Do you love snakes? Would you like to see a variety of snakes up close and personal? Are you interested to learn more about the indigenous snakes of Asia and have a hands on experience in an environment where the animals are treated well and not used solely for entertainment purposes? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions then you should visit the “Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute” (สถานเสาวภา สภากาชาดไทย) in Bangkok.
The Queen Saovabha Institute is the second oldest snake farm in the world, and the first ever snake farm in Asia. For more than 90 years this institute has supplied poisonous snake antivenom to all of Asia. The institute originally was under the direction of Thailand’s Ministry of Interior and was tasked with providing vaccines against rabies, smallpox, cholera, typhoid and other infectious diseases. Now, the institute is operated by the Thai Red Cross Society and not only makes anti-venom but serves to educate visitors and students to better understand the habits of snakes and to improve the public’s attitude towards poisonous and non-poisonous snakes.
As part of its education goal, trained professionals at the institute perform a snake show to teach people how to recognize and deal specifically with the different species of snakes found in Asia. The exciting 30 minute show starts by introducing small snakes, like the Green Pit Viper, and progresses to larger snakes like the Burmese Python and Mangrove snakes, until finally presenting species of the deadliest type, namely the Cobra and King Cobra. The show is entertaining and very informative.
The institute has two shows every weekday. The first show takes place at 11am. The highlight of the first show is a live demonstration showing how poisonous snakes are ‘milked’ of their venom. The second show is at 2.30pm. The second show teaches proper poisonous and non-poisonous snake handling skills and finishes with a photo opportunity where you can choose to have your picture taken with a large ‘tame’ python. Weekends (Saturday and Sunday) have only the 11am show.
In addition to the snake show, visitors can view more than 35 species of living snakes on the 1st and 2nd floor exhibition areas where everything from snake anatomy, evolution, reproduction cycle and procedures for snake bite first aid can be learned.
Your Thai Guide
Admission Price: 200 Baht for adults and 100 Baht for children.