I really do dislike making negative posts on this blog. Ideally, everything I post would contribute to Tenerife’s wellbeing, and promote the island as the wonderful place it is … or could be. Evidently this isn’t always possible, Arona’s beaches being a case in point, but sometimes it’s necessary to draw attention to things that are simply unnecessarily negative. Siam Park is the case in point on this occasion: a wonderful tourist draw, a superb venue, and recently named as one of the top ten amusement parks in Trip Adviser. And of the same brand as Loro Parque, about which regular readers will know I have nothing bad to say at all. So why make Siam Park an unpleasant experience for some visitors?
The following review is by someone who visited Siam Park in the last few days. Some people know visitors aren’t allowed to take food, others don’t yet know – and they will not find themselves welcome if they take food by mistake. The park’s website does in fact say that taking one’s own food is “totally prohibited”, but it is information in a none-too-bold text at the bottom of the page on restaurants, which is hardly going to be the port of first call for someone checking the site to see what they can expect … when they intend to take a picnic! Come on, Siam Park, this is a totally unnecessary policy. You can, and should, do better than this.
I’m something of a fussy eater so eating out anywhere unvetted is a big no-no. I have been to Siam Park twice before and both times I took a cool bag and ate my sandwiches on the beach bit with the wave machine, which was very pleasant. However, when we went on Friday, we were stopped at the inner turnstyle after we had paid, shown a sign saying “No Picnics” also inside the area after the ticket windows, and asked to open our bags so they could check there was no food inside! Of course my sister was carrying the cool bag with all our sandwiches in so she showed it and we were made to hand it over for custody and given a numbered ticket to reclaim it later. We were told we could go back for it whenever we wanted but we would have to eat outside and then would be allowed in again afterwards. Relieved that it wasn’t going to be confiscated, we handed our food over and kept the ticket safe.
When we got hungry, we had to get our hands stamped, ring a bell by one of the doors under the entrance arches and tell somebody our number, then wait until the girl appeared to hand over our lunch. Not so bad so far, we were reminded we had to eat it outside, so out we went, perched on a ledge in the wall just outside the gate and started eating. Until we were moved along by somebody telling us we couldn’t eat there and waving us away. So we moved round and found a little bit of shade to stand in away from the entrance at the corner of the building. Yet again we were moved on and directed into a narrow space between the side of the building and a filthy truck, beside two bins. Reluctant to actually go into that space to eat we hovered outside it away from the bins, but the same employee came back again, insisting and ushering us right into the corner. I protested that I didn’t want to eat my lunch by the bins and just stood there open-mouthed in disbelief while the bastard insisted and continued shaking his head and herding us right into the three foot space between a bin of garden waste and fag ends and the wheel of the truck.
Especially considering that my two sisters paid 33€ each and I €19,50 as a resident, I think that was pretty disgusting. Take heed Siam Park, if the idea is to force visitors to buy expensive burgers and bocadillos it won’t work, I will simply think twice before going again or about taking anybody else. Fine, prohibit food inside the park and allow visitors to collect it, eat outside and return, but provide us somewhere shady to eat, even if it’s just that, a shade over an outside area, preferably with a bench or two. A proper picnic area would be a nice touch that would make me want to come again, but I will not be forced to eat in the corner with the bins like a third class malingerer