In the land of the dinosaurs – Dinosaur Planet, Bangkok
There’s a place called Dinosaur Planet in Bangkok. The very name Dinosaur Planet conjures up images of Jurassic Park. Vast swathes of dense forest with terradactyls flying overhead. An immense theme park with pens surrounded by massive fences, electric wire, flashing lights and danger signs.
As we wait in hushed silence, the plants part and a huge lizard appears, it’s intelligent looking eyes watching us curiously. There would be an opportunity to ride a triceratops and slide down a diplodocus’ neck. We’d be driven out in a jeep, through wide open plains, past herds of sauropods calmly hanging out, munching vegetation. We’d learn some fun facts about dinosaurs. All the while, that song would play ‘doo doo doo doo doooooo‘.
The other Friday (our day off) we decide on a visit to Dinosaur Planet to check it out for ourselves.
Dinosaurs at Dinosaur Planet, Bangkok
Dinosaur Planet in Bangkok is not exactly the same as Jurrasic Park. For a start, it’s in the middle of the city on Sukhumvit Road, opposite the swish Emquartier shopping centre and next to Phnom Pong Sky Train station. As you go through the turnstiles, there is a diplodocus, neck and tail moving from side to side, but you can’t ride down its neck. Arrows point you to the six or so main exhibits and there are several food stalls selling dinosaur shaped meat products by Betagro (clearly a sponsor). There are jeeps, but they don’t take you on safari, you have to use your own leg power.
You walk through the ‘Stars of Dino’ a row of model life-sized dinosaurs of different species hiding in hedges. They are all animatronic and move their mouths, heads and tails so they seem to be chewing, shaking their heads and, for a couple, looking like they are having a good chat down the pub, vehemently disagreeing about something. Probably the name of the presenter of a TV show that was on back then.
“I’m telling you, Tony, it was Earl Sneed Sinclair” “Nope. Wasn’t. It was that Ducky one” .
They have information panels about them so we learned all about the Elvisaurus – seriously, that’s the name of a dinosaur. It’s so-called because it had a crest on its head that looked like Elvis’ hairdo. That’s the first thing scientists thought when they dug it up and reassembled its bones…..
“Look Jim, looks like Elvis….eh? eh?”.
It’s like seeing them for real, if they were all stuck in one place and not interested in eating each other or fighting.
Near them is a mock up of a dinosaur scientists camp with a map to where various dinosaurs were found and a poster of dinosaur evolution.
Dinosaur Fact- there are two types of dinosaurs – saurischian dinosaurs or lizard-hipped and ornithischian dinosaurs or bird-hipped. To do with the shape of their pelvis, whether like a lizard, or a bird. Those hips don’t lie you know.
Watching baby dinosaurs hatch
In Dinosaur District (also sponsored by Betagro) We were ushered into a room where the door closed behind us and we were shown a video welcoming us to Dinosaur Planet – our own earth with a rift through time where we could go back and see real dinosaurs. We went through a series of rooms, including one with dinosaur skeletons and information.
Dinosaur Fact – Five new species of dinosaur were discovered in Khon Kaen in Thailand. The mini-brontosaurus Phuwianggosaurus sirindhornae was named after the place it was discovered and the Thai Princess.
In another room we were taught about the different shapes of dinosaur eggs and then taken into a lab where they were hatching the eggs.
Dinosaur Fact – There seems to be three shapes of dinosaur eggs: long, oval and round. Different species treated their young in different ways. Some appear to have just laid eggs and then left them, but there is evidence that others incubated their eggs, and then took care of the babies after they hatched.
Attacked by a velociraptor at Dinosaur Planet
Raptor Attack seemed to be based on an Escape Room, sponsored by Coca Cola. We had to find clues to escape the island where our helicopter had crashed (while transporting coca cola by the looks of the crates of it that seemed to have been scattered around) while being chased by a real raptor. Probably. The real raptors were also wandering around the park – not as dangerous as they look on Jurassic Park unless you were the woman buying a hotdog (by Betagro again) who they crept up behind.
Riding on the Dino-Eye
The 4D Deep World was broken so we got a free ride on the big wheel ala the London Eye – but this one is called ‘Dino Eye’ (see what they did there?). It’s usually 200 baht, so that was nice. Not exactly a panoramic view of the London or Singapore skyline, we looked down Sukhumvit road sois, over a dirty car park and at the Skytrain. We did see some terradactyls ‘flying’ past and a couple of wooly mammoths, which was nice.
Like the real Jurassic Park (the one from the last, pretty rubbish, film) you can ride triceratops if you are under 10. And they can dig for fossils. A bit too big for that, we did design our own dinosaur and release it into the wild – in a computer game – with families looking on giving us slightly funny looks. At night, at 7, 7.30 and 8 they have the ‘Extinction Show’ which looks like it has an erupting volcano and a T-Rex. We didn’t see it because it was far too early and we weren’t going to wait.
All in all, it passed a fun couple of hours. Not exactly Jurassic Park, but for kids, it would be fun to see dinosaurs moving around. Plus, unlike Jurrasic Park, no dinosaurs escaped and chased us around the park. Since we have a Bangkok Bank account we got in 2 4 1 – so 300 baht each.
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