Monday, July 15, 2013

Thailand - Day Tour (Afternoon) - Samphran Elephant, Crocodile & Cultural Shows



After our morning tour, our group proceeded to Samphran for our complimentary buffet lunch. We weren't surprised anymore to note that the buffet lunch had nothing special but basic Thai menu such as rice, veggies, some meats and desserts. Though nothing special on the menu, it was quite an experience for my family to eat Thai dishes. Moreover, our tour guide gave us instruction on how to watch the different shows inside Samphran. The place is tourist-friendly since all directions have English translations. Show timings were also posted at strategic locations



ELEPHANT SHOW

entrance



some acrobatic acts


it was a goal


a simulated battle with fire & explosions


feeding of elephants

After our lunch, we dashed to an open field to watch "The Elephant Show." It was pretty amazing to see those talented gentle giants doing their antics such as kicking football and they can score as well. The show also emphasized the different functions of these elephants in Thai daily lives such as being a workhorse, I mean work elephants. Simulated battle was also presented where the elephants were used as their main weapons. Likewise, some acrobatic stunts were performed by these behemoths.


I have seen an elephant show at Singapore Zoo but this one definitely outperforms their counterparts at Singapore Zoo not only by acts but by entire set-up too. After the show has ended, audience can feed the elephants with bananas or sugar canes for 25 THB.

Shortly thereafter, we hurried to a caged pool for "The Crocodile Wrestling Show."





This one really almost stopped my heart. Imagine seeing a man putting his head or arm inside a croc's mouth. I was afraid not for the trainer but for my kids. In case an accident happens I don't know how my kids would react. Some parts of the show were truly dangerous especially when one of the trainers created a commotion while his colleagues' head was inside the crocodile's mouth. We all screamed expecting that the crocodile would close its mouth. Later on, we learned it was only an act or stunt to the crowd's delight.

The last show we watched was the "Thai Cultural Show." As the name implies, it was only a presentation of local dances, martial arts and their famous Muay Thai or kick boxing where the actors were comical. In addition, we were surprised to learn that they also have their own version of "Tinikling" or bamboo stick dance.


martial arts

Muay Thai

local dance - like our own "Tinikling"

unity dance with inverted flag of the Philippines

The last part of the show was a unity dance where each dancer was holding an Asian flag. One Filipino in our group noticed that our Philippine flag was reverse. The red part of the flag was on top. He called the attention of the dancer after the presentation. After the unity dance, the dancers coerced some from the audience to join them in dancing. I tried to participate but the wife was not interested, lol.

We left Samphran at past 4 pm and passed at a Gem Shop at Bangkok City where most tourists converged. As usual, we had no option but to check the place even if we didn't intend to buy since we need to transfer to a different vehicle according to our guide. From here, they grouped all the tourists according to their drop-off points. In our case, we boarded a Commuter Van that would drop us at Platinum Mall. This ended our one day tour.

The one day tour was such an awesome experience seeing those dangerous but domesticated animals performed in tandem with their trainers. Aside from that, the lively atmosphere and the boat ride experience at the floating market was really a memorable experience for my family.

By every measure, I could say that we got our money's worth; not to mention the joy and family bonding we shared during that day.

If you plan to avail the same one day tour, I advise you to arrange the tour at designated tour desk in your hotel; be always at the safe side. You can even try to negotiate in case you are a group. Chances are you will get some discount especially if they know that you're a Filipino since they have high respect for their Filipino English teachers.

For our morning tour, see: Floating Market / Elephant Village / The Cobra Show / Thai Handicraft