24.09.2011 - 24.09.2011 30 °C
Wow its been a while! The internet in the new hostel we moved to was down for a few days so i couldn't update my blog, this entry covers the last few days and is in two parts, also cant get spell check working on this so please ignore any mistakes!!
On Saturday we decided to head out and see some tigers in Tiger Kingdom. We walked to the Tiger Kingdom resturant on the Moonmumg road thinking that the tigers might be there although in retrospect that was a bit mental as a tiger sanctuary in the middle of the old city of Chiang Mai makes no sense! The resturant manager greeted us at the door and after a chat about the tiger park he gave us directions and organised a tuk-tuk at a discounted price for a round trip, 250 baht (£5) for both of us which is pretty good!
Tiger Kingdom is in Mae Rim around 10km, 20mins by tuk-tuk and the journey out was brilliant. We sped along the main roads of the city and watched as the landscape beyoned Chiang Mai opened up to the Thiland you see on postcards wilst our driver Mr. Khayan Maneekhat (who gave us his card after the trip) had the craic with us about Ireland and the weather in Chiang Mai. He dropped us outside the park entrance and went off to park his tuk tuk and wait for us. We were greated by very friendly and helpfull staff who explained how the attraction worked, you purchased tickets based on the size of tiger you wanted to see and there are three different sizes ranging from small cubs to huge tigers, with a discount for purchasing more than one. We opted for the smallest and largest tigers and paid around 800 baht each, just under £20. The small tigers were up first and they were unbelievably cute, you were allowed into a large cage with around four cubs roaming around playing and sleeping, and you are told that you cant pick them up or pet their heads.
We took loads of pictures and the experience was amazing. The big tigers were in a larger outdoor enclosure and most of them were chilling in the miday heat. The staff stayed close by and again you were advised not to touch their heards or approach them directly from the front as they see that as either you want to play or fight (i guess people picking these guys wasnt somthing they had to worry about!). It was unreal seeing the tigers up close and getting to take photos with them and i would definately reccomend it if you visit Chiang Mai!
As the buffet in the park resturant was closing as we arrived we opted for some food in the Tiger Kingdom Restaurant when our lovely tuk tuk driver dropped us back, the food there is great and they pride themselves on being one of the cheapest restaurants to eat in Chiang Mai according to the manager who was extremely friendly and welcoming when we returned.
After our meal we headed to the Saturday market on Wua Lai Road, one of the main attractions in Chaing Mai. You can buy a whole range of awesome crafts and clothing and food here and it seemed to go on forever! You are expected to barter for your goods, so never accept the asking price, go around 20-30% lower and work to a middle point with the sellers as Its all part of the experience. we bought a few chang for the walk and the old lady who sold us them wrapped them in magazine paper to make sure we didnt get in any trouble which was cool of her! "She Knows the craic" as my mate Fitzy would say .
We went to the night bazzar after the Saturday market located down in the new city along the front Central Kad Saun Kaew street and had some more pad thai and Chang beer at the Anusam market along the Chang Klan road at a place beside where the cabaret show plays each night. The boys and girls all dressed as girls or erm..ladyboys..are a sight to behold as they blow kisses at the passers by hoping to entice them into a show. We got a few more Chang at the 7 eleven shop and headed back to the hostel where we ran into the Gill the owner and ended up heading to a french resturant/ pool hall next door called L'orchidee and had the craic with a mix of french and thai people. Once it closed we chilled back at the hostel with Gill and a mix of other travellers from all over the world.