The King Cobra show was obviously not for the faint-hearted ophiophobic (fear of snakes) but for us, turned out surprisingly to be a barrel of laughs! The show was basically a half hour narrated introduction to several breeds of snakes as they were taken out of their boxes by various snake handlers in turn and paraded in the centre ring.
There weren't many people in the audience - just us, a pair of English tourists (one of whom had ophiophobia) and a small Japanese family of three.
With hindsight, the fear of snakes must be common with alot of visitors as the show includes several moments of scaring the audience and teasing quite obvious ophiophobics.
Halfway through, a larger party of Korean tourists turned up, doubling the audience, and one of them comically overreacted his fear of the snakes in the ring as he went to great lengths to grab a seat high up and far back, putting as many of his colleagues in front of him as possible.
The antics of the snake handlers as they waved the snakes towards the audience and threw out pieces of rope from the snake box to the ophiophobics, was immensely entertaining!
However, before the show started, we had a chance to see a number of caged snakes and to handle a baby python.
The King Cobra Chiangmai Show
At the risk of practically presenting the whole King Cobra show to you, here's a blow-by-blow account of the show with video clips. A large python came out first and two of the handlers held it's head and body steady before inviting the audience up for photos. Linh obliged.
The pair then proceeded to "dance" with the python, as I wondered why Linh got so close to the "vicious" serpent!
Two young King Cobras came out next as a handler kept them poised at bay, and then grabbed them for a slow dance.
A kiss with the cobra.
In a classic poisonous snake moment, one of the handlers punctured a sealed cup with the fangs of a cobra to show the leaking venom.
The same handler then pulled out a massive King Cobra! Looking far faster and more aggressive than its smaller brothers, we thought it was king of the ring until we saw it pee itself...
The snake handler eventually had to put away the large King Cobra and retrieve a slightly less aggressive one in order to go in for the kiss. See this clip for both.
A trio of more snakes came next - not venomous ones, but still very fast with a tough bite. The young snake handler's show piece was to capture all three - two with each of his hands and the last with his mouth.
A picture moment with Linh.
The final round in the ring was with a vicious jumping snake with this handler whose face is on the King Cobra Show flyers. He's pictured on there with Sylvester Stallone in the role of his latest Rambo movie I suspect.
The guy jumped around the ring avoiding the snake until he was able to catch and kiss it. No wonder it didn't give in without a fight.