Splashdown: - Tenerife’s latest ‘must see’ attraction
After six years in the making, involving craftsmen from 25 different countries, the most ambitious and spectacular water park in Europe, Siam Park finally opened it’s ornately decorated doors for business in September 2008.
185,000 square metres of arid hillside above Playa de Las Américas and Costa Adeje has been transformed by director, Wolfgang Kiesling and the Loro Parque Foundation into a lush tropical Thai paradise overflowing with extreme water rides designed to test the nerves of the bravest adventurer.
The Lost City is a wonderful maze of wooden walkways, towers, monkey gods, water cannon and slides set in a shallow pools. Every four minutes a huge monkey’s head tips over, drenching the Lost City under an avalanche of water. It’s great fun which parents love nearly as much as their kids. A smaller pool beside the Lost City means that the smallest toddler can get experience some of the fun as well.
On the opposite side of the motorway from Playa de Las Américas and Costa Adeje, you can’t miss it. The huge Thai towers are a bit of a giveaway. There’s free parking all around Siam Park’s perimeter, but if you want to park at one of the two small car parks right at the entrance, it’ll cost you €3.
Special free buses run from pick up points and main hotels in Los Cristianos, Playa de Las Américas and Costa Adeje every half hour.
Most people will visit Siam Park for the rides, but the park itself is a beautiful creation and even just wandering around it is a pleasurable experience. The Thai theme is an attractive innovation. The floating market, a collection of shops and a massage parlour set in traditional thatched and tiled wood panelled Thai houses, was constructed by Thai builders using materials imported from their homeland. It’s perfect in every detail and overlooks a pool where sea lions cavort. The attention to detail and commitment to quality is evident everywhere; from perfectly landscaped gardens to bejewelled white elephants (a symbol of good luck in Thailand), serene pools filled with koi carp, ancient carvings on walls and gods peering down benevolently from temple ramparts it is a quite incredible achievement. If you visited Thailand, you’ll be impressed at how well they’ve captured certain aspects of that beautiful country; if you haven’t, this will give you a taste without the 11 hour plane journey.
There are four eateries dotted around the park including the ‘Tea House’ overlooking the ‘Island of the Sea Lions’, the Beach Bar, Beach Club and the Thai House where you can sample some Thai cuisine. Prices are reasonable.
Siam Park – Safety First
No need to worry about the kids getting themselves into a dangerous pickle.
Lifeguards in every pool and at the start and end of rides watch over proceedings with a vigilance that would satisfy an eagle, leaving you free to snooze in the sun.
One of Siam Park’s most impressive attractions is the Palace of the Waves at Siam Playa. Waves appear magically from the depths of an ancient palace, sending manmade tsunamis rushing towards bathers in the lagoon sized aquamarine pool. Even the gentle waves at a metre high are challenging, but when the extreme machine sends out a 3 metre super wave, it’s something to see. Given the thumbs up by surfing champions, the Palace of the Waves is a surfer’s dream.
Braving Siam Park’s white knuckle attractions can be a tiring business, but with sun beds placed all around the park there’s plenty of private paradises to stretch out in the sun and soak up some rays. The best of them is the beautiful white sand beach of Siam Playa. On one side of the beach is the Palace of the Waves on the other, the exquisite Thai styled beach club. It really is more Thailand than Tenerife. The views of the island of La Gomera in the distance are an added bonus
There’s a lot to see in the park and the most relaxing way to do it is to lie back on an inflatable dinghy and explore Siam Park by gently rolling along the Mai Thai river (known as the Lazy River by park staff). The river twists and bends past all the attractions; at one point running through the Tower of Power pool so that you can get up close and personal with the piranhas and alligators.
Siam Park – For Romantics
Act out the Indiana Jones meets Lara Croft fantasy in one of four charming thatched cabins tucked away in the jungle foliage overlooking Siam Playa. The huts take up to four people, but two is much more fun. The ‘cabanas’ have showers and a private balcony. Food and entry to the park is included in the €400 it costs to rent one for the day.
Entrance for adults is €28 (residents 25), €18 for children aged from 3 to 11 (residents €16). A twin ticket which gets you into both Siam Park and Loro Parque is a really good deal at €49 (€33 for children). All the rides and use of the sun beds are included in the price.
Siam Park is available for private hire for weddings and special events and private sunbathing areas within the park can also be arranged.
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Siam Park boasts seven white knuckle rides where rafts and boards hurl screaming thrillseekers into gravity defying positions.
Tubes twist and turn through a jungle landscape before plunging rafts and their occupants into a cool blue pool.
A classic, undulating downhill racer with six lanes; ideal for challenging friends to discover who the sleekest water babe of them all is.
The name tells you everything. A swirling torrent of a water ride; not to be attempted if you’ve just eaten lunch.
Homage to Tenerife’s dominant landmark, Mount Teide. Yellow rafts are spat out of an angry volcano and into panic inducing darkness. This is a ride which messes with the senses.
Twin tubes emerge from a giant grotesque Thai god’s head and into oversized bowls, swilling riders about like missionaries in a cannibal’s stew pot.
Probably the best ride in Siam Park; a rollercoaster ride into the lair of what is possibly the biggest sculpture of a Dragon in the world. This is where you’ll do the most screaming.
Tower of Power
Without a doubt, the most frightening attraction in Siam Park. A 28 metre high ancient Thai temple is home to a water ride which is almost vertical. As if that wasn’t enough to turn the blood ice cold, when you hit the bottom you shoot through a tube surrounded by piranhas and, in the near future, alligators. People don’t scream at this one…they’re too scared.