Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Sri Racha Tiger Zoo

After spending three nights in Bangkok we took a two and a half hour taxi ride to Pattaya. On the way we stopped at Sri Racha Tiger Zoo in Chonburi. Sri Racha holds alot of different animals and activites, including pig racing(?), shooting, Tigers, crocodiles and Elephants. When we first arrived we used a pellet gun to shoot cages which held meat, if you hit the target the tigers got food.

After this we took the oppurtunity to have our picture taken with a tiger cub. The tiger was literally dragged out of the tiny cage it was being held in and a bottle of milk was kept in its mouth to keep it calm. 

After this picture the whole place just didnt make any sense to me. We went to watch a tiger show afterwards and the tigers looked so terrified. They are obviously raised with such violence to show them that the humans are in charge that if they were to put a foot out of line they would be treated inhumanely. I left after 5 minutes of the show, the way this place treats animals is exploatitve and basically a disgrace. After researching this place on the internet, i found out that 53 tigers were killed due to eating contaminated chicken. If this zoo was opened in the west it would last about 5 minutes, yeah its great for tourists to be able to hold a tiger but the conditions the animals have to suffer is a travesty.

Tigers made to stand on platforms and perform tricks
The reason we went here in the first place was to see tigers being looked after, as in Thailand there are many sanctuaries which take tigers out of danger and look after them. I wouldn't be suprised if all these tigers ended up in a sanctuary in a few years time.


Back to Thailand - Bangkok

Arriving back into Thailand was quite refreshing, but Bangkok is one crazy city! We left our hotel in Hanoi at 6am to catch our 10am flight which took about an hour to get to Bangkok . We arrived at the hotel which my Uncle simon was meeting us at. It was amazing!! The Ambassador suite at the Davis! As soon as we arrived me and Adam ran around for about 10 minutes jumping on the beds like little kids. The suite included a 42 inch plasma, two double en suite rooms, a jacuzzi and a kitchen! Immense.

We relaxed for a while and had some cheeky room service, then we went to the cinema to watch the Hangover 2. Great film, but very surreal watching a film set in Bangkok and walking out into Bangkok. The cinema was amazing compared to English cinemas and the popcorn was unbelievable! Just before the film was about to start everyone in the cinema stood up and a message about the king came onto the screen. Thai people love their king.

The Hangover 2
After the cinema we waited for simon as he was arriving at about 8pm, we hid in the jacuzzi for about an hour to suprise him, and as soon as i got out he came through the door, typical! We took simon down to Khao San road for some Pad Thai- which is a noodle, beansprout and meat dish. We had a few drinks and then headed back to the room for a go in the jacuzzi!

Hot Tub Time!
The day after we went to see a few sites, we went to see the The Golden Buddha which was quite breathtaking and we saw a few temples nearby. The guy who was driving our Tuk Tuk tried to rip us of by dropping us at a jewlery store and asked us to walk around for 5 minutes because he gets free petrol!? Cheeky Mother!!

Golden Buddha

After this we went on a long tail boat down the river towards the Grand Palace. We saw some great sights, there were women working on the floating markets, who were great fun. We saw alot of houses made on the river on stilits, most looked really dangerous, we saw a few crocodiles just chilling out on the river bank and an insane amount of fish.

Floating Market Friend!

Simon and Adam rocking out the Conical look

Houses on Bangkok River

After this we grabbed some more Pad Thai down Khao San Road and headed back for a nap (such hard work). At night time we headed to Patpong night market, which is a crazy place. It is basically a side street which has bars at either side and a market in the middle, we met up with some friends and had a few drinks, which turned into a lot of drinks and watching a Ping Pong show, i wont go into detail but it was very funny!

PatPong night Market


Halong Bay, Vietnam

We took a three hour bus ride from the capital of vietnam- Hanoi to go and see Halong Bay. The bus ride was rather ropey and very full but we met some very friendly people on the way there.

Halong Bay is a UNESCO World heritage site and very popular travel destination, and it is very easy to see why! The bay features thousands of Limestone Karsts (small isles) in very different shapes and sizes.

The Spectacular View  

We booked ourselves a day boat trip around the Bay, which consists of more than 1900 islet, most of which are limestone. The limestone has gone through 500 million years of formation to give them all the different shapes and sizes.

One of the many isles

We sunned ourselves on the boat and took lots of pictures as we gazed at the amazing scenery. The area is so vast that you could easily get lost out there. People had built their own houses on the sea and their was even a school. Crazy stuff! I couldnt imagine living at sea for all of my life! But researching the area on the internet and it says human beings had been in the area for tens of thousands of years. Half way through we stopped at a little floating fish farm and the man on the boat said if we wanted we could buy a fish of some shrimp and the chef on the boat would cook it for our lunch.

Fish farm

After visiting the fish farm we sat down to lunch on the boat and ate fish, tofu, chicken and beef mixed with rice. Lovely! We then carried on our journey and headed to some caves where the boat docked and we had the chance to take a boat underneath and through some of the limestone rocks. It was breathtaking to see the limestone so close up.

Limestone Time
After this we headed towards Sung Sot Cave (Cave of Surprises), which is the largest cave in Halong Bay. Located at the Bo Hon Island, the cave got its name from a French admiral who was surprised at the size of the cave when he discovered it.

The caves were massive inside and had different coloured lights shining allover the rocks, but the cave has been highly developed for tourism, it has a cement pathway and even gift shops outside. Kind of ruins the feel!
 After seeing the caves we got back on our boat and went back to land and took another 3 hour bus ride back to the city. We had such a great day and saw some amazing things!