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Old 1st November 2012, 22:32   #31
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

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Though the bridge was immortalised by the film, he actual job was the building of the railway. And in that around a lac of civilian (forced) labourers died. A very large percentage of them were Indians (Tamilians). Something which is not mentioned at all (in the history written by winners) till you dig deep.
Interesting history. How did the Tamilians end up being there in the first place?

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Where is the picture of you tweaking the tails of TWO tigers.
I didn't pose that way!
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OT:- Can you sleep when your (TTT = tiger tail tweaking) friend is driving?
Don't know - he didn't get a chance to drive. He developed cold feet anyway, after one look at the size of the bus!

The other friend drove for a short while on our way back from Phuket - he did well, but at that point of time I wasn't in any condition to drive for a short while anyway - so it was either it was him driving or us stopping for an hour or more. More about that as the story unfolds.
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Old 2nd November 2012, 10:13   #32
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

Excellent travelogue! Bring back some memories of my 2 years stint in Thailand

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Interesting history. How did the Tamilians end up being there in the first place?
The Tamilian involvement maybe via the laborers brought in by Japan - from the former Malaya state (now Malaysia & Singapore)
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Old 2nd November 2012, 13:22   #33
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I love these Team-Bhp travelogues! Great writing, superb pictures - a virtual walkthrough your entire journey. Waiting on the rest of the story!
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Old 2nd November 2012, 13:44   #34
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I would be naturally interested in these dental chairs!
LOL! First a hello from a fellow dentist!

Must say, really brilliant travelogue sir! Loved it. And the photo's are truly amazing. Must be quite an adventure driving through Thailand. The place sure is a Foodie's paradise. I was hypersalivating all through the food section of photographs! Really beautifully clicked photos!

Also being in such close proximity to these big cats must be quite a buzz!

Plus the resort seems to be a really quaint, "chill" kinda place. Very nice. really enjoying the 'logue. Keep 'em coming!!

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Ah!! Those DA classes..
LOL
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Old 2nd November 2012, 14:38   #35
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We had a good look at the tigers at the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi this time, but were not particularly planning to, or get to, see elephants!


The tigers were still there in the same old canyon, chained down like goats the same way, and we were going to take a better look at them this time than we did 3 years ago!
Funny to see tigers chained and visitors petting them - any idea why this is done? i.e. domesticated tigers? What is the motivation here?

Where is this temple - is it near Bangkok?
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Old 2nd November 2012, 17:48   #36
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I love these Team-Bhp travelogues! Great writing, superb pictures - a virtual walkthrough your entire journey. Waiting on the rest of the story!
Thanks. Hang on a bit - we got lost inside Kanchanaburi province after this... Need a while to process further pics!

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LOL! First a hello from a fellow dentist!
Must say, really brilliant travelogue sir!
Thank you.
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Funny to see tigers chained and visitors petting them - any idea why this is done? i.e. domesticated tigers? What is the motivation here?
Where is this temple - is it near Bangkok?
More info about the Tiger Temple here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_Temple
http://www.tigertemplethailand.com/

There are plenty of petitions against this practice that are floating around on the web, but the logic they put forward is that a live domesticated tiger is better than a dead/extinct wild tiger.

Incidentally, I also heard that there are some 100 tigers living in the wild in Thailand, but no structured tourism effort is in place to sight them, as is available in India.
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Old 2nd November 2012, 20:36   #37
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

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Interesting history. How did the Tamilians end up being there in the first place?
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Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
The Tamilian involvement maybe via the laborers brought in by Japan - from the former Malaya state (now Malaysia & Singapore)
Right. The British had originally taken them to mainly Malaya to work as labourers (rubber plantations, tin mines etc). When the Japanese overran that part of the British Empire, they force drafted the civilian labour force to work for them.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 2nd November 2012, 21:54   #38
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The tiger show is over. It's close to 4 pm. The animals are led away on chains, to wherever they keep them locked up overnight.
Thailand | Third Time-5-3.jpg

There are cows in the tiger temple too, and they are waiting to be fed. They know that as soon as the tigers go away, there'll be a feast of pumpkins scattered all over the road. So they wait.
Thailand | Third Time-5.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-5-1.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-5-2.jpg

We are tired of all the walking and standing around. It's still a long time away before we plan to return to our resort for our dinner. The plan is to leave Kanchanaburi after dinner and drive overnight to Phuket, almost 900 km away.
Thailand | Third Time-5-4.jpg


Thailand | Third Time-5-5.jpg

So we decide on some more sightseeing. From what we can figure out, the Sai Yok Waterfalls and Hellfire Pass are within easy driving distance, and we can get back in time for the mouth-watering dinner that we expect to be made for us back at the Xanadu Resort.

