The day we walked to Thailand

5 Mar

We went for breakfast at a little place by the sea and whilst we were there, we found a book of things to do in Koh Kong. One of them was to go to the zoo near the border of Thailand. As it happened, we were eating just near the bridge to get across so we decided that rather than go back and get that bike from our guesthouse, we’d get a tuktuk across. We hadn’t appreciated that it was 12km each way so weren’t expecting the driver to tell us it was $15…so we said no we’d walk.”You can’t walk, it’s 12km.”

Well now you’ve told us not to do something, we’re going to do it. So we started walking…”Ok, ok, $12″. “No, we’re walking. Thanks”. “Ohhhh. Ok. It’s 12km!!” “That’s alright, we need the walk. Goodbye.” We walked off.

“Hey! You! $10?”

“No, we’ll walk. Thank you.”

“…Tuktuk?”

So off we walked to within 500m of the border of Thailand.

What we saved by walking may have been cancelled out by the amount we had to drink just to get there…including this

which tasted like “cigarette juice” according to Craig.

We didn’t see anyone else walking, but assumed that this was because walking was the intelligent decision favoured only by the knowledgeable few. The knowledgeable few who remembered that when you get to the zoo, you also have to walk around that…

But when we did get there (after seeing the tuktuk driver zip past several times, waving cheerfully to us each time), we were glad we didn’t pay to be driven over as it was $12 each – the most expensive entrance fee we’ve seen whilst we’ve been away I think. But when we looked round, it was clear they’d spent a lot of money on the enclosures and exhibits so we didn’t feel too bad.

 

I was expecting to see very small cages and sad looking animals given the standard of animal care here, but most of the animals looked happy enough, well fed and cared for and in reasonably sized enclosures. The smallest cage was the sea eagle’s…I guess they thought if they gave him a big enough cage to fly in no one would be able to see him, but it does seem weird they gave an enormous cage to the peacocks (who don’t fly much) and a tiny cage to a massive bird like the eagle. They also had animals shows on every couple of hours. The guidebook had warned us that these wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste, so we weren’t surprised when we went to investigate the orangutan show, the orangutan outside was wearing a dress and made to pose with people for pictures. We had a look at the set for the show and saw “Orangutan Boxing Match!”. We decided to give it a miss in favour of looking at the ostriches. You could get really close to the animals in most enclosures

 

Got to feed bambis sweet potatoes!

One of the more special exhibits.

There was a massive electric fence seperating the tigers from each other’s pens…and a tiny little metal railing seperating them from us!

Direction…or instruction?

 

They wouldn’t let us have a go on this for some reason. Maybe they knew it was our intent to steal it and pedal it around SE Asia. To Australia the Stupid Way?

We did relent and get a motorbike back each from the zoo. When we got back to the guesthouse and told Paddy that we’d walked to the zoo he at first didn’t believe us and then just kept asking “why” :)

We spent a nice night with the guys at the guesthouse, helping Mara get on Facebook and setting up his email account. This is his new profile picture

Mai, the lady that works there, took me under her wing and re-patched up my foot, gave me eucalyptus oil for my million bites (which I swapped for a nail varnish which she seemed pretty pleased with) and gave me a back massage. Mara said that when we come back we can build ourselves a house on his land near Kampot…an offer he may regret making!

We also booked bus tickets to Battambang for the morning – not realising we had to go back to Phnom Penh first because the Cardamom mountains are pretty inaccessible by road and it would take ages. So an epic 12 hour 2-bus journey later, we finally arrived here having been invited to attend a Cambodian wedding by one of the guys we met on the bus. It turned out that the offer wasn’t serious but little did we know we’d be gate-crashing one 14 hours later…

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