Coming from an Asian country and having seen most of these animals before, i feel it was a "trap" to have signed up for this safari tour as i learned nothing much.
What one would do at these places would be to watch animals like elephants, cattles, monkeys perform. Thoguh it might be amusing, i thought my time COULD have been better spent elsewhere.
Unique Suggestions: Maybe, make sure the animals are treated humaely, though i have no idea how this could be done.
Fun Alternatives: I might have gone to see more of the outlying islands like maybe, James Bond Island or those that you have to have a guide kayak you under to get into a cave etc, all the natural wonders...
Unless you have never ride on an elephant or you do not know how does rice come about, I would not recommend the Safari Tour. It is costly and the journey to the Safari was more about an hour from Kamala Bay. This safari is a man-made "farm", they will show you their culture and daily acitivities.
Fun Alternatives: For that amount of money, I would rather have more spa session or have another snorkelling trip...
A full day trip at Phi Phi island can cost just 1600 baht vs the brochure's (and hotel's) rate of 2800 baht if you are prepared to shop around along Patong beach. If you book in a group of say 4 and above you can even negotiate for a free upgrade to gold seats at Phuket's famed Fantasea show. Competition is stiff along Patong beach and it's worth your while to bargain before you commit.
Well, its really not that severe...hehe..but dotted along the island are snake farms which are supposed to be astounding! If you ask, i'm sure a willing tuk-tuk guy will take you into one of them. Here, 1-2 trained guys will do a little something with the snakes, yes it makes an interesting show-for just about 5 of the 15-20mins it lasts, and yes you walk outta there some baht poorer...! Honestly, its worth a skip...nothing spectacular to see...walk on!
We went to visit Phuket Zoo and I must tell you that it was not fun. There was for examle a bear there that lived in a really small cage. The bear was really fillthy and wet. There were monkeys, elephants and krokodiles that were doing all kinds of trick. I is one of my saddest memories from Thailand.
James Bond Island
Phang Nga Bay
A very touristy trip but a surprisingly great day out.
You are taken by bus to board a long boat, a photo is taken of you then on to James Bond Island and an authentic Fishing Village on stilts where the occupants just happen to have Huge TV's and DVD's.
The photo turns up at the end of the trip as a souvenier plate which you just have to buy.
Our long boat broke down at James Bond Island and was towed to the Fishing Village. We waited many hours for it to be repaired and were very hungry and sleepy when we arrive home.
Overall the scenery whilst on the water was magnificent the only thing was that James Bond island was covered in Tourist Stalls this was a bit of a let down.
Dont book anything from Your hotel, go instead to a local thai dealer on the street - it´s a lot cheaper.
The Cashew Nut Factory - this is not a necessity to visit I can assure you, but it was part of a tour I was on to Phang Nga Bay. Its not something you would go and do especially.
Maybe a tourist trap. A muslim fishermen village in Pha-nga bay. Just go thru shopping area and stroll little bit and go see a mosque (only building in dry land).