Name: Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute Snake Farm / Thai Red Cross Institute Snake Farm
Address: Thai Red Cross Institute, 1871 Rama 4 Road, Phathumwan, Bangkok, 10330
BTS: Sala Daeng (10 min walk) Siam (20 min walk)
MRT: Sam Yan (5 minute walk)
Phone Number: 0 (2) 252 0161
Price: 40 baht for Thais, children or people with a thai work permit. 200 baht for Non-Thais.
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 9.30 am – 3.30pm snake show at 2.30pm and venom extraction at 11am. Weekends and holidays 9.30 am – 1pm snake show at 11am, no venom extraction on weekends and holidays.
This Snake Farm is more than just a tourist attraction filled with deadly slithering serpents, it is informative, educational and an extremely useful organisation, and may even help you get over a fear of snakes. We were both surprised and impressed by the whole experience.
This Snake farm is the second oldest snake farm in the world and opened its doors in 1923. It’s a working snake farm where snakes are bred to extract venom and produce anti-venom.
The snake farm is organised into effectively four separate parts. The initial area is the outdoor serpentarium. Here you will find a concrete walkway with many tanks full of different snakes. Each tank has a plaque explaining which snakes can be spotted within the tank and some useful information about them.
Once you have followed the concrete walkway, you will come across the Si Maseng building, opened in 2009. On the ground floor there is an indoor serpentarium where you will find more tanks, more snakes and more information. The room is quite dark and the snakes well lit so you can get some close up views. We were lucky enough to watch a snake preying on a frog and another shedding it’s skin. There is also an auditorium where you can watch the anti venom extraction. Unfortunately, we were not able to see this as we were there on a weekend.
Once you have explored both of these areas you can proceed up the stairs to a whole floor with a museum like feel. Here you will you find walls filled with information, interactive resources and snake specimens of different varieties. You can see snake skeletons up close, learn about the life cycle of snakes, in addition to, touching skin and learning about anti-venom.
Finally, the best part, the snake show. The show takes place in the outdoor serpentarium and we would recommend taking front row seats for the best and close up views of the snakes.
One by one different snakes are brought out by experienced snake handlers whilst another member of staff, a doctor, tells you interesting facts and information (in both Thai and exceptional English) about each snake. The facts are delivered in such a way that it’s interesting, engaging and even funny at times.
The snakes are all handled with care and clearly well looked after. The more dangerous snakes are brought out on sticks and held at arms length whereas the non-poisonous snakes are lovingly draped over the snake handlers arms and shoulders.
And if all this isn’t enough, to conclude the show you are given the opportunity (if you’re brave enough) to hold a python!
Although the snake farm is extremely interesting to walk around, we definitely recommend coordinating your day to attend one of the snake shows, and if possible, also the venom extraction, as these are a highlight and make the whole experience all the more enjoyable.