TRAVEL IN THAILAND

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January,16

Sawatdii khrap in other words, Hello

Today is the first day... From Tbilisi to Kiev... from Kiev to Bangkok... I landed at 6 o’clock in the morning and before the plane landed the pilot informed us that there were 27 degrees in Bangkok ...

From the Airport I went straight to the Damnoen Saduak floating market, which is about 100 kilometers from Bangkok.

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StartFragmentThere is a huge turmoil from 10 to 12 in the morning. A needle can’t even be dropped in the tourist area :) Though there are more Thai tourists than foreignersEndFragment

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I could find only two hotels on this territory. I settled down in one of them and there is only me in the entire hotel and the employees who keep telling me “No English” with great joy :) It’s very difficult when you have to communicate only by using body language and not only at the hotel...

Perhaps a question can hit your mind here: If there are so many tourists, why aren’t there any hotels? The answer is simple - Because nobody stays here... They just go boating, eat the food prepared on the boats and then their time is over. Then they have to pass ahead to visit at least two or three tourist attractions and go back to Bangkok. I’m so grateful that they have even this hotel :))))

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StartFragmentTwo more surprises are waiting for me :) One is that there was no telephone to call to Georgia and I found the Internet only after searching for about an hour... I was used to the notices “Hotel”, “Internet”, “Phone” on every step in India... Here you should set your mind on the Thai wave... :)EndFragment

StartFragmentMercedes can complain to the Thai cook for illegal use of the design :))))EndFragment

StartFragmentIt doesn’t matter if there are not some things.... What is important is that they have a Terminator and you can take photos with him just for about 1.50 laries and you’ll be happy :)))) P.S. and the Terminator will be happy as well :))))EndFragment

THAI_DIARIES

StartFragmentTomorrow I’m going to see those places where they don’t expect the tourists and I’ll see the natural life of Thailand... Life is wonderful....EndFragment

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January,17

Thailand – Smile Country

The day started with a lot of smiles today ....Consequently, such kind of beginning has positive effect on everything :)))

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I recommend to visit Thailand to those who are on a fruit diet :)

Note that a kilo of banana is about 50 tetris !!!

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StartFragmentBefore spotting the places I had to take care of food. After trying to explain me for a very long time what kind of bird meat the cook was offering me, all his tryings were in vain ... However, it was very delicious :))EndFragment

StartFragmentI’ve walked so much today that I’ve got a sunburn :) I got rid of the tourist chaos and went along the streets.... Here, as a rule, is more interesting and natural atmosphere .... I came across this creature :) Which in fact didn’t seem quite cute :))EndFragment

StartFragmentAnd these are the inhabitants of one of the rivers...EndFragment

StartFragmentSome dogs are quite lucky :)))EndFragment

StartFragmentThe Family bathingEndFragment

THAI_DIARIES

StartFragmentI suppose that I’ll stay in Damnoen Saduak for one more day. The people here left a very positive impression on me. They treat everyone very kindly. It doesn’t matter whether you are from here or from other country :)))EndFragment

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January, 20

Bangkok

StartFragmentAll of you must be interested what is the feeling like when you roll the Python around your neck with your own hands :))) It’s neither light nor slippy, and fortunately not even aggressive :) First of all ask about if it is hungry or not :) Or believe me it can justify its name :)))EndFragment

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StartFragmentThis is the vehicle that can go round the whole town for only 2-3 dollars.EndFragment

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It appeared that there was very interesting “Elephant Show”...

They dance, they draw, they walk on two feet , they play on the harmonica and...

They have learned each action by the means of physical pain.... and we all like this and “clap” hands!!!!

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And this is the instrument the elephants are very afraid of...

Even a tiny mistake and it knows that it will be hurt

It appeared a little sad story but this is true ...

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StartFragmentI do love this animalEndFragment

StartFragmentThe sun has set..... It got dark.... I thought that the photo-hunting finished... when I suddenly came across these three smiling faces :)))) Neither of them was sober :))EndFragment

StartFragmentLaugh is their contact language... And not just simple laugh :)) They laughed on every answer so loudly and boisterously that I instinctively accompanied this EndFragment

StartFragmentI’ll fall asleep soon like this :)))) I’m flying to Chiang Mai” at the first light tomorrow, to the North....EndFragment

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January,22

I can’t say that this is an ordinary morning... Today my dream will come true. Consequently, my heart is beating faster... Before arriving to the destination point, they stopped at the so called “Orchid farm”. It’s the perfect place for those who love flowers. It’s very beautiful to see a huge amount of Orchids in one place.

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StartFragmentAnd here they are! – Those who I was looking to see for so many yearsEndFragment

THAI_DIARIES

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“Giraffe woman”

“Pa-Dong”

„Long Necks“

The people of this strange

tribe are called so ...

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StartFragmentThey are refugees, live in Myanmar and now have moved to the North of ThailandEndFragment

StartFragmentIt’s the hottest village... The houses are built of bamboo and straw.... Only the exