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Elephant Shows in Bangkok | Where To See Elephants in Bangkok


Samphran Elephant Show in Bangkok



Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo in Bangkok, Thailand is not really a zoo as more of a show. It's a place where you can feed elephants, watch as crocodile trainers place their heads and arms into the mouths of their crocodiles and watch as elephants re-enact battles between Burma many years ago.

This is one of the best places to see elephants in Bangkok but it will take a couple of hours getting there and back depending on the traffic.

If you want to see more than temples, Samphran elephant ground and zoo makes for a great day out.


General Information

Telephone +66 (0) 2295 2938
Opening Hours Mon- Sun 08.30 - 17.30
Entrance Fee Adults 600 Baht
Children 350 Baht
Address Petkasem Road K.m. 30, Samphran District, Nakhon Pathom Province 73110 Thailand
Credit Cards All Major cards accepted
E-mail samphran@ksc.th.com
Pros
Get right up close to the elephants, feed them and even take an elephant ride. The crocodile show is fun and exciting and even pose with a couple of tigers !
Cons
Another rip off from Thailand. Entrance for locals is 100 Baht for adults and 50 Baht for kids.
It can get VERY hot, especially in April / May. Crocodile show area can get very busy so short people / kids might not be able to see well. Music played during shows is annoying dance music.
Main Hotel: -
Official Web site: http://www.elephantshow.com/eng/home.htm

Entrance to Samphran elephant ground and Zoo in Bangkok
The ticket office
The Entrance to Samphran Elephant ground and crocodile farm & ticket office


How To Get To Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo

We suggest you book a tour or get your hotel to arrange for a van or car to take you there as there is no public transportation that any visitor will want to take.

The journey is advertised as taking an hour but that is all relative to traffic conditions and from where you are starting your journey. A more realistic time frame would be 2 hours there and 2 hours back and if you get there and back faster, so much the better.


Clothes To Wear At The Elephant Ground

As we have mentioned, it can be very hot in this area of Bangkok, especially during the hot season (March, April, May).

We recommend you wear a hat of sorts, loose clothing and soft light shoes. This will just help make the trip more comfortable rather than being an absolute requirement.

Erawan restaurant
Tigers
The Entrance to Samphran Elephant ground and crocodile farm & ticket office


Food & Drink Availability

At the main entrance, there is a restaurant called the Erawan. It serves various food types in a buffet style and there are drinks / snack stalls dotted around the grounds. The restaurant is open from 11.30 until 14.30

During the magic and elephant show, staff wander around offering ice-creams and cold drinks BUT NOT WATER. If you want water, buy before you go to the show.

N.B

Whilst most ice-cream is kept properly frozen and handled properly, we recommend you don't buy ice-cream. We had an ice-cream once and spent two nights in hospital with food poisoning. A stay in a hospital will cost you something in the region of 28,000 baht per night !

Ice-lollies, drinks etc are going to be a lot safer to order. Prices for tourists and locals seems to be the same. An ice-lolly was 20 baht.

Entrance

The entrance to Samphran elephant ground and zoo has a big sign stating "The greatest elephant theme show in the world". It is here that you have to buy your ticket (unless you have booked a tour and it's probably in the price).

There are two sides to the booth. The right hand side, where locals pay a fraction of the cost and the English language side which advertises that adults pay 600 baht and children 350 Baht. The locals side does not display any prices at all and this is just another massive rip off for tourists and blatant discrimination to tourists.

Locals pay 100 baht or 50 baht for kids, so your price is 6 times that of a local for exactly the same facilities and show. The extra money doesn't get you special seating. It is blatant discrimination.

Even if you speak Thai or go with your Thai wife and family, they will stop you and make you pay the full tourist price. The only way you might get away with paying local prices is by producing a work permit

Once you've got over the shock and anger of paying 6 times the local price, you make your way through a fake stone arch to the ticket barrier and this is where they check you've not tried to be sneaky and purchased a local ticket.

