Sunday May 15th - Bangkok
Three hours of sleep, should have been four and a half but we (Brandon) set the alarm incorrectly. Lindsay made us work out anyway. After a filling breakfast in the club lounge at the Renaissance, we headed downstairs to start our day. We pleasantly found our tour guide Kung (wearing a playboy bunny polo)waiting for us in the lobby.
After a brief intro , the driver pulled around and we were on our way to the train and floating markets.
Train markets: Local market based on a set of train tracks that transport locals throughout the area. Market items (spices, meat, fish, veg, fruits,etc.) were abundant. Items were laid directly on the train tracks. We were able to get a view of some fresh catches including shark and king crab. Every two hours the train passes through and the locals move their market items off the track briefly, replacing items when the train passes. We purchased nine eels that we would later release in the canal to bring good balance to our professional careers.
Floating markets: After the train market we ventured to the floating market. We rented a boat and a driver to paddle us through the small, winding canals. This local market sold everything from food to souvenirs. Many locals drifted in their boats while preparing recipes (i.e., mango and sticky rice).
Tiger temple: Now this is where the fun began. The Tiger Temple was built in 1994 and houses around 100 tigers plus many other random animals. As we arrived at the temple, Kung preceded to tell us a story about how one of her clients was bit by a tiger. This made us feel very comfortable. When you arrive you are given an opportunity to take pictures with tigers ranging from 5 months (small) to full male adult tigers (450 lbs). After the photo shoot you can walk the 450 lb tigers by a dogs leash, completely safe!
Elephant bath: Given it was such a hot day, we decided to take a bath with "Full Moon," an Asian elephant. As an introduction we gave her a few treats (bananas). She carried us down to the local river, sprayed us with water and threw us around by her trunk.
Thai cuisine: Lucky for us, our Kung took us to an excellent local restaurant where we tasted some excellent green curry pork and pad thai.