Playing with tigers

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Crawled out of bed at 7:30 and promptly checked out. Decided I needed food and couldn't be assed to look around so settled on the restaurant in my hotel. The service was disgracefully slow and it took them 25 minutes to make 2 slices of toast. The intricately cut fruit salad however was in front of me within seconds.

As they took so long I had to rush in order to meet my bus. I had booked it at the "travellers Connection Centre" as it seemed to be the cheapest around and get this, they had free Internet access! Something for nothing! Unbelieveable! Anyway it wasn't until now that I realised it was entirely frequented by Isreali's. Should have guessed really by all the Hebrew writing everywhere and the fact there are 3 distinct groups of travellers in Thailand, Isreali, Swedish and British.

I was amazed at how attractive all the Isreali women were. Some guy I met on the trip said he had a thing for Isreali women and I frowned at the time, but I take it all back now! Took the luxury option of a minibus today, full of Isreali's, and set off on the 2 hour journey to Kanchanaburi. I have nothing against Isreali people as long as they are in small groups but when they get together they can become a bit of a handful. Anyway the bus should have taken 2 hours but was nearer 3 in the end as they all had stupidly weak bladders and we stopped 4 times! We did almost crash 3 times so maybe they had to clean up after themselves?

Arrived at a really expensive but nice looking hotel and all the Isrealis got off whilst I was told to stay in my seat. I was told, "English stay here no good, only Isreali". They mentioned something about the owner being really crazy and violent as well so I thought fair enough, take me somewhere cheap.

Ended up at the Jolly Frog which was gorgeous. Right on the river and with a large garden area to sit and relax in the sunlight, which was out in force today. My room was an absolute steal at 70baht! 1 quid a night! A bargain for Thailand.

They had a decent selection of books so I traded a couple for a new one. My bag is so full of books so I was glad not only to get something new to read but lighten the load at the same time. Kim had told me to visit the tigers whilst I was here so I booked myself on the tour that afternoon.

Got chatting to an Aussie couple on the tuk-tuk, meeting loads of Aussies now and most from Melbourne, which helped pass the time and fill me with loads of useful information on my soon to be home for the next 4 months.

The tiger sanctuary was bloody expensive at 300 baht but an interesting distraction for the afternoon. Herded around and given the chance to pose for photos with the tigers. May have been tame but didn't stop me being a little wary that they could bite my hand off in a split second. Had the option to pose again pretending to walk with the tigers but I chose to stay further back, putting as many bodies in the way as possible.

They let out a bunch of baby tigers, who weren't as docile as their parents, and let them run around wherever they pleased. I tried to keep my distance and almost ended up minus 1 leg if it hadn't been for the quick reflexes of the trainers! Decided that was enough and went to look at the other random assortment of animals walking around, namely pigs, peacocks and cows, that weren't likely to kill me. Back in the tuk-tuk we started back to the frog. I'm used to animals walking in front of our vehicles but this was a first. A snake slithered its way in front of us and promptly got flattened by the wheels.

Ate some dinner and nipped off to use the net for a while. Was there 1.5 hours and only got charged for 30 minutes! Bonus! Collected my freshly laundered clothes for the bargain price of 15 baht/kilo and decided to hit the sack early.
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