When you walk through the gates it's possible someone is taking your photograph in order to offer you a priceless plastic kiddy plate onto which your photo will be placed for prosperity's sake.

We're not sure whether this practise still continues or not but the plate is so tacky we suggest you pass.




Have Your Photo Taken With Tigers

Immediately on the left as you go through the ticket gate are two very docile tigers. A trainer stands with them holding a small stick but the tigers have either been stuffed full of juicy steak or drugged to high heaven because there is very little life in them.

This does make it safer of course and in the knowledge you are not likely to become their next meal, you can pose with them and have your photo taken for 100 baht.

Waiting for a roar or growl can take some time and you'll have to wait for one of the many yawns to get something that looks like a roar.


Elephants are easy to approach
you can buy food to give to the elephants
A trio of elephants
Feed the elephants
various levels at Mahboonkrong
elephat trainers look after the elephants and you
Pose with them
Trainers on on hand to keep them calm


Feeding The Elephants

Directly in front of you as you walk through the ticket gates is an open area where there are about 10 or more elephants standing in open penned areas or free standing with one of their legs chained to the ground.

Here you can touch, feed and pose with the elephants. It's a great experience for anyone who has either never seen an elephant in real life or only seen one in a regular zoo.

This is where you can get up close and personal with baby and adult elephants which are more than keen for you to buy some food for them from one of the stalls nearby.

You can touch, stroke and even sit between three smaller elephants which are guarded by a couple of elephant trainers.

It all seems safe enough and the elephants all seem used to the attention and enjoy being fed but always keep your whits about you. You never know what this powerful animals will do.

Elephant food costs 100 baht for some bananas or sugar cane and this is quite reasonable.

You can feed the elephants throughout the day. There is no special time for this activity.

Samphran elephants will reach out to grab things .
it never gets too busy
The Elephants will try to grab things
It never seems to get too busy.


Crocodile Show

Daily Show Time
1st show
2nd show
Crocodile Wrestling Show
12.45 - 13.10
14.20 - 14.40

 

The crocodile wrestling show
plenty of crocodiles on show
The crocodile show and spectators
Plenty of crocodiles
crocodile trainers preparing the crocodiles
Trainers put their heads into the mouths of the crocodiles
Preparing the crocodiles for .......
...... This

You might start to notice some open wooden buildings slightly past the elephants as well as some chain fenced areas. This is where the crocodiles can be found.

The wooden building is where the crocodile wrestling show is held. You can view the show from the ground floor or an upper level. If viewing from the ground floor, you might be looking through chain fencing which spoils the view a bit. Tall people won't have to worry about this but anyone under 5 foot 8 inches will not have the best of views.

However, the ground floor view is closer and you are just a few feet away from the crocodiles and you are very close when the trainers put their heads inside their mouths.

The upper level is a better, clearer view but not so close to the action, so it's swings and roundabouts as to where to stand.

The crocodile wrestling show is held in a moated area. There is water surrounding a raised area and the trainers drag the crocodiles by their tails onto the dry ground area and start to tease the crocodiles into opening their mouths.

The trainers then use sticks to stroke their mouths and to show you that a touch in the wrong area can make the crocodiles snap shut their mouths with incredible speed and power.

The trainers constantly splash the crocodiles with water to keep them cool and wet and once they have the crocodiles in a good position and state of mind, they proceed to place their arms and heads inside their mouths.

The show is well done and entertaining and when the crocodiles snap shut theirs mouths there is an audible gasp from the crowd. Kids will love this show.

At the end of the show people throw coins into the area as tips for the trainers.

TIP:

Get to the crocodile show area early. Don't hang around feeding the elephants which you can do at any time. Make sure you get a good place to stand. We suggest at one of the sides and in the middle.
If you don't mind looking through fencing, then the ground level is best, but if you want to take photos or video, go to the upper level.

