Sunday, November 04, 2007

Creatures of Thailand (part 1)

The SO and I took a short trip to Thailand's north east province of Nakhon Ratchasima (aka Ratsima or Khorat or Korat). The NE is also known as Issan, and is supposedly the poorest province in the whole of Thailand. Korat is a rather ulu industrialised town, and is not a popular tourist destination, but that was why we wanted to visit. :)

Here are some of the creatures that we met on the trip...mostly cats, of course.

We met this tuxedo kitten (about 7-mth young) on a Sunday, and he was just sitting along the 5-foot way all by himself. He didn't look malnourished, but had a little bit of matted hair. We cleaned him up a bit and tried to look for some cat food for him, but alas, the pet food shop that's just 4 doors away was closed.

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See how friendly and affectionate he is?
This being our first day in Korat, we didn't know that we could buy cooked fish from the nearby market for the kitty. Anyway, when we walked back later, the kitty was gone.

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At the market, I was dismayed to see buckets of these tortoises and eels as well as caged birds for sale. I asked the seller if they were meant as food, and in our mix of sign language communication, I understood that they were used for 放生 purpose, as the Buddhists believe in "letting free" of live animals to accumulate good merits.

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But hor, after being set free, these animals could still be caught again to be re-sold for another round of "freedom".

As we walked along the busy street near the memorial, we saw this pet puppy which was absolutely irresistible!

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The Thais love their dogs, and many of them pedigrees and mutts are kept as pets. We even saw 3 or 4 pet dogs and 3 pet cats living harmoniously together in one household!

Here's a cat at the Wat (temple) where the monks were having their mid-morning food (at 11am) which was donated by some local residents. The friendly cat just came to us when called, with his tail held high. He was so sweet and allowed me to wipe the stuff that's stucked to his face...without resistance.

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After the monks have had their food, the donors proceeded to lay out the rest of the food on the floor mat for their own consumption. They very kindly invited us to join them for lunch (yes, they spoke English in this town where English is rarely spoken and farangs are still a novelty). Though I was quite tempted to try out their home-cooked food, we politely declined and left them to eat in peace. Actually, it was SO who was so fast in declining (while I was still hesitating) coz he was afraid of not knowing the proper way to behave while eating with them. Haha!

We saw this nice butterfly near the garden area of the Wat.

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In the afternoon, we made a side trip to Dan Kwian, a pottery village about 15km away, and SO met these lovely though shy kitties.

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Ahh...the first Siamese cat has been sighted! I think the white-grey kitty was drinking from the pot of water plants.

There were kitties of another sort too.

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Back at Korat's main town, while going out for supper, we saw tuxedo kitten again and thought we must absolutely find some food for him, in case no one had fed him, as most of the shops on that stretch were closed on Sunday. I scrambled into the market and luckily, managed to find a stall selling grilled fish! Bought the fish for 15 baht, and after taking a bite, I too, agree the fish was yummy! The grilled fish was warm and very tender.

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Eh...while SO was having his supper of noodle soup at the roadside stall, this baby elephant came along, begging for food. Since logging was banned by the government, many working elephants have become jobless, and as a last resort, their owners had resorted to taking their elephants to the city streets to beg for food and donations to upkeep the elephants.

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I made the mistake of allowing baby elephant to shake my hand, and it was major "Ouch!!". They have strong trunks, even for a baby!


KXBC said...

We always carry a pack of dry cat food (buy those with resealable bags) with us when we travel. 1kg of extra weight is not really comfortable but it's worth it when the kitties have their fill.

Yu Yan said...

Yes, I agree with kxbc! And the Siamese Cat is so beautiful!

san said...

Thnaks for sharing such a lovely experience with us :)

auntie p said...

I forgot to reply earlier.

kxbc: That's a good idea, although some cats don't quite know how to eat dry food, esp. in areas where they are mostly fed a diet of fish with rice, so wet food is almost always welcome.

San: Glad you enjoyed it. :)

kuro.shiro.neko said...

er.. no korat cats?? how can???

anyway, looks like you and SO had a good time... but hor, the baby elephant so poor thing hor...

auntie p said...

ksn, we did meet one korat cat at night...but only one, and the photo was rather blur.

Akan datang hor.