Brief visit to the Snake Temple in Penang.
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Yesterday we paid a short visit to Penangâ€™s snake temple or Temple of the Azure Cloud. This temple is free to visit, although donations are welcome. You are also allowed to take photographs inside the temple and of the snakes.
Yes inside the temple are many venomous vipers. You need not worry though, as the snakes are not slithering around all over the place.
Instead the snakes seem very mellow, wound around stands either side of an alter laden with offerings.
In fact the snakes are so still and so beautiful. (The markings on these Waglerâ€™s pit vipers look almost like they have been hand-painted). You might find it hard to believe that they are real, in which case you must resist the urge to touch them.
Many people say that it is the incense that causes the snakes to be so subdued, and that they slither down at night to eat. However we think that that snakes are rotated, so that when they are not â€śworkingâ€ť they are out the back in area complete with a water-pool and nice lush trees.
Snake handlers will try and persuade you to have your photo taken with a snake: either a python or a couple of the Waglerâ€™s pit vipers .Apparently the Vipers that are used for this purpose have been de-fanged ,so you do not have to be worried about being bitten. Even so we declined to have our photos taken and instead decided to have a look around the small snake farm/exhibition next door.
For just 5RM for adults you can take your time looking in the tanks and cages of various species of snakes, and a couple of lizards whilst trying to avoid having your camera pinched by the two (chained-up) monkeys.
We both liked the King snakes which looked just like our two at home: Fluffy & Waffle.
I was overjoyed at seeing a real Russell Viper, (( better than seeing the Olympic torch), the folks at work will understand), but was pleased that it was safely behind glass. Similarly it was nice to see the cobras, but I was relieved that the spitting one was in a tank, especially as the staff seem to be annoying the cobras for our sake.
Overall though, the snakes look healthy and this place does help educate people about snakes.
So we reckon itâ€™s well worth a visit, if youâ€™re in Penang.