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My First Time as A Tour Guide to Kanchanaburi

spinning-tiger

Dec 29, 2012

Hey Jane,

It’s been quite long I didn’t write to you.

Anyway, I’m here to tell you what happen with me. I just got back from Kanchanaburi again yesterday. For this time, I did not go there to visit my family, but I took a tour group there instead. Yeah! It was the first time for me to go solo with a group of tourists as a tour guide. From the program tour, I have to take them to The Bridge of River Kwai, having lunch near the bridge, and then take them to the Tiger Temple. I think I should skip to talk about Kanchanaburi before you sick of it, but I will tell you how the Tiger Temple was. I confess that it was the first time I get to know this Tiger Temple.

It looked like an opened zoo but just not many kinds of animals. Unlike regular temple where neighbors usually left cats or dogs at the temple when they didn’t want them, this temple the villagers started to leave animals like peacocks, an injured wild boar, then followed by deers, buffalos, cows, horses and wild goats. Later, the weirdest one was a tiger cub, a female tiger. A local saved the baby tiger from selling in black market after her mother was killed by a hunter. She was in serious condition and given to the monk. Unfortunately, it’s sad that she died a few months later. Few weeks later, however, the temple got two more male cubs, and then more and more.

My uncle who lives in Kanchanaburi is a handcraft. You know, because Kanchanaburi was truly tropical rainforest, there were many wild animals here. About ten years ago, he got deer antlers from his friend. His friend asked him to make deer-head-wall mount – creating deer head with real deer antlers. At that time, it was a popular collection for hanging dear head on the wall in the house. My uncle made many of them. He made it so real that I used to think may be his friend cut deer head off and gave it to him. It was easy to get wild animals in Kanchanaburi, caused hunters hunted them more to trade with high values.

deer-head-wall-mount
A Deer Head Wall Mount at My Uncle’s House

      Get back on track!  I’m talking about Tiger Temple.

It’s unbelievable that tigers in the temple looked so tame. Anyone can touch, pet on the back, raise the tail up and even put tiger head on the lap of tourists. I don’t have any photos of myself with the tigers because I didn’t wait in line for taking photos. While I was waiting behind the fence, I kept looking like waiting for a sign of disorder in this area or the screams of tourists if anything gone wrong. Luckily, nothing happened.

tiger-on-the-lap-at-tiger-temple
A tiger reclining on a lap of a visitor

      When talking about wild animals, I remember that after my sister got back from a trip in South Africa, she told me how excited she was. She got pictures with a cheetah. She said it was a scariest time in her life because she had to get in to the cage with a cheetah and a staff. Many strict rules to take a picture with unleash cheetah, such as do not pet him and also you need to sit in the right position for getting up and running anytime.

Normally, I’m not fear of any animals but please don’t ask me to take a photo with wild animals like a tiger, a snake, a bear, a crocodile, a monkey or even a gibbon. Big no no, I am afraid I were the first person who a tiger wanted to play high five with.

Tiger: “high five”
Me:     ….
Tiger: “Down low”
Me:     ….
Tiger: “Too slow”
Me: (eaten by tiger)

Love you,
Nina

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