Tiger Temple…is that it?
I felt like a jerk even as I asked the question.
“How do I get to ‘Tiger Temple’ and is it worth it?”
I didn’t mean to sound like that guy. The one who is really saying “I’ve, like, traveled so much that, like, temples and stuff just don’t impress me any more. I’m THAT worldly. It has to be really amazing to be worth my time.”
I meant “Is it something ‘real’ or an amusement-parky tourist trap for people like me whose day-tours are cancelled by bad weather and find themselves with a day to burn in Krabi, Thailand?”
That’s barely better. But Thailand…has had a lot of tourism.
The grungy guesthouse owner (grungy guesthouse that is, the owner looked like he showers sometimes) replied that it was definitely worth it, so I took the shared pick-up taxi/truck (called a sŏrngtăaou in Thailand) to a large gold dome with a skeletal structure crouching above it in unfinished concrete that looked more like a municipal water tower than a temple. Or maybe the secondary entrance to a baseball park built in the early 1980s.
At the bottom were two large tiger statues that would fit in just fine outside a carnival ride, bubble gum stuck to the bottoms of their “menacing” claws, and rings on their backs from where people set down their slushies.
Oh dear. It’s worse than I feared.
The tigers were guarding a room with a nun so bored she was basically sleeping, and at least a dozen donation boxes. Subtle.
Then the Russians arrived. That helped a bit. The last couple years have shown the Russians to be the Next Big Wave. The previous wave was bed bugs.
Russian tourists haven’t yet learned that you don’t have to take a picture with your head in the tiger’s mouth. At a temple. (I admit the likely existence of hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures of Westerners doing the exact same thing. But come one….they’re Russian. They’re so much fun to give a hard time.)
I tried to flirt with one, just because how great would THAT be? But she could only giggle and say “I…English no.”
I climbed to the top past innumerable scatterings of bird shit and stagnant puddles gathering on the poorly-graded concrete steps.
Halfway there were some little bells. That was kinda pretty. (Sigh.)
I kept expecting to hear “The starting lineup for the visiting Cleveland Indians…” but there was only wind and the faint metal taps of the bells now below me. At the top was an altar in a dreary room of puddles, bat squeaks, and pigeon shit. Stacks of rebar lay around, rusting away without ever being installed. There’s something so tragic about that, no?
I wrote my little message in the dust. There was plenty of space beside the two Spaniards who quieren each other very much.
Time to go home I guess.
Then I noticed the peeking golden glints of a temple on top of the hill high overhead, and I could just see steep flights of stairs ascending the sheer cliffside. Ohhhhh. Now you’re talking!
I headed that way…
hilarious review )
Thanks! It was a nice outing. Oh, that reminds me, I need to post the second half! Jeez…where is my head?
” Russian tourists haven’t yet learned that you don’t have to take a picture with your head in the tiger’s mouth. ” If I use this, do I have to quote you? Another fine description. I love the build up and then the ending. You are such a vagabond!
Don’t quote me if you’re saying it to any touchy Russians…they’re not famous for their senses of humor. Crap, I’m making it worse! Glad you enjoyed!
Excellent writing. Enjoyed every bit of description :).
And thanks for opening my eyes…. The west enters who are doing the funky stuff and clicking pictures at tourist places are “Russians” and not Japanese, Korean or Americans ;))))… Lol…have Lived in 3 different countries and believe me the quoting lines are bizzare when referring to different cultures or countries …..lol…what a tickle.:)
Thanks! And I’m jealous of you living in three countries! I need a third… It’s a unique way to experience a country.
I play a game of trying to guess the nationalities of other tourists…I have a decent success rate for Israelis and Spaniards…unless they’re singing in a drunken huddle, of course, then they’re Russian. ; )
Lol…… Drunken Huddle… Loved it:))… I forget what nationality I am when I am in that drunken huddle …:D
Maybe it’s the great harmonizer, where nationalities, religious and political preferences fade away, and nothing matters but the song…and staying upright.
I meant Westeners and not west enters… Damn the auto check!
I was curious about that…it was very poetic. ; )
Thoroughly entertaining! And I love the mention of the Cleveland Indians. 😉 They are trying so hard to take first place, but seem deemed to hold second this year. Can’t wait for your next installment! 🙂
It took me a little while to pick a team for that. (I actually researched which teams were the least popular..!) I miss baseball! The second half of the day to follow if this internet connection can manage it…
That was amusing.
I must say that, for me, the cherry is that “pigeon shit and the free market economics thereof” is evidently referred to often enough to merit its own category. 🙂
Ha! I’m glad someone noticed that. It merited a tag once, years ago, and ever since then I’ve kind of been hoping to work it onto another post…it was a bit of a stretch, but I figured this one was close enough!
A picture with my head in a tiger’s mouth – clearly I haven’t lived!
Put it on the Bucket List!