A huge King Cobra from the Bangkok Snake Farm

Bangkok Snake Farm: It’s Random But Worth the Trip



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At first glance the Bangkok Snake Farm feels like one of those off ramp sideshow attractions that you come across in rural America sometimes–sort of like a really dangerous petting zoo. But the Farm does keep Thailand stocked with antivenom for all the poisonous snakes in the country and where else can you see a drugged up king cobra as long as a Hummer?

  • Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004

    Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004
    The bright red cross-shaped sign at the entrance of the Bangkok Snake Farm lets visitors know that this is no dog and pony show. Well, the Snake farm was also started by the Thai Red Cross in 1923, so that's probably the real reason for the sign.

  • Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004

    Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004
    Like going to a NASCAR race and waiting around for the car crash, everybody was poised with their cameras, camcorders and cell phones to see this trainer get a face full of snake.

  • Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004

    Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004
    In no particular order, the "feeding" portion of the show commenced. I forget what type of snake this is, but when his turn came to "eat", a graying fish was unceremoniously crammed down his throat with a pair of metal tongs. Mmmm, delish! Maybe it was the way that it was "fed", but this particular snake looked more like a flabby giant green slug to me. He was soon whisked away to digest his involuntary dinner.

  • Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004

    Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004
    In maintaining the "we own these snakes" theme for the show, this fellow was trotted out so he could have his venom milked. This part was a dramatization of the main purpose of the snake farm, which is providing antivenom for Thailand (no joking matter). However the milking seemed to go well, and Bessie the snake produced a small but dangerous pool of yellow poison.

  • Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004

    Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004
    Like a bit part actor who overplays his role, our terrified Japanese tourist seized the spotlight again for the starring role of, well, a terrified Japanese tourist.

  • Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004

    Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004
    In the credits for his home video, I hope I'm listed as "Macho American Blue Shirt Guy". Photo by Steve Iams.

  • Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004

    Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004
    After watching the 1980's vintage snake slide show which oddly included the keyboard theme song from "Fletch", we headed out to the small amphitheater for the main event. Our host summarized a short history of the snake farm before bringing on the snakes.

  • Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004

    Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004
    First to appear was this enormous King Cobra. No cage or shock collar on this fellow, he was free to go where he pleased.

  • Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004

    Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004
    The closer we looked at Mr. Cobra, the king of the jungle, it was hard not to notice that he seemed pretty drugged up and sluggish (note, the hood is not extended). Alex pointed out that he looked more like a sock puppet and that his mouth was hanging open in a weird way (look closely). We named him "Druggy the Drugged up Snake". Photo by Alex Iams.

  • Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004

    Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004
    As if the indignity of being drugged up before being shoved onto the stage wasn't enough, Druggy was snatched from the spotlight in a vise grip so that the tourists could rub him.

  • Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004

    Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004
    Druggy disappeared from the stage to sleep off his unwanted high, and a pair of much more active cobras appeared in front of us. Just for fun, Mr. Blue Pants teased the snakes into hissing and attempting to fill his profligate legs with fresh venom

  • Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004

    Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004
    The way these two stared at the crowd was kind of unsettling. They almost seemed to be saying "Vee are your king and queen, bow down before ussssssss".

  • Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004

    Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004
    But before anyone in the crowd could be hypnotized into snake servitude, this group of Japanese tourists came charging into the show, not noticing that there were poisonous snakes on the loose in front of them.

  • Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004

    Bangkok Snake Farm, Thailand - October 2004
    This fellow with the Sally Jesse Raphael glasses made quite a scene of his fright from seeing the snakes. I felt like we were watching a silent movie from the 30's where one of the actresses has to make exaggerated gestures to let everyone know that she's in danger.