Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute (Snake Farm)
The Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute is a popular attraction for both tourists and scientists, right in the heart of Bangkok. Here you can see some very venomous snakes actually doing good for the community.
Thailand is the habitat for many varieties of venomous snakes as well as harmless species. Under the auspices of the Thai Red Cross Society, the snake farm was established and officially opened on November 22, 1923 to extract venom from the snakes in order to study and develop anti-venom serum to treat snake bite victims.
The poisonous snakes that are indigenous to Thailand are cobra, king cobra, banded krait, Russell’s viper, some pit vipers and sea snakes. These venomous snakes are provided by Thai farmers who are also snake catchers by profession. The snake farm pays them according to species and size.
The normal procedure for extracting the venom is through the use of a glass receptacle with a membrane cover. The snake handler holds the snake just behind the head and places the glass receptacle for the snake to bite into the membrane. The venom flows into the glass receptacle. The venom is then used to make the vaccines.
Visitors can see the extraction of the venom at scheduled times and wander through the breeding and holding areas to see the venomous snakes close at hand. The demonstration of snake handling start at 11 a.m. at the weekend and a second show at 2.30 p.m. only on weekdays. The venom-milking start at 11 a.m.
How to get there : taking Skytrain to Saladaeng BTS Station or taking Subway to Samyan MRT Station
Bus routes 4, 45, 47, 50, 67, 74, 76, 141, 501
Open : Mon. - Fri. from 8.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m., Sat., Sun. and Public Holidays from 8.30 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.
Venom extraction : Mon. - Fri. at 11 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. holidays at 11 a.m.
Slide presentation in English : 30 minutes before venom extraction.
Admission : Adults 200 Baht, Children 50 baht
Contact : Tel. 0 2252 0161-4, 0 2252 0167 Fax: 0 2254 0212, www.redcross.or.th, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org