Eye of the Tiger

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The most magnificent creature in the entire world, the tiger is.”
 – Jack Hanna

Today had been extremely challenging in many ways but also worth the trouble. Having been up the entire night with a fresh bought of illness and fever I was very disinclined to carry on with the tour that I’d booked the previous evening. However, it was non-refundable. So I grabbed a toilet roll and off I went!

This was perhaps a little stupid. I proceeded to faint in the middle of the street on arriving at the Dumnoen Sadwak floating markets and then collapsed on the ‘squat’ style toilet. Not pleasant. Thankfully I managed to perk up fairly quickly with the help of some fellow tourists and a noodle soup, so I hopped on a little boat to float down the market. It was disappointingly swarming with tourists, which was a little frustrating – slightly idealised views of the markets off films also left me feeling ever so slightly disappointed. Highlights however included seeing giant monitor lizards swimming about in the rivers as we floated by!

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Floating market bangkok

water lilly

Dumnoen Saduak Floating Market Bangkok

Snake Dumnoen Saduak Floating Market Bangkok

Dumnoen Saduak Floating Market Bangkok

We then headed off to the bridge over the river Kwai which apparently is pretty famous, although I must admit I hadn’t actually heard of it until then. The bridge itself, part of the old rail track from Bangkok to Myanmar was fairly unexciting. Walking through the market, however, I found a man with a pet 8-month year old Jaguar which he was letting people feed for a small tip. I know you probably shouldn’t encourage these things but just look at it! Of course, I couldn’t resist!

Feeding a Jaguar

Young Jaguar

The last stop was ‘Tiger temple’. About two hours from Bangkok is a monastery (now steadily becoming a tourist attraction) which also doubles up as a wildlife rescue sanctuary. The ‘temple’ seems more like a miniature game park – except with the odd shrine, Buddha, monk and meditation centre dotted about. It gets its name as the monks reared tigers there by hand and, having increased in number, with cubs being thoroughly familiar with human company from the word ‘go’, has resulted in a huge number of incredibly docile beasts. At first I thought they must have been drugged but we were assured by the American volunteers at the sanctuary that they were just naturally lethargic in the afternoon heat and total unperturbed by humans. It was certainly a fantastically novel experience!

Tiger Temple Bangkok

Tiger Temple Meditation Centre

Tiger Temple Monk

Tiger Temple Buddha

I now have some serious sleep catching up to do – particularly as we’ve got an eight hour journey to Cambodia starting early tomorrow morning!

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8 thoughts on “Eye of the Tiger

  1. You should watch the movie The Bridge over the River Kwai! It may give you a whole new appreciation for the bridge. 🙂 Great blog post, I enjoyed reading it!

  2. My friend had a pet lion I got to meet when I was about 7 years old. Are tigers much like lions, do you know? Also, did you choose your pants that day especially to put the tiger at ease? I love your blog and pics. Thanks for sharing and making me have a nervous breakdown that I’m still here in my 8-5 instead of petting tigers. Best.

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