Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute

Location:Near Henry Dunant & Rama IV Road
Opened on:October 26, 1913
Highlight:Snake Farm & Rabies Laboratory


Positioned near Henri Dunant Road and Rama IV Road, the Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute (QSMI) is a popular name in Bangkok. It was first opened with the aim for preventing and treating rabies and producing snake antivenin for different species of venomous snakes in South East Asia. However, today, the institute offers a host of other services through its snake farm and rabies laboratory. The snake farm, which exhibits poisonous varieties of snakes, including King Cobra, Malayan Pit Viper, Green Pit Viper and Russell’s Viper, forms one of the most popular tourist attractions in the whole Thailand.

As far as the history of the institute is concerned, it officially opened on 26th October 1913, as the ‘Pastura Institute’. In 1917, it was renamed the ‘Pasteur Institute’ and placed under the grand umbrella of the Thai Red Cross Society. Later, in 1922, the Institute was relocated to Rama IV road and came to be known as ‘Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute’, named after the King’s mother. During the same time, under the initiative of Dr. Leopold Robert, the institute’s first director, the snake farm was set up inside its premises.

Apart from putting into display some of the most lethal species of snakes, the farm also extracts snake venom to produce antivenins, required by hospitals all around South East Asia. Besides, the educational lectures and programs arranged by the farm are also amongst its major highlights. Another welfare scheme undertaken by the institute, in the form of its Rabies Immunization and Advisory Clinic, has proved to be of great assistance, to the indigenous population as well as the numerous Bangkok travelers.