Saturday, October 29, 2016

Thailand: Part One of the Elephant Show – "Elephant World Cup" (2015) and some Magic

If not because of my mother, who is adamant on seeing the Elephant show, I wouldn’t have been here and be able to witness the Elephant World Cup! Who would have thought elephants can play football?

The location of the Elephant show is at Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo in Sam Phran District of Nakhon-Pathom province, approximately an hour’s drive from central Bangkok.

We were here in Sam Phran in the afternoon after a morning at the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and lunch at Pae Poh Kaew floating restaurant anchored along the Tha Cin River.

The Elephant show started with a front act—some magic. The one-eyed pirate magician with an assistant impersonating Elvis Presley were quite a laugh. For all I know, the duo could have come straight from a Las Vegas gig.

I had low expectations. Magic, together with circus and festival rides reminds me of my childhood days. So being in my mid 40’s I did not know what to expect. But I laughed, so I guess the magic front act was a success.

Then the elephants came!

The horde of elephants came marching in and were introduced one by one to the public. Similar to a beauty pageant, the gentle animals flaunt their best talent forward. Gyrating their thick bodies to the music. Dancing elephants anyone? Some were twirling their heads and trunks. A few showed off how to kneel and cross the leg. Wow, I did not know they can do that. I even saw 2 elephants swaying their butts and standing on their front 2 legs with their 2 back legs up in the air! My goodness, that was some impressive acrobatic stunt, haha. You can imagine the crowd laughing and howling like crazy.

Then a new set of elephants came and this time they were dressed as famous football stars. Neymar from Brazil. Robben from Holland. Messi from Argentina. Rooney from England. Honda from Japan. Ronaldo from Portugal. They were all present. What a superb line up of the world’s greatest football players in a single game!

The show just got better when the elephants started playing football. The lovely animals can actually kick ball and even score. We the audience on the tribune went wild of course. Clearly everyone was in high spirits including me. Haha, I have never expected an elephant show like this.

I managed to take 2 short videos of these wonderful football players =)

Introducing the world's famous football players!

The elephants here playing football. You have to watch this video! =)

I am aware of stories about animal exploitation by zoo establishments. The elephants at Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo however looked like they were well taken cared of, and that they seemed to really enjoy what they do. But then again I am not an animal expert.

So far the elephants here looked very happy, and they sure gave a stealer of a show.


This duo was really funny, especially the Elvis Presley inspired dresser assistant to the magician.


Oh, I am seeing Arjan Robben from the Netherlands, haha.

I sat high up in the tribune so I could take good pictures.

And I am seeing Neymar from Brazil and Rooney from England as well =)

Travel Period: November 2015
Destination: Sam Phran (Nakhon-Pathom), Thailand

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or iPhone.

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