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BANGKOK - THAILAND - VISITING THE ANCIENT CITY AND CROCODILE FARM

The Ancient City and the Crocodile Farm are close together and it’s possible to visit both in the course of a day. Keith Hancock, our man in South East Asia, tells you how. 

 

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TRAVEL FACTS

Getting There

Ancient City

By Car or Taxi :
Take the Express Way as far as the Samrong-Samut Prakan Exit. Turn to the Samut Prakan Intersection. Turn left along the old Sukhumvit Road (towards Bangpoo) until you get to km. 33. The Ancient City is on the left.
By Bus :
Take air-conditioned bus No. 511 (Pinklao-Paknam) to the end of the line. From here, take the mini-bus No. 36. It passes the entrance to the Ancient City.

Crocodile Farm

This is located at 777 Taiban Rd., Samutprakarn. It is open daily from 7:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.

By road 28 km. from Bangkok by Highway No. 3 about 30 min. drive.
By bus : Take a No. 8 or 11 air-con bus to Samut Prakan and then take a local minibus

Other Options

From central Bangkok its not too difficult to talk a taxi driver into staying with you all day. Ask him for a price then haggle furiously. He will happily sit and wait whilst you take in the attractions. A cheaper alternative would be to get the Sky train to the end on the line at Bearing then take a taxi from there. But at busy periods, getting a taxi back can be very difficult.

Acknowledgements

Ancient City Photography supplied by www.pictures-thailand.com

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I would recommend going To Ancient City in the morning before the sun is at its hottest. Spend half a day there then head to the crocodile farm in the afternoon.

Ancient SiamMuang Boran, The Ancient City, is an unusual open-air museum spread over a 300-acre site on the outskirts of Bangkok, heading South on the Old Pattaya road. A visit here gives you the chance to walk around Ancient Siam exploring its history and the diversity of its architecture, arts and religion.

Ancient SiamWander at will round some of the most significant and important buildings and monuments from Thailand’s past. Some are scaled down versions of the originals while others are the genuine articles. Many temples and ancient buildings that were falling down were dismantled, transported here and re-built stone by stone.

 

Ancient SiamYou can of course walk round the park but, because of the heat, it’s much better to hire a buggy, drive round at your own pace, using the easy to follow map, then get out and walk when you reach something you want to have a closer look at. There are over 100 buildings and a large central lake.


One of the highlights is a scaled down replica of the Khao Pra Viharn temple that sits near the Cambodian border. It has been recreated on the highest point of the site. The climb to the top is worthwhile, providing a panoramic view over the whole park. In the centre you’ll find small restaurants, shops and souvenir stalls. It’s a good idea to take a snack break just to escape the heat for a while. And be sure to carry and drink plenty of water.

The crocodile farm is the biggest of its kind in the world and has about 30,000 crocodiles on site including fresh and saltwater ones. Part of the farm is a Zoo but the animals are kept in such poor conditions that it is best avoided. But the Crocodile shows, which go on all day, are really entertaining if not for the faint hearted. Watching a man put his head fully into the mouth of one of these prehistoric monsters is nerve wracking in the extreme. There have been accidents in the past.

After a collection has been made for the performers tip money he throws it theatrically into the crocodile’s mouth.Crocodile Farm He then makes a big play of “reluctantly” putting his full arm down its throat to retrieve it. A few years back one had arm ripped off. But they really do ham it up and get the audience going and sometimes the crocodiles look so lethargic that they appear bored with the whole thing.

Whist this is an attraction it is worth remembering that it is a working farm. Hundreds of crocodiles are reared here for meat and for their skins. You can buy crocodile skin products in the shops and enjoy a crocodile burger or kebab at the restaurant.

Once I took some visiting friends there and we met a young English girl who was an employee. She was walking a young tiger just like a dog. She told us she had raised it from a cub and it lived with her in her apartment. We sat and played with it for a while then she told us it was getting to the age where it would be dangerous and in a couple of weeks she was going to have to move it from her room.


 

Check out these other Thailand features:

CHIANG MAI - North to "Rose of the North"                                            

PHUKET - Holiday pearl  of the South

THAI CUISINE- Try that spicy food

THAI ENTERTAINMENT  - Sample the night-time scene

SHOPPING IN THAILAND - The enjoyable search for good quality trditional handicrafts

TRIPS OUT OF BANGKOK - Looking at the rich variety of excursion possibilities from the capital.

 


 


 

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