Siam Park

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I was in Tenerife to celebrate my 50th birthday with my husband. But if you want something to make you feel 21 again, without risking life, limb and a mental breakdown, Siam Park has to be it. What a brilliant, fun, exciting and thoroughly enjoyable day out. I've been fortunate enough to visit some of the world famous waterparks in Florida, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach certainly live up to their hype. In no way though is Siam Park overshadowed or outdone by their illustrious peers. First off, the nitty gritty. It's 34 Euros for adults which I think is pretty reasonable and 23 Euros for children which possibly isn't. Especially when you consider a child is considered to be 3 years old up to 11 years old. To counter this you can of course buy family tickets and there's a free bus service from most of the larger resorts on Tenerife. Like with most theme parks these days they're expert at getting you to pay for extras and locker hire, towels, express passes, photographs and the like are exorbitant. Indeed we were quite miffed to be thwarted in our attempts to get to a well placed lounger as early as possible by the obligatory photo call. You're barely through the main gate before you're funnelled onto a narrow path where it's impossible to avoid the resident snapper. So a log jam of people swiftly builds up even though only a small proportion of visitors ultimately buy the souvenir.

Likewise you wont be able to avoid paying for the micro sized food portions. They search your bags on the way in and food is confiscated without exception. I have to say I found the sweet and sour with rice and other offerings of a very good quality. But anyone with a hearty appetite would certainly need two, possibly even three portions. Especially after all that 'exercise'.

To the park itself. AWESOME. Beautifully clean, well set out and with a variety of rides to suit young and old and groups of both. The lazy river is huge, the star attraction white knuckle experience spectacular (an eighty foot drop culminating in a glass tube surrounded by sharks) and plenty of the other attractions imaginitive, aesthetic and just great fun.

We were there in November when it was thankfully quiet. As such we managed to get on every ride, some twice or even thrice. I can imagine it's not quite the value we had when it's thronged. Indeed it was no bother to get a lounger near the wonderful Siam Beach and adjacent to the food hall, this would surely be impossible peak season. Siam Beach incidentally is another of the much loved highlights. At twenty minutes to every hour amazing surfing waves are generated from the far end of the 'pool' and guests of all ages GO FOR IT WITH GUSTO !!! The Thailand themed surroundings are very picturesque and the backdrop impressive. I imagine many less energetic tourists spend almost the entire day with a good book and cool drink here.

There's the customary seal show to keep the very young entertained, a Thai massage for those of us with creaking bones who may have overdone it and some very predictable shopping, souvenirs, towels, t shirts, nothing out-of-the-ordinary. I don't dwell in 'fridge magnet' shops when I'm touring, you've seen one and I feel you've seen them all. It's what is outside of them that draws you in after all.

Sadly one of the visitors had a nasty fall on the boardwalk when we were there. I have to say the response from the staff was first rate and reassuring. They were there immediately giving first aid and a Doctor was on the scene within minutes. This is in line with what I would have expected. We've all grown accustomed to staffing levels being cut to the bone in these austere times. That isn't the case at Siam Park where there's a veritable army of cleaners, life guards, security staff, and clearly medical operatives. They help make the whole experience a truly memorable one for all the right reasons.

Marks out of 10. I'd have to say at least 9, only that original unnecessary bottleneck at the 'photo booth' and inadequate portions of refreshments prevented a 10. A smashing day out and one I'd repeat and recommend.

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