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Old 8th July 2009, 10:55   #16
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Wow!! The cats are awesome and you could manage to get your hands on them. Great pics.
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Old 8th July 2009, 11:56   #17
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Superb report. How much did you spend overall?

Airfare + stay + food + misc (all excluding shopping) in INR?
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Old 8th July 2009, 12:09   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman
Ouch. I see your back hasn't healed.
The back has held up quite well through the trip, thankfully, despite a lot of walking and carrying luggage. The lumbosacral belt that you see me wearing was mainly as a preventive measure.
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Wow!! The cats are awesome and you could manage to get your hands on them. Great pics.
Actually, it's very thrilling to manage to touch a tiger the first time. But after a while the novelty does wear off, and there I was, sitting back and thinking, these tigers behave like domesticated cows, cats and dogs. There's none of the ferocity that we associate with tigers.

Tigers are solitary and extremely territorial creatures, but often you find them in Thailand sitting around in groups, like a herd of buffaloes. You hear the common refrain from a lot of visitors, "Are these animals drugged?" Maybe, maybe not. My take on this is that the tigers are separated from their parents at birth, fed a diet of milk and vegetables/boiled meat, declawed, and perhaps even neutered - and then put out as displays.

The Thais say the animals are "hand-reared", whatever that means. But pulling a tiger by its tail (which is done so often there) will not make it submit quietly - tigers are supposed to have a mind of their own!When I had that large cub on my lap, I did worry that even if it didn't bite me, it could leave scratches with its nails unwittingly. But during the few minutes that it was in our lap, I couldn't feel any nails in its paws at all - agreed that tigers and other cats can retract their nails, but one can still feel them there through the fur of the paws. I tried, but couldn't.

I've also seen a healthy tiger chomping away at the green stuff, not unlike cows and goats. And never have I once seen them being fed raw meat - and we saw a LOT of tigers!

More pics later today...

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 8th July 2009 at 12:11.
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Old 8th July 2009, 13:56   #19
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SS-Traveller - looking at your description and first hand experience, they are mere soft toys with life in them. That's about it.

It's really sad you modify their natural lifestyle and make them some kind of puppets for mere tourist attraction. I rather go and see them in the wild from a distance.
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Old 8th July 2009, 15:12   #20
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Talking The Man behind the Handle!

So! The great Shourjendra da finally reveals himself to the (TBHP) world.You're like a travelogue factory dada. Fresh adventures churned out at regular intervals to us hungry souls. In fact, ever since I introduced you to my wife, she's started believing that big road trips can be planned at a drop of a hat whenever one pleases. Bugger for mere mortals like us!

Great travelouge, its like a free tour of Thailand as someone said. But even here you had to hire a car and get behind the wheel yourself? You just cant stay off the steering wheel it seems. Which parts of Thailand did you visit? What is the best time to go?

The "forced" domestication of the tigers seems sad. To borrow from a popular Bengali proverb - wild animals are best left in the wild!

Last edited by predatorwheelz : 8th July 2009 at 15:13.
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Old 8th July 2009, 15:27   #21
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cool photos.. telling u frankly when i first saw the photos with the tiger i tought that might be a lifesize doll.. but when i saw the other photos i was shocked.. good photos and narration!
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Old 8th July 2009, 16:22   #22
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Nice pics & interesting narration too!

Got a good glimpse of Thailand.
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Old 8th July 2009, 21:15   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muralisk View Post
they are mere soft toys with life in them. That's about it.
So true...
Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
But even here you had to hire a car and get behind the wheel yourself? You just cant stay off the steering wheel it seems. Which parts of Thailand did you visit? What is the best time to go?
You bet! It's a greater pleasure driving in Thailand than in India. But driving there is a more sterile experience! Our itinerary was Bangkok>>Kanchanaburi>>Bangkok(T)>>Chiang Mai>>Bangkok(T)>>Pattaya>>Bangkok, where I've marked a (T)where we just transited through BKK.

Thailand peak season is Nov-Mar, and lowest season is July-Sep. Rates of hotels etc. are far cheaper in the off-season, and even entry fees are available at a discount then.
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cool photos.. .. good photos and narration!
Thank you, sharu.
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Nice pics & interesting narration too!
Got a good glimpse of Thailand.
More coming up... Over 1500 pics...
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Old 8th July 2009, 22:01   #24
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Default Tigers in Thailand - Part 2

Next tiger viewing - the next day, at Kanchanaburi, at the Tiger Temple, better recognized locally as the "Luangta Bua" (hehe - really!).