Or GPS had other thoughts in the meanwhile. It led us around narrow country roads, through twists and turns, until we ended up here.
Thailand | Third Time-5-9.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-5-8.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-5-6.jpg

It's a beautiful place, and we decided to spend some time here, before heading back to town.
Thailand | Third Time-5-10.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-5-12.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-5-13.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-5-7.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-5-14.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-5-15.jpg

There's this Thai jugaad parked on the grass, and some people working away at beautifying the place even more!
Thailand | Third Time-5-16.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-5-17.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-5-18.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-5-11.jpg

Time for us to return to town.
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Old 2nd November 2012, 22:12   #39
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By the time we get back to Kanchanaburi after another round of traversing narrow, twisted country roads, it's 8 pm. Time to stop for some coffee. The cafe looks good, but the espresso doesn't taste as good. I need that caffeine anyway, to prep up for the overnight haul.
Thailand | Third Time-5-19.jpg

It's getting too late now, and going back for dinner would mean an additional hour. We decided to have our dinner somewhere on the road. Tanked up, all aboard, belted in, and we roll out of Kanchanaburi town at 8:40 pm.

Thailand | Third Time-11.jpg


Thailand | Third Time-5-20.jpg

The first KFC we find on the way, attached to a petrol pump, is closed. Working hours are till 9 PM only. SERIOUSLY??!!

7-Eleven zindabad. Sandwiches, burgers, coffee, cakes, biscuits. That'll be our dinner. Let's settle in for the long haul without any music - but the inside of the van was boisterously noisy through half the night anyway. It has been a looong time since we had this much fun - in language that is probably unpublishable!

We were also cruising at a comfortable 100-110 km/h. Double decker buses whizzed by at 120 km/h, HiAces filled with tour groups went by at 140 km/h. Enough time on hand to get to Phuket by mid-morning.

Then, at midnight, the rains came down...

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 2nd November 2012 at 22:14.
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Old 3rd November 2012, 07:11   #40
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Glued to this thread. A good flair for writing and lovely photography. Thailand seems to be very tourist frendly. Was yr van a diesel ? What are the fuel costs like ?
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Old 3rd November 2012, 09:28   #41
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Glued to this thread. A good flair for writing and lovely photography. Thailand seems to be very tourist frendly. Was yr van a diesel ? What are the fuel costs like ?
Thanks, rxpaul.

Yes, it was a diesel.

Current fuel costs in Thailand:
Diesel: ~29.90-30.07 THB/litre
Normal petrol: ~38-39 THB/litre
E20 (petrol mixed with 20% ethanol): ~32 THB/litre
LPG: ~12 THB/kg
CNG: ~10.5 THB/kg
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Old 3rd November 2012, 09:42   #42
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

Somehow seeing the country side of Thailand, it feels like we are in some part of South India.
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Old 3rd November 2012, 10:55   #43
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Somehow seeing the country side of Thailand, it feels like we are in some part of South India.
That's very true. Especially the area in and around the Kanchanaburi province look strikingly similar to places like Kerala (e.g.; Erawan falls in the Erawan national park, looks quite like the Athirapilli/Sholayar stretch).
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Old 3rd November 2012, 10:59   #44
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

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There are plenty of petitions against this practice that are floating around on the web, but the logic they put forward is that a live domesticated tiger is better than a dead/extinct wild tiger.

Incidentally, I also heard that there are some 100 tigers living in the wild in Thailand, but no structured tourism effort is in place to sight them, as is available in India.
The Tigers apparently are sedated all the time and are in a state of daze.
When we visited, decided the skip the tiger temple. Maybe I am too cautious but all it takes is one swipe of a tiger paw to rip your face off, in case it wants to.

Other than that excellent pictures of the trip.
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Old 3rd November 2012, 16:39   #45
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One of the joys of driving all night long on Thai highways, as opposed to doing it on Indian highways, is that no one drives on high beam. If you haven't noticed the fast car coming up on your rear bumper, all you get is one flash of high beams - if you don't move out of the way, the fellow behind you will slow down and wait, perhaps flash his high beams again after 30 secs. Another 30 seconds later, you might just get a double flash of lights. I didn't hear anyone blow the horn (in fact, there was not a single time when I heard anyone sounding his horn, in 2250 km of driving in Thailand). At the end of an all-night haul, your eyes don't smart and your ears don't buzz.

Of course, there are no dogs, cattle, bullock carts or bicycles on the highway. No potholes (some areas were patched up and a little rough to drive on at 100 km/h), no bumps in the middle of nowhere. No broken fences and bricks encroaching on the right-most lane. Even if your headlights don't light up 200m. of the road ahead, you're safe. Any hazard is well marked with reflector boards - even minor curves on the road which we don't consider to be hazards!

And one big, big thing. I don't need to carry my coffee in a flask on the overnight drive in Thailand, like I do in India. There are umpteen 7-Elevens available, almost one in every three petrol stations has one, and they are all open all night (and all day) long.

You stop, walk in, choose your brand of ready-mix 3-in-one coffee (or even a single-serve pack of soup or Ovaltine - the Thais love their Ovaltine!), pick a cup, pour in the coffee powder and hot water from a dispenser, and pay 14THB at the counter (irrespective of what brand you choose). That's ~25INR or so. I wish someone provided this on Indian highways some day.



If you cannot follow the audio, it merely states that we made this coffee stop at 2:30 AM.

An hour after leaving this place, all hell broke loose.
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