Just before we left for Bangkok, T-bone and I realized that we hadn’t been to a travel clinic to get our immunizations updated. Oops. Maybe I should have spent more time figuring that one out, and less time eating grotesque numbers of cookies from the treasure trove in my in-laws’ freezer. Luckily, the person supplying me with an endless supply of baking was the same person who informed us that we could get our shots when we arrived in Thailand.* When my MIL tells me that my health is going to be ok, I know I can chillax.
True to her predictions, Thailand does indeed have good vaccination facilities. What no one could have predicted was the sheer awesomeness of “The Queen Saovabha Memorial Hospital and Snake Farm.” I found this hospital using my usual advanced methods.** As soon as I saw the words “snake farm,” I told Todd to lace up his shoes. We’d found our destination.
The Queen Saovabha Memorial Hospital and Snake Farm is located on Bangkok’s Red Cross campus. It’s a stately Victorian building, with fountains in the front, and snakes in the back.
We started off with the vaccinations. The process was simultaneously incredibly quick and incredibly complicated. We started off by registering ourselves as patients of the QSMHSF. We were then sent to another room, where we were again registered, before being sent to yet another room where a medical practitioner of some variety informed us that we needed shots. He then wrote us a prescription, which we took to the pharmacy which was located in yet another room. We paid for the bottle of vaccine, then brought it back to the second room where we were once again directed to the third room where a nurse administered the shots. The whole process involved approximately $30 (for two doses of rabies vaccine, one dose of Japanese encephalitis vaccine, and one polio booster), 20 minutes, and 400 trips to various rooms.
After cooing over these bargain basement drug deals, T-Bone and I headed around back to where the real fun was happening: the snake farm. While the QSMHSF gives a great booster shot, the snakes are its real pride and joy. Sadly for us, the snake handling show was over for the day. Happily for me, I still needed two more rabies boosters. I timed my second shot badly, but the third time was the charm, and I was treated to snakes galore.
Next time any of you Bangkokians need shots, I urge you to visit The Queen Saovabha Memorial Hospital and Snake Farm. How often do you have the opportunity to be vaccinated against one kind of animal bite immediately before being bitten by another kind of animal? Do it.
* Here I am referring to my favourite MIL
** The Google’n’Click. Just what it sounds like.