Continued from Familia Ladaga Goes to Thailand Part 4: Floating Market and Elephant Ride at Chang Puang Camp Kwento/Review
Day 3, Part 1
We then headed to the Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo. It took us almost another hour to get there from Chang Puang Camp. In the limo, I was regretting bringing Motherhood with us. Pa’no ba naman, puro shopping lang ang nasa isip! To think every after their seminar session the past days e shopping ang inaatupag ni Mumps (OK, medyo gets ko na ang pagkaasar and bewilderment ng mga lalaki sa shopping cravings ng mga babae)! When she learned that there was no nearby shopping mall at Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo, hay naku, parang in-abduct namin at gusto nang makawala! So even though I love you Mom, I would admit I heaved a sigh of relief when you got a cab to return to Bangkok City proper. At least I could get back to being excited with my two boys who felt like African explorers.
Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo vs. Safari World
I’ll get straight to the point: Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo was a letdown. It might not have been so had we visited it before Safari World…Safari World is waaaaay better than Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo. The atmosphere at Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo depressed me, I don’t know why. I feel like a gray cloud was overcast.
Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo Shows and Attractions
It was this zoo’s Crocodile Show that made it on our itinerary. But honestly, it too was a letdown. The show’s attempt to quicken the audience’s pulse with the “death-defying” antics bored me.
True, the show men were with the crocodiles in a large pool and were putting parts of their bodies into the mouths of the crocodiles, but despite these stunts the fact that the crocodiles were sluggish removed the fear factor. The “stunt men” looked to me like amateurs or kids who were annoying injured/drugged crocodiles for the heck of it.
After the crocodile show we went around. There were lots of crocodiles but that’s nothing new—there are already lots of crocodile farms in the Philippines. I was really getting bored and depressed, but then something lit me up! This:
Yes, elephants!!! After watching an elephant show the previous day and after riding an elephant just a few hours ago, I still was (and still am!) crazy about them! and then there’s a cute (but still huge) baby elephant pa!
And someone was even more amused and enamored than I was!
Si Randy!!! If you think this was it, take a look at what made me think Randy wanted to bring this baby elephant back home:
Randy was surprised by how maamo the baby elephant was to him! Even I as a spectator was touched! I could feel Randy! I saw how Randy’s face lit up and there was sheer joy on his face! Take a look:
See?!? Sa sobrang pagka–inlove ni Randy sa baby elephant, mukhang na–insecure na si Raviv. Look oh:
After reluctantly leaving the elephant, we watched a magic show on the grounds:
The magic show was OK; it was entertaining but again, not exactly something that would make me rave. After the magic show was the elephant show.
Though we’ve already seen an awesome elephant show at Safari World the previous day, I wanted to watch this because it showcases how big (pun not intended, swear!) of a part elephants played in the history and culture of Thailand. But alas, it was getting late and we were tired. We decided to go look for Pon and head back to the hotel. After all, Randy and I had a date that night. 😉
The Ping Pong Show
After resting and eating at the hotel, Randy and I got dressed and left Raviv with Motherhood (who was in the other room).
OK, so ano ba ang pingpong show na itey?!? It’s a show where the women of Thailand show the world the hidden talents and potentials of the female genitalia. I first heard about such show from a former boss, and then from a friend. Both were decent persons, and both expressed amusement about the show. And so contrary to your initial thought that this was Randy’s idea, ako ang may pakana nito! I wanted to see for myself the hidden potentials of a woman’s “Vangie Labalan”, as my curiosity was gnawing at me. I was hesitant at first, but Pon assured us that there were plenty of other curious foreigners who watch such shows, and that yes, women watch too! He assured us it was really a part of most tourists’ Bangkok itinerary.
Anywho, Pon brought us to the place. Entrance was 1,000 baht per head. Nako, it looked like a small carinderia in a very rural place! I was actually expecting the place to be well-lighted, well-ventilated, ganun. Matinong bar ba. But nooooo! It was really seedy, and I dared not eat or drink anything there. Taking of photos were prohibited, of course.
I can’t remember every performance, but here’s the gist: a woman would go up on stage, dance lousily on a pole, and then would showcase her “Vangie Labalan’s” talent, and then wipe the floor to prepare it for the next talent. “Talents” I remember include:
- Pulling meters and meters of string with blades from Vangie Labalan! Yes, as in sharp bladeS with an “S”! At andami ha!
- Pouring clear water into Vangie Labalan, and then pouring out black liquid of it.
- Shooting balloons with darts inserted into Vangie Labalan.
- And of course, the show’s eponym: putting pingpong balls into Vangie Labalan and shooting it into a container.
If you think that the show would get you, uhm, “inflamed”, think again! Hindi talaga. It feels like watching an acrobatic show, parang sa circus lang.
Watching the show, I had ambivalent feelings: I felt guilty that I was patronizing the exploitation of these women, but on the other hand I also felt like it was no different from watching a freak show/a circus performance, especially because prostitution was legal in Thailand.
But the “guilty” thought won in the end. More so when I learned that prostitution was NO LONGER legal in Thailand. This means that I had willingly participated in the exploitation of these women…my curiosity won over my better judgment. 🙁 Anyway I’m telling you that it was not worth it. Should you go to Thailand, your 1,000 baht would have been better spent on something else. During the show, I was exchanging glances with a black woman beside me, as we were mirroring each other’s expressions: we were cringing, we felt sorry for the ladies, and after the initial shock, you’d just get bored. My friend in fact told me that he and his friends never finished the show. So again, ‘wag na kayong manood at baka ikapahamak n’yo pa rin. I have read that several other tourists had so much trouble in similar places.
Part 6 next week again.
Tell me what you think!
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