Friday, February 21, 2014

Lions and Tigers and Bears

Or just tigers.

This was the number one best thing I did in Thailand. We went to the Tiger Temple where I got to spend time feeding and playing with tiger cubs. Amazing.

We arrived around noon, right when the temple opened. This was perfect because we got to spend time with the tigers before they were walked down to the canyon at 1:30. Everyone ends up in the canyon where you can take numerous photos with the tigers.

I signed up for a program to feed the tiger cubs. Eight of us were taken in to a large enclosure to play with the cubs. There were four 1-month olds and one 3-month old. 

We had to take off our shoes and were told to sit on the floor. The tiger cubs started walking all over us.  They made a very funny, high pitched squeal if you picked them up. They were adorable. 

A bit later, a volunteer came in with warm bottles so we could feed the cubs. This is the 3-month old. He was a messy eater. 

After eating, the younger cubs played a bit and then started to fall asleep. Did I mention yet that they were adorable?

Look at that belly!

After the program ended (45 adorable-filled minutes), we went down to the canyon to take pictures with the big cats. This one is my favorite!

Oh, Leonardo

From Krabi, we caught a ferry to go visit the Phi Phi Islands (a place almost completely decimated by the 2004 tsunami). The islands are located in the Andaman Sea in between Krabi and Phukett. 

Mosquito Island? No, thanks.

The ferry dropped us off on Phi Phi Don, the larger of the two islands. I was particularly looking forward to going to Phi Phi Leh. Because of this guy:

The movie The Beach was filmed there in a place named Maya Bay. So after checking into our hotel on Phi Phi Don, we hired a long boat to take us to Maya Bay. 

On the way there, we stopped to see some monkeys, because well, why not?

Another boat had brought food and bottles of water. The monkeys are so smart, they figured out how to open them. 

About 20 minutes later we arrived at Maya Bay. Just look at the color of the water! It was pretty incredible.

It was super hot and so we went to sit in the water. It was very shallow so you could go quite a ways out and still be only knee deep in the water. 

Maya Bay is very popular with tourists. We were lucky enough to arrive in the mid afternoon, after most of the tourists had caught the last ferry back to Phukett or Krabi. 

On the other end of the island is a small lookout providing you with this view. I have dubbed it Gumdrop Island.

So yeah, Maya Bay rocked. My only criticism? No Leo. Seems like false advertising if you ask me.