… I had the pleasure to meet personally last week in the Sriracha Tiger Zoo.
This gorgeous tigress was posing for pictures with tourists. I was debating with myself for a long time whether it would be morally ok, because the animal gets tied down with a very short chain for the pictures and I was watching the proceedings for quite a while before deciding to do it. In the end I gave in to temptation – when do you ever get a chance to scratch a big cat behind the ears?
She’s only chained for the 5 or 6 minutes it takes to take the picture and every tiger is only “on duty” for 2 hours maximum per day, so I decided it would be ok. Shortly before this picture was taken, the lady was lying on her back, her paws in the air and as far as I know cats they don’t do this when they don’t feel ok.
The Sriracha Zoo has more than 300 Bengal Tigers which are kept and bred under very good conditions. The animals are procreating happily which I also interpret as a sign that they are happy. Sadly, tigers are an endangered species and Sriracha’s breeding success is hopefully a contribution to keep these beautiful animals around for a little longer. Many zoos from all over the world purchase tigers in Sriracha and they use the money to maintain and expand the zoo.
Our visit to the tiger zoo was the absolute highlight of this vacation for me. Tigers are just the most beautiful animals on earth – I could watch them for hours. And to see so many at a time – fantastic! Luckily my dear Prince Charming is also a cat fanatic otherwise he would have spent a very boring day.
And of course I absolutely wanted to take home this little cutie … I had to sit down for a few minutes with tears in my eyes afterwards just because something so beautiful exists and I had the great luck to experience it. The little one was purring all the time and he was VERY greedy (doesn’t this seem familiar somehow?)
I didn’t really want to give him up, but of course I had to. Our two mini-tigers at home would certainly have objected if I brought them a new “friend”.
BTW I did not cut my hair short, it’s just pinned up because of the heat. And the same heat also destroyed my make-up every day. No matter how much stuff you put on your face, after half an hour everything is just melting away. In the end I just stopped bothering … nobody knows me in Thailand anyway 😉 .
What else can I tell you of Thailand? Not much, admittedly as we were veeeery lazy.
We stayed in the most notorious location: in Pattaya. And all I can say is, what the media tell you is not true. Yes, there are bars, yes, there are nightclubs. But all of this we have in Germany as well and worse because it comes in a package with criminals and drug abuse, which is not the case in Thailand.
We did go to the notorious “walking street” at nighttime – this is, where the best live bands are playing. And, honestly it’s just a big party, that’s all. You can move around safely, even as a single woman.
We had a wonderful, quiet hotel in the north of Pattaya, we met wonderful people, we listened to excellent live music (a disappearing art in Germany), we enjoyed fantastic food and had a good time all around.
On top of that we enjoyed a few relaxing spa treatments, went shopping at very reasonable prices (a few yards of silk among other things, yippie) and did … well … a lot of nothing for quite a long time. It was just perfect.
Next time I am going to do some serious sightseeing and all that stuff, honestly. But everyone is entitled to a little bit of lazyness every now and then, no?