domingo, 14 de enero de 2007

Siam Park, a unique water theme park


I suppose for many people the word ‘Siam’ might mean some kind of theme park for Siamese cats, or even conjure up memories of Anna and the King, but for those of us who know our history Siam is nothing more or less than the ancient name for modern Thailand, as was explained to me by Christoph Kiessling, the man responsible for this masterwork, rising fast in the South. “I wanted to find a name that is known widely among the island’s visitors, of whatever nationality, speaking any language,” Kiessling told me; “I reckon the word Siam won’t trouble anyone! The park is two years under construction right now, and I have one hundred and seventy two people working on it, of every nationality”. Of these the most significant are the Thai architect and engineer Mr. Rutai, as well as other experts from Canada and the Canaries. They all get on very well with each other, in Spanish. “This is not just an aquatic park, it is a real theme park,” Christoph insists; “people can come here with their whole families and their friends and have a great bathe, but in what an atmosphere! And in what surroundings!” I warmed to Christoph’s enthusiasm as he told me the entire park is Thai in design and concept. The visitor can take a drink in a typical Thai bar and nibble Thai delicacies while watching everyone disporting themselves in every kind of water-based excitement. “Why, with a bit of luck you will see crocodiles taking the sun without getting tanned, or watch sea lions of the male variety appreciating passing girls, rather like any young man does!” Among the nearly twenty attractions this park will offer are some really exclusive items like the Cannon Bowl, unique because the movement is anti-clockwise, or the Behemoth Bowl, which has a laser hidden inside capable of reproducing the image of a dragon, a smiling dragon which appears and vanishes like the million flashes of a monster firework. Without doubt, the major attraction for beach lovers, itinerant and constant surfers etc. will be the quite extraordinary wave pool, fast finishing at Siam Park. “We will be able to produce waves of up to three metres high, useful for championships, and smaller ones of a metre and a half for ‘everyday use’” said Christoph, with an infectious laugh. In fact island surfers have been waiting for such a pool for years, and they won’t waste any time in making a weekly visit to the park. Young Mr. Kiessling explained that the wave pool is being built in collaboration with some experts from Edinburgh University, universally accepted as the best in the field of making waves. The great park is circled by the Slow River, on the waters of which whole families can cruise in a boat, or on a giant ‘Do-nut’ if they so wish, moving at the effortless speed of three quarters of a metre per second. Visitors can also ‘go rafting’ at the park, or dive into deep water from a height of 28 metres (the second highest dive in the world), race down rapids in water tobaggans, pick up a few useful items in a floating market, or, if they dare, face The Tornado’. With not a little awe, Christoph Kiessling said, “in the Tornado, those who have enough courage will find themselves suspended for a second in the air, is if gravity doesn’t exist!” Building is scheduled to be completed in December, though the actual inauguration of the park will take place a few months later. “Only when everything is perfectly prepared,” emphasised Christoph, “the gardens, for instance, were the very first items we prepared and planted, so that when we open there will be no impression of their having been recently laid down”. Christoph Kiessling and his clever colleagues have thought of everything. He is the son of Wolfgang Kiessling, founder of Loro Parque and the Loro Parque Foundation.
Artículo de Christian Taylor, traducido por Jeremy Taylor para el Tenerife News.