Tiger Temple

Trip Start Jun 24, 2007
Trip End Nov 22, 2007

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Saturday, September 1, 2007

Ok, so I left you guys in Chiang Mai...well the last day in Chiang Mai Dan and I took a day tour of some of the hill tribes. We drove about 1 1/2 hours from the city and saw a few tribes in the morning. After lunch we went to a cave temple that was pretty amazing. There were all kinds of statues and relics of Buddhism for several hundred years. The cave itself was also very cool with all the stalagtites and stalagmites...it looks like a moonscape. The highlight of this tour was the long neck tribe at the end of the day. Our guide told us that the long neck people were originally from Burma but the Thai government trasported them here because there is more tourism and exposure. Anyway, this is the tribe where the women have metal rings around their necks. They put the first ring on at age 5 and then add two more rings every three years. The village was very primitive and it was amazing to see these people...even if they are for the tourist. That night we took an overnight train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. I don't know if any of you have ever slept on an overnight train but its kind like sleeping in the overhead compartment on an airplane (minus the door). Surprisingly it is pretty comfortable. We arrived in Bangkok around 8 am and jumped on a bus to a town called Kanchanaburi (about 2 hours away). The first thing we went to see was the Bridge of the River Kwai. Its not as big as I thought it would be but we walked over it anyway. Then we went to the Tiger Temple. This is a Buddhist temple where the monks take in abandoned animals. The most notable being the tigers. The monks actually hand raise tiger that were born in captivity or confiscated from people who try to keep them as pets. They have 17 tigers (4 are six week old cubs). The tigers are very tame and we were allowed to pet them with the monks standing by. This was really cool (first a cheetah and now a tiger)! The highlight of this visit was the monks had a 5 month old cub. He was out and running around with one of the monks. I got to sit down with the cub and bottle feed him. Then he rolled over and I scratched his belly...just like my dog. I have some great pictures.
Anyway, we are off to Cambodia tomorrow.
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