One of the cheapest tourist attractions and most fun things to do in Bangkok, Thailand is to visit the city’s Snake Farm.
On the grounds of the Thai Red Cross Institute, and also known as Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, Bangkok’s Snake Farm is a blast for the whole family.
If you’re fascinated by poisonous snakes, want to watch an authentic Thai cobra show or even if you would love to handle a python, you mustn’t miss it. Here is what to expect.
Where Is Bangkok’s Snake Farm? – The first time I visited the Snake Farm, I went with a western friend who was visiting me in Thailand. We made the mistake of trying to walk to it from the sky train and, with typical Bangkok signs that suddenly disappear halfway there, it took us ages to find it. That is why I would suggest taking a taxi or a tuk-tuk rather than try to find your way there by yourself.
The Snake Farm is located on the grounds of the Thai Red Cross Institute at 1871 Rama IV Road in downtown Bangkok.
Take the BTS sky train to Chidlom station and get a taxi from there.
What Is Bangkok’s Snake Farm – Technically, more than a tourist attraction, the Snake Farm is actually one of Asia’s top anti-venom producing facilities. Snakes are ‘milked’ for their venom and anti-venom is created from it, then shipped all over the world to help treat potentially fatal snake bites.
It is also a top destination for the world’s foremost snake specialists and scientists, who come to Bangkok’s Snake Farm to do research or to work on snake breeding.
How Much Is The Entrance Fee? – Easily one of the cheapest and best deals in Bangkok, entrance to the Snake Farm is only 70 baht ($2.20) for adults and 30 baht ($1) for kids if you live in Thailand, or 200 baht ($6) if you’re a tourist. Much of the time with very young kids, they’ll let them in for free.
What To Expect? – I love the Snake Farm as it is so typically Thai.
When you walk in, you first walk through one of the administration buildings and see snakes in enclosures everywhere. They are kept in large glass cases, with plenty of room to move around and, with two floors of snakes to look at, you’ll be there for a while. Once you finish inside the building head outside into the Snake Farm garden area.
Slightly run-down, which all adds to the thrill of the place, you walk around and will see nothing but cages perched up on wooden legs that house every snake species imaginable. Around the outsides of the building too are snakes in large glass enclosures and here you will find the largest and the most poisonous snakes, kept well away from human contact.
The snake enclosures are large though and, if you look closely, you can tell the snakes are very well taken care of.
We spent about two hours wandering around, reading all the information on each snake species, taking photographs and generally having a fun time. Snakes, to me, are terrifying so this was as close as I wanted to get, or so I thought until the Snake Show started.
The Snake Show – Make sure you go to the Snake Farm in time to see one of the twice daily snake shows. Shows begin at either 11:00 am or 2:30pm. I have been both times and recommend the earlier show as, usually, there are less people so you can get closer to the snake pit. The shows are held outside, with cement stadium seats surrounding a concrete snake pit.
As the show begins, a professional snake handler walks into the snake pit carrying one of the farm’s many poisonous snakes. During the 20 minute show, you get to see him ‘milk’ a snake for its venom, he tells the audience all about each snake as he handles it, its habits, what it eats, how poisonous it is etc.
Towards the end of the show, another handler appears and does a live show with a King Cobra, which entails him attempting to mesmerize the cobra and leaping out of the way every time it jumps at him to bite. Thrilling, but scary stuff as some of the handlers do get bitten every year.
At the end of the show, the snake handler brings in a two-meter long python and allows two or three members of the audience to hold it, have it coil on their shoulders and have photographs taken. I haven’t volunteered for that as I’m really not a snake fan.
Bangkok’s Snake Farm is a fun way to spend two or three hours. Be aware, it’s all outside so it can get extremely hot but you can buy soft drinks and ice cream there to cool down. Just bring a hat and some sunscreen and you’ll be fine.
And, of course, the kids will love it.
You can find out more information about Bangkok’s Snake Farm on the Thai Red Cross Society’s website.