You read that correctly: snake farm!
While visiting Bangkok, I decided this was the most intriguing-sounding thing on my tourist map. So I went! Raised in California with all its many forms of farming, I could not wait to find out what a snake farm actually was. My mind was going wild with the possibilities.
Would I walk in to find large snakes being massaged with oils and creams, preparing their skins for exotic handbags and accessories? I should hope not, that would be depressing.
Would I find that snake was some Thai delicacy I had yet to hear of, and this farm was the city’s main source of snake meat? While the back of my head told me this was unlikely, I still was unsure about what I would find.
In reality, the snake farm is an education center and research facility. They work with the Red Cross to extract venom for creating anti-venom for some of the most poisonous snakes in the region. By also educating people on how to avoid snakes in their natural habitats, and how to use care when encountering a snake, the center helps to keep citizens and travelers to the region safe.
In the mornings you can visit the center to watch venom be extracted from the resident snakes at the facility. I missed this during my visit and was really disappointed by this. But when you wander a strange city, sometimes it takes a little longer than you expected to find your way around. Oh well.
The center had a beautiful garden area for some of the snakes to be outside in large habitats in a more natural environment with trees and plants to climb around. This made them harder for me to find, but I was glad to not see them all in tiny glass boxes.
The nocturnal and more venomous snakes we inside a more museum-like building that kept lighting and temperature controlled for their comfort.
While visiting the cobras, I ran into a trio of French children tapping on a tank and trying to take a picture. Before I had to tell them to quite harassing the poor thing, an adult with them stepped in. But i tell you, this snake did NOT like one of the girls’ yellow cell phone case. The poor snake was all upset about the disturbance, and following her case as of it were an attacker while she tried to get pictures. Fortunately for me, I got a few great shots of a threatened cobra. Unfortunate for the poor snake, he probably had to see a stress therapist and take up yoga for his rage after the incident.