As tourists dwindle, Nong Nooch tweaks shows, displays


Nong Nooch Tropical Garden is hoping dancing elephants will awaken the park’s fading tourist numbers.

Director Kampol Tansajja said visits by both Thai and foreign tourists is down, due undoubtedly to political street protests in Bangkok that have left six dead since early last month. He said only European tourists are still coming in tour groups or with their families.

This elephant from Nong Nooch is wishing everyone a Happy 2014.This elephant from Nong Nooch is wishing everyone a Happy 2014.

Rather than feel discouraged, Tansajja said the slower times are an opportunity to make improvements to the garden, both in its displays and shows. He has been collecting thousands of desert rose plants from across the country and will hold a grand exhibition at the garden soon.

Now, however, General Manager Manit Narinrak changed up the elephant show by having elephants danced to “Gangnam Style,” the Korean pop song that sparked a worldwide wacky-dance craze. The pachyderms are also writing “Happy 2014” and giving massages to tourists in the sand. The elephants then walk over the missives, which Asians believe brings good luck.