole (for 100 baht per chicken), give bananas to the giraffes (50 baht), among other attractions which western visitors might find distasteful. There are also eight daily crocodile shows, featuring handlers defying serious injury by teasing and playing with the crocs.
It is also important to note that the crocodile farm is a farm and not a zoo. The very large Siamese crocodiles are technically livestock, not exhibits, which is why you will find them on the menu at the park’s main restaurant. Available dishes include crocodile steak, crocodile egg omelette with crocodile meat and fried crocodile spare ribs with garlic and pepper.
While it might be a little jarring for visitors used to a western-style zoo experience, the animals do seem well looked-after, with relatively spacious shaded enclosures. All of the signs giving information about each of the different animals – which also include camels, ponies, bears and various species each of birds, fish and deer – are written exclusively in Thai.
Million Years Stone Park uses the two-tiered pricing system which is common among Pattaya’s big attractions. Thais and expatriates pay just 100 baht entry while tourists are charged 400 baht. Children between 120cm and 90cm tall are charged 200 baht and those under 90cm get in free.
Million Years Stone Park
- Opening Hours: 08:00 – 17:00
- Location: 22/1 Moo 1, off Highway 7, Naklua
- Tel: +66 (0)3 824 9347
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/thaistonepark