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tigertemple_kburik150.jpg

The viewing times are between 1:30pm and 4:30pm, and we arrived there around 3pm. 500 THB each later, having made us sign a bond that we were not going to complain if we were eaten, and checking that we were not dressed erotically enough to arouse either the tigers or the monks , we were on our way inside along a smelly pathway.

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tigertemple_kburi-1k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tigertemple_kburi-2k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tigertemple_kburi-3k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tigertemple_kburi-6k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tigertemple_kburi-71k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tigertemple_kburi-69k150.jpg


The path led to the Tiger Canyon and the Pavilian (sic)

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-dsc06213k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-dsc06208k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-dsc06215k150.jpg

where at least a dozen tigers were chained to the ground like goats.

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-dsc06216k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-dsc06217k150.jpg

And then the rain came pouring down. The umbrellas were no good as the wind blew the rain into our faces, my camera was safely packed away where it won't drown, and both the tigers and all of us visiting them stood there getting drenched to the bone.

The only monk we saw was the abbott (as his purple-dressed minions call him), yapping out directions on a walkie-talkie.
Attached Thumbnails
10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-dsc06218k150.jpg  

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-dsc06219k150.jpg  


Last edited by SS-Traveller : 8th July 2009 at 22:04.
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Old 8th July 2009, 23:45   #25
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Default Tigers in Thailand - Part 2 cont'd

Half an hour of misery, and the rain slowed to a drizzle. Within this time, the purple-dressed handlers had scared us out of that canyon, saying the ground was getting soft with the rains, the tigers were jittery, and "anything" can happen. So we moved back to a shed some distance away.

But the show must go on - and the rain had almost stopped. So here was our chance to touch a full-grown tiger and have our pics taken. Back we trooped to the canyon, from where the tigers were being led out by the chain, collar and tail! The Thais had obviously never heard of "Never catch a tiger by its tail"...

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tigertemplekanburi-3k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tigertemplekanburi-4k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tigertemplekanburi-5k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tigertemplekanburi-6k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tigertemplekanburi-7k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tigertemplekanburi-8k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tigertemplekanburi-10k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tigertemplekanburi-13k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tigertemplekanburi-14k150.jpg

HEY! Stop fiddling with my tail, will ya??!!

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tigertemplekanburi-2k150.jpg

[More of Part 2 to come...]
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Old 9th July 2009, 19:40   #26
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The domesticated beast are really surprising. Loved the pictures.
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Old 9th July 2009, 20:53   #27
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nice pictures keep them coming. Though I stayed there for quite some time couldnt go to this temple.
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Old 9th July 2009, 22:34   #28
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One look these photos scares me.and the ticket says to exercise caution as these are wild animals and not always tamed.
Why should we have such fun at the cost of these animals which are chained?
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Old 10th July 2009, 17:43   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
The domesticated beast are really surprising. Loved the pictures.
Yes, even I was surprised with the timid behaviour of these majestic animals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanwaramit View Post
nice pictures keep them coming. Though I stayed there for quite some time couldnt go to this temple.
Coming up soon.

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One look these photos scares me.and the ticket says to exercise caution as these are wild animals and not always tamed.
Why should we have such fun at the cost of these animals which are chained?
Even I ask the same thing. These are proud and stately animals, masters of all they survey in the wild jungles where they rightfully belong. To see their domestication in the zoos and this Tiger Temple in Thailand does make one a little sad. Drugs, diet, hand-rearing, whatever the Thais do, the tigers have lost their majesty and are reduced to a powerless state.
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Old 10th July 2009, 20:05   #30
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Default Tiger Temple - Touching the Tigers

Here are a set of photos of us touching the tigers. Up close, one did feel a little scared and wary when getting so personal with an animal which we've learnt to respect as a hunter par excellence in India, thanks to people like James Corbett...

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tigerk150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tiger-1k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tiger-2k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tiger-3k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tiger-4k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tiger-5k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tiger-6k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tiger-7k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tiger-8k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tiger-9k150.jpg


And here are some more pics from the Tiger Temple.

The abbott

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tiger-11k150.jpg

and his favourite tiger - apparently the first one he hand-reared

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tiger-12k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tiger-16k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tiger-17k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tiger-18k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tiger-19k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tiger-20k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tiger-21k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tiger-24k150.jpg

10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)-tiger-26k150.jpg
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