One of the hidden gems of Suphan Buri is Chawak Lake at the northern end of the province. The Bueng Chawak Chalermphrakiat project was initiated back in 1994 to celebrate H.M. The King’s 50th year accession to the throne. The three main projects surrounding the lake are “The Wildlife Extension Center”, “The Garden of Indigenous Vegetables” and “The Exhibition Center for Aquatic Animals”. As I mentioned before, Suphanburi is not featured at all in the Lonely Planet guidebooks, so if you do manage to get out to this excellent park, you will probably be the only foreigner there.
At the weekend, it is a popular destination for local Thai people despite the fact that you won’t find any public transport to get here. One of the best things I liked about this place was that it was so cheap. The above picture was taken at “The Garden of Indigenous Vegetables” which had free entry. If you are interested in herbs and plants for eating and medical benefits then you will be fascinated by these gardens. You can walk around freely or rent a bicycle.
The highlight for me was the aquarium. There are over 110 aquatic animals, both native and foreign and also some exotic fish. We were there on a weekday so it wasn’t that crowded. This made it easy to take your time in wandering around and studying the fish in each of the display cases. It was also light enough to take pictures quite easily. I loved the tunnels where you walked underneath the fish. I actually prefer this aquarium to that small one in the basement of Siam Paragon shopping mall in Bangkok. Of course, the best thing is that Siam Ocean World is a very expensive 850 baht whereas this aquarium is only 30 baht!
At Bueng Chawak your money does go a bit further as there is also a crocodile pool outside. Here they have about 80 crocodiles. If you come at the weekend, you will be able to watch a crocodile show here. They have four rounds starting at 11 a.m. It was a shame we missed this and also the show in the big fish tank which again they only have at the weekends starting at 10.30 a.m. However, we couldn’t complain as the admission price was less than US$1. And anyway, we didn’t actually have to pay as we went there as guests of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
After the aquarium, we drove over to the Wildlife Extension Center. The animal center is ideal for families. Here you will find animals such as tigers, lions, camels, zebras and ostriches. They also have a 25 meter high aviary which has about 50 species of birds. We didn’t have much time to spend here but I will certainly go back again at a later date. The admission was only 20 baht which is so cheap compared to the 700 baht you have to pay to go to Safari World. The best thing is, it only costs an additional 20 baht to take pictures of your kids sitting with a baby tiger or an orangutan. Other zoos will charge you something like 250 baht, though they give you a framed picture for that price.
Also at the lake is this beautiful resort. These treehouses cost 1,300 baht during the week and 1,600 baht at the weekend. Pretty good value for money. If you want to stay here at the weekend or during holidays, be sure to call ahead to book. Their number is 035-430099. I will certainly come back here again and spend more time exploring the area. During the week it is very peaceful and a great place to ride a bicycle or just walk. Visit our free Thailand Guidebook for more information for this tourist attraction and others in Suphan Buri.
I wish to thank the TAT for arranging our trip to Suphanburi and also for paying for all food and accommodation during the trip. If anyone has a tourist attraction or resort and would like us to do a site inspection then please contact us through our website at www.paknamweb.com.