Bangkok Safari World

We had booked a tour to the Safari World before we left Australia and once we’d heard about it in Bangkok from tour guides we were a bit apprehensive about going. The locals had told us about the Orang-Utan boxing show. We didn’t want to see a show where animals were harmed but we were told the animals are really well looked after so we decided to go see.
On arrival the first thing we did was drive around the safari park. The have animals roaming freely (as freely as they can in the large park area) which you drive around a circuit to watch.
These birds decided to hold up traffic

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There were lions, tigers, bears, giraffes,rhinos, and a lot of birds and smaller animals. Noticeably missing was any elephants.

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Cooling off in the tub

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Cooling off in the pool

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We the got out of our guide van and walked into the park. First stop was the Orang-Utan show. It was loud, it was tacky. The crowd enjoyed it. The animals weren’t hurt,the boxing was just play acting. But they were made to dress up and performing which we didn’t really enjoy.

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Next was a seal show. It was kind of similar. Animals doing tricks. Very loud, fairly tacky.

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They day was going to continue like this, show after show for the rest of the day. We told the guide we weren’t going to do any more shows and arranged to meet them after the last show of the day.  We found walking around by ourselves and exploring much more enjoyable.
We found a feeding platform where for 50 baht (less than $2Aus) you got a small bucket of food to hand feed the giraffes and we were the only two people there as everyone else was off watching the shows.

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There were so so many giraffes.

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Then there were the cute animals. The  common marmoset was a miniature monkey that let me scratch his belly through the cage. I didn’t get a photo. The lemurs were also fun.

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Then there was this cute guy. He wasn’t in a cage. We saw him climb down from the trees and then eat the bird seeds.

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The zoo had heaps of macaws. That had a cage you could go into where they were housed (but you were sill separate) and I estimate there were 200 birds. There also had some near the entrance to the park which were not in cages.

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They have a breeding program for the macaws at the park. We went and saw where the eggs and baby birds are kept in incubators. We also saw the careers feed the baby birds which has to happen every 3 hours. Basically the use a syringe blank to inject the food mixture into the baby birds mouth.

One big fish.

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Something to be proud of

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I’m so brave

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They have a carp pond at the park where you can feed them. There were so many carp that the ones on the top were being pushed up out of the water.

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The negative side of the park for us was seeing a pair of baby tiger cubs in a small cage on wheels, being taken around the park for tourists to pay to have their photo taken with them. The cubs look dirty tired and hot. Definitely not the same clean well feed and content looking animals we saw at the Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai. They also had 3 baby elephants chained up, again so tourists could pay to have photos. The elephants were rocking from side to side, a sign of stress.
After the park it was the long drive home in Bangkok traffic. We didn’t go all the way to the hotel but instead caught the sky train the last part of our trip back to the hotel.

Paew Floating Market Dumnoen Sakuak

The main part of todays outing was to see the floating markets. We got into a boat with a huge motor on the back and went for a cruise around the canals. We finished our cruise at the floating markets. The markets used to be where the farmers would sell their produce. Today its just for the tourists.

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Most of the things for sale are in the buildings next to the canal, but you can still buy some things from the boats.

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One woman was cooking coconut pancakes. We tried them. Very sweet.

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After the tour it was time to return to our hotel. Thanks to Bangkok traffic this took hours. In the end we left our tour minivan and caught the sky train to the station near our hotel as it was quicker.

Coconut Farm

On the way to the floating markets we stopped off at a coconut farm and were shown how to make coconut sugar. I didn’t know there was such a thing. The coconut trees yield 70 coconuts a year and produce fruit for 90 years. All the coconuts are picked by hand, no machines. I demonstrated how to climb the bamboo pole to reach the coconuts.

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The coconut sugar isn’t produced from the coconut. Its actually from the flower stem that the coconut grows from. The farmer cuts off a piece of the flower stem and juice flows out. They tie a container underneath it to catch the fluid.

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The fluid flows better at night. So each evening the cut a little more of the flower stem to get more juice. They stop cutting just before the coconut seed so that the coconuts still grow.
They take the juice and put it into three vats. First warms it up, then hotter, then hottest.

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The hottest have a basket to stop the fluids from escaping when boiling.

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The fires are kept going by burning coconut husks.

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Once the cooking process is gone they stir the mixture to cool it down.

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Once it starts getting thick they put into small bowls to set. The finished product is coconut sugar. It a brown powdery substance that is sweet like sugar.
Also at the farm they had some gibbons, and a pair of squirrels.

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Maeklong Station

On this mornings tour we went to a different market. The markets sold fresh food and flowers. Really fresh. Like the crabs and fish were still moving fresh.

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This smells were almost overpowering. And not in a good way. But the really interesting thing is that these markets are run on a working train line. They actually stuff on the train track.

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Here comes the train! Time to remove the awnings.

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Woo woo train passing

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And in about 10 seconds of the train passing the awnings are up and its back to business. The heavy carts are on wheels which allow them to be quickly rolled away from the passing train.

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Bangkok sights and MBK

After our temple tour we asked to be dropped off the the MBK centre. Its a huge shopping centre of, I think, 6 floors. While its enclosed and air conditioned like a shopping centre inside are very small shops, more like stalls. And in many of the shops you can haggle the price. The 4th floor is just electronics equipment.
When we’d had enough shopping we walked to the nearby Sky rail (train) station. Our tickets cost 25 baht (30baht= $1 AUD) to get us back to our hotel which was only 4 stops away.
Traffic in Bangkok is crazy. To many cars and too many traffic jams.

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Saw this post office box and thought it was amusing

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Power cables look crazy here too.

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