Thais don't know how to queue or understand other people's space, so stand your ground and don't let anyone push you out of the way.

There are other crocodile farms in Bangkok but this is probably there is. The others tend to just have crocodiles inside water pens and there is no show as such.


It can get very busy at the crocodile show
stand at ground level or the upper deck
It can get busy at the crocodile show
Choose the upper level for good photos


Salt Water Crocodiles

Salt water crocodiles
plenty of salt water crocodiles to photograph
Salt water crocodiles are much bigger
Lots of salt water crocodiles to view

Close to the elephant feeding area and next to the crocodile show are large water pens containing salt water crocodiles. These are MUCH larger than the crocodiles used in the show and probably for good reason as a mistake with one of these will almost certainly cost you your life.

The sides of these pens are half concrete and half chain linked fencing, so you can take a reasonable look at these huge creatures.

There are signs around the sides stating that no part of your body should be inside the area and this means not putting your hands / arms over the fencing to take photos because these crocodiles can easily and rapidly propel themselves upwards and grab whatever is within reach.

On our visit to this famous Bangkok crocodile show, we watched as one of the larger crocodiles surfaced from under the water and made a clear bee-line for us and just stopped a couple of feet away, with just its eyes protruding from the water - waiting for an opportunity to snatch our hands which were holding a video camera.

We were fully aware of what was going through its mind and our hands / arms were not over the fencing, but just above it, but the crocodile clearly thought it might be an opportunity in the making.

Elephant Show

Daily Show Time
1st show
2nd show
Elephant Show
13.45 - 14.10
15.30 - 16.00

 

Samphran elephant show bangkok
elephants can perform various tricks
Elephants performing ......
......various routines

The Elephant Theme show is a spectacular elephant show that shows the versatility of elephants, how they can be trained to do work, play football or even stand on their back legs.

There are various aspects to the elephant show but the most striking is the re-enactment of old battles between Thailand and Burma and how elephants were used in battle.

There is seating for this show and most seating has a good view so it's not too important where you sit but we recommend sitting near the top and at the back as you'll get a better view from there, but if you find only front row seats are available, don't worry - it's all good.

Having said that though, if you are unfortunate enough to not get a seat, you'll have to either wait until the next show or stand at the side and it's not a good place to be, so if no seat, wait until the next show - if possible.

elephants preparing for battle
elephants re-enacting battles from many years ago
Elephants preparing ......
......to do battle



Magic Show

Daily Show Time
1st show
2nd show
Elephant Show
13.15 - 13.45
15.00 - 15.30

 

elephants preparing for battle
elephants re-enacting battles from many years ago
Magic show where things disappear
and masks change colour


Just before the elephant show, there is a magic show which is conducted from a moveable stage which is pulled in front of the audience.

There are two acts. The first is a man and woman team who do standard disappearing type tricks and the second act is a man on his own who does tricks involving masks.

The magic show is not bad entertainment. Children will like it but it seems to go on a little long considering you are sitting there waiting for the elephant show to start but it does give you time to get a good seat and settle down.

Elephant Riding

No rides during the elephant show

elephants preparing for battle
elephants re-enacting battles from many years ago
ride an elephant through water
wander around the grounds

For 500 Baht, you can take a short but certainly long enough - elephant ride around a very picturesque area of the theme park. One of the sections sees the elephants wading through some fairly deep water and walking under a man made, but large, waterfall.

The elephant ride is a super experience for children and even most adults enjoy it, so if you've got over the shock of paying 650 baht to get in, you might feel inclined to pay a further 500 Baht for an elephant ride.

Is 500 Baht expensive ? YES... it's very expensive, but this might be one of those times that you just say "what the heck", and fork out as it's probably not something you'll come across easily elsewhere.

You used to be able to see elephants walking down the main streets of Bangkok and you still see them on Kao Sarn road every now and then but for the main part, if in Bangkok, and you want to see and interact with elephants, you need to come to Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo.



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