Sunday, January 27, 2013

Why Hello Tiger

Yesterday was really fun! Breakfast involved more chocolate than normal because I got to finish my birthday cake. In case I forgot to mention this before, Bow and her family bought me a cake and sang happy birthday the first day that I got here! So I got an awesome chocolate cake with Thai writing on it. These people are so nice! 

After breakfast we headed to the Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo Thailand. It's not really a crocodile farm or zoo, more like an animal park that has lots of crocodiles and elephants. Today it was just Bow, her dad, Alexis and I. The first thing we did at Samutprakarn was take photos with a tiger! Alexis and I had been joking that we really wanted to see and touch a tiger and then 'wham'... there was a tiger! He didn't look extremely happy to see us since it was early in the morning when they first opened. Plus, the tiger had a chain collar on; which was good since he could have eaten us. 

Croc Show
We headed to watch a crocodile show next. Two Thai men did stunts with the crocodiles, like putting their heads in it's mouth and other such crazy things. People kept throwing money into the ring, which I thought was strange, and at one point in time they put all the money into the crocs mouth then grabbed it. I got some great photos I will be sure to upload later! Also, it smelled funny and I wasn't sure why.

Bow's dad then lead us to see the white tigers, lions, and bears. Yep. Bears like the good ol' USA has. 
Thai Bear
Once we saw those we all headed to the elephant show. This show was, in my opinion, one of highlights of the day. Elephants are so intelligent and it's amazing what they can do. One elephant walked on tight rope (actually it was cable), another painted a picture of a tree, some break-danced, some sat on stools, and others walked around so we could feed them bananas and fruit. It was really fantastic! I loved how they just grabbed the fruit from our hands and ate it.

Feeding an elephant!
 Once the show ended we got to go down and sit on an elephant! But, not before Alexis got mobbed by random people for photos, maybe she looks like someone famous? It was so fun to sit on the elephant - even if it was just for a minute!
Sitting on an elephant for the first time!
Elephant walking on cable
After the elephants we rented self propelled paddle boats and fed fish in the pond. It was fun to paddle around, but it was also hot! Early Alexis and I were joking that we would end up like people we watched on TV paddling one of those boats around - then behold it happened! At least we had a blue duck. That's a good thing, right? Haha.

We then all headed to go feed some crocodiles. First we started by throwing them raw meat. Alexis and I still can't figure out what sort of meat we were feeding them! Although it was gross to be handling raw meat, I'm excited to say that I have now fed a croc! The other way you feed them is by putting meat on the end of a stick with a rope, which you then throw the rope and meat over to the crocs. And hopefully you manage to not drop the stick while they drag the meat down and eat it. 

After feeding the crocs and walking around we stopped at the bird enclosure. I like looking at birds, but not necessarily feeding them. And they definitely weren't well trained birds... They would bite your fingers off! Alexis really likes birds though and in (almost) every photo it looks like she is having a full-out conversation with them. 
Alexis, Bow, and I in the bird enclosure.
Next, we all went across Bangkok and rode a river boat on the Chao Phraya River. As we rode along the river we made several different stops. First we stopped to see all of the King's fancy long boats at the Royal Barges National Museum. They were crazy beautiful and it was interesting to learn some of the history behind these boats. And yes, these are actually used by the King, but only for very special occasions.
Royal Barges National Museum  
The three of us at the museum
We also stopped on the river to fed these crazy fish bread. Fish are just so fun looking, but I dislike eating them. Terrible thing to dislike fish and go to Asia. Haha.

Feeding the Fish!
On the River
We then stopped at the Floating Market - which was great! I bought myself a gorgeous pair of purple and gold earrings. Bow's dad bought us some street food to eat and it was... interesting... Although I really enjoyed the pork we got. We traveled on the river for a while and got to see life in Thailand from a different perspective. Some of the houses we saw were really nice and some of them were less nice nice. It was neat to see none the less. 

Floating Market!
Our last stop on the river was at Wat Arun, the temple of the dawn. We got to wear Thai skirts, climb the crazy high stairs, and take a ton of fun photos. Wat Arun is super impressive considering all of the fine details that are on the temple. I was really glad that we got to see Wat Arun as it was on the list of things I really wanted to see during this trip!

Super fun posed photos! Thanks to Bow's dad for these!
After we climbed Wat Arun we headed back across the river then went to a giant mall to eat dinner with Bow's family.  I was really excited for dinner because we ate a Sizzle. Bread, baked potatoes and lots of amazing food! It was the best. I also picked up some presents in the mall for people so that was fun! Alexis also bought a Thai Harry Potter - which is awesome!
Wat Arun
Super exciting day... and it was simply fantastic!

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