The tigers, the penguins and the dragons


(13.3.2013)

Due to somewhat lack of time, one day of resting would have to do for my sore feet and Wednesday was going to be all dedicated to the Dusit Zoo. And so it was.

I got there pretty much at the opening time. Got my ticket, the map and instructions. And set to go counter-clockwise. I think I read somewhere it's the better direction to go for, tho it's officially from the end towards the start. But it doesn't really matter.

The temperature was still nice as it was quite early morning (not 6am early morning, but I do consider 8.30am early morning) and the animals were just waking up and getting their breakfast.




 



I spent significant time at the snake and reptile house but due to the light condition there and because I try to avoid taking photos through glass and windows, there's no documentation from there. But I have to say I completely fell in love with the King Cobra, it's beyond beautiful. Also, the Anaconda was pretty impressive. All the crocodiles and alligators were just the icing on the cake.
Still, I was most excited about the white tigers and my expectations were way beyond fulfilled. Those creatures are simply breath-taking.




At that time, the temperature had reached the rather unpleasant levels and staying in the shade was the priority. However, not for all.





The way led me to the nocturnal house, but before stepping in, I witnessed something that still makes me laugh manically. As I was observing other animals near the nocturnal house, I noticed a little reptile walking on a small wall nearby. It was quite beautiful and majestic and kept my interest for a while. And as it was slowly and carefully walking, it reached the end of the wall, elegantly stepped into the thin air and with completely surprised look in its eyes fell off of the wall on the ground. I literally started crying by laughter and one of the 'guards' guys standing nearby and seeing it all was laughing out loud as well. The 'What the...?!' -expression on the reptiles face when it landed on the hard ground was even more priceless. Poor little one.

I have mentioned in one of the previous posts (night jungle trip at Khao Sok NP), that the nocturnal house was in a way much more efficient than hiking through a jungle in the night trying to see something.
After the nocturnal house, I got to a place where the seal show was. Several groups of school kids have gathered there, basically each and every one of them greeting all the white people (especially the blond ones) „Hello!“ and they kept on doing it the whole day every time they saw me somewhere. Which was often, the zoo isn't THAT big. But they were nice and cute, so it actually made me grin every time I saw them.
The restaurant area followed and it was around lunch time, so I decided to discover what they had there and how much it would hurt my wallet. I was absolutely amazed to find out how cheap everything actually was there. One would expect the prices would be insane based on the fashion of 'let's get as much money out of them while they're in here', but it seemed to be the other way round. Even the prices at the 7-11 were the same, if cheaper, that outside of the zoo. Well, what do you know.

Around that time, I came across the first freely roaming water monitor and I was in love the very moment. Later on I found out there was many of them and they were all just roaming freely around the zoo. Yet again, my mind was blown. Also, I suddenly knew what the rest of the day would go to.




I walked around the whole zoo twice, maybe three times, but the truth was that I got the best pictures of most of the animals in the morning, just as I expected.




By a pure luck I discovered the museum with the ice house with penguins! And the afternoon feeding was going to be in less than an hour, so I walked around for a while, enjoying my Iced Thai Tea, and then went back. Easily one of the best three things from the whole visit, one of the best three kinds of animals I had the chance to see there.

So in case you didn't know – PENGUINS ARE ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE! It's impossible to describe, just Google some videos (of penguins falling and so on) and you will understand. And also I got to pet one :)

Then I visited the elephant show (I guess I have a problem with shows, might be because of carnivals and circuses) and then went back to the water monitors (with a few stops at the white tigers).






And soon, the sun started setting again. I easily spent nine hours at the zoo and it was nine hours very well spent.




(14.3.2013)

Thursday was the day to pick up my Visa to Vietnam. I was still taking it easy with walking, so I put my hiking shoes on instead of the sandals and took a bus. To my luck, it was one of those for free, which was nice. It dropped me fairly close to the Embassy, but still somewhere else than I expected based on the info on the website. Well, 'based on the info'... do I need to say more? No, I wasn't even surprised and just went with it.
Picking up the Visa went without any retardness on anyone's part, so I was soon headed towards the China Town and the palaces and other sights. By accident I found one Starbucks, but after discovering it's as expensive as anywhere else, I decided I can live without the orange mocha frappuccino I so desperately needed on Monday. If you have no idea why or what it means, look up “Zoolander – Orange Mocha Frappuccino” on Youtube and you shall understand why it was the thought that kept me going on Monday.

So I got my beloved Iced Thai Tea instead, some watermelon along with it and started walking towards the China Town.
And I walked and walked and walked. I once mentioned that the concept of sidewalks in Thailand is very abstract. It is. Also, the parts of the city I walked through probably never seen a foreigner before. But eventually I got to the China Town Gate and all the street markets and the subtly organized chaos and full-blown insanity.




Earlier I expressed my lack of excitement when it comes to Asian markets due to the presence of Vietnamese minority in Czech. Well, it once again demonstrated itself at the China Town. I rather stormed through as quickly as possible to get somewhere with more open spaces and preferably less people.
I got my wish granted soon enough, but there's always a catch. I didn't realize that less people means less cover and more difficult hiding from tuk-tuk and taxi drivers and all those other locals trying to sell anything and everything.
So as I was walking by the palaces (without the intention of getting anywhere inside) one of the locals started shouting at me telling me to go “That way!” which was obviously the direction for some guided tours around the palaces. I ignored him and kept on walking thinking that he would give up after few meters as they always do. Well, he didn't. He kept on walking behind me shouting “Miss! Miss, you have to go THAT way.” probably gesturing somewhere else than I was walking. After some 200m and countless shouts, I just snapped, turned to him and yelled at him that I don't want to go there. At least it worked, if nothing else.





The way from the palaces to the Tiger Shrine, to the Big Swing and then to the Democracy monument was filled with ignoring and refusing even more tuk-tuks and moped taxis and by the time I got back to the hostel I was beyond sick and tired of everything and everyone.
Later that day, I stated that right at that moment I would be happier if I would be going to the airport and back home the next morning instead of the bus terminal and to another adventure to Cambodia.

But I shook it off and once again started packing to get back on the road again.

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