Outside Bangkok

Elephant ride outside Bangkok

We spent one day doing things in the countryside around Bangkok. We hired a driver and guide to take us to the floating market, the “tiger temple,” an elephant ride, and the bridge over the River Kwai.

Water Buffalo cooling off

 After the floating market, we went to the tiger temple. Unfortunately, it seemed to be set up entirely for tourists and it was questionable how well the animals were treated.  There are many websites dedicated to this discussion, so I won’t get into it, but needless to say, the only reason to go is if you want to pet a tiger. The whole experience consists of the monks walking the tiger down to a pit and then helping people take photos with them. They warn you not to wear red as that will make the tigers angry. I questioned the monks bright orange robes, but they seemed to survive so I guess the tigers can distinguish.

Tiger Temple

On the grounds are also water buffalo and a few friendly deer that will eat corn out of your hands. There are also so tiger cubs which were pretty adorable.

Tiger Temple

After the tiger temple, our guide took us to a park nearby where we could hand feed some monkeys with corn. They had obviously encountered many tourists because they had no qualms about stealing the food right out of your fingers if you weren’t careful. But once again, adorable. I love monkeys.

Monkey!

 Next, was the quintessential Thailand experience – the elephant ride.  We fed some elephants with coconuts  and it was amazing to see them eat them like it was a peanut. It would have taken me an hour to crack through a coconut shell and this elephant took it down in about a second. The ride was nice enough and included a walk through a river which was pretty cool.

Guide on an Elephant

Our last stop, was the bridge over the River Kwai.made famous by a movie and book about the events that transpired during World War II.  Apparently British POWs were forced to build to the bridge by the Japanese. Many many POWs died during its construction giving it the name “Death Railroad.”

Bridge over the River Kwai
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