02 March 2009 | Phuket
Unfortunately Miss Pat's English and my Thai did not come to a meeting of the minds and we arrived at 9:30 AM for the 2:30 PM class. But fortunately the Phuket Zoo was only 10 minutes away.
When we were in Bangkok for 3 days I tried to tempt the girls into spend at least one of them with cultural activities. My choice was the Tiger Temple 3 hours NW of the city where the monks have created a preserve for homeless, orphaned, or damaged tigers. The critters are so docile that tourists are allowed to walk with them in their valley. Now how cool would that be? But the girls were having nothing doing with shopping, eating, & clubbing tethering them to the city. So when I heard about petting the tigers at the Phuket zoo, I was all for it. The father was regal, gorgeous, soft and a bit stoned. The month old cub sat in your lap and played like a kitten.
As zoos go Phuket is relatively small but the animals exhibited were meticulously cared for with a great deal of love, which was in return reciprocated by the animals. The walkways and enclosures were well landscaped with flowers cascading down the enclosures' rocks. Fountains and streams cooled the animals as well as the visitors. I'm sure space in the middle of Phuket Town is premium, but many of the animals seemed cramped in the small spaces provided. After having visited the Singapore Zoo recently where enclosures were huge to the point of being invisible, one is apt to feel sorry for Phuket's critters.
Chers to the adorable elephants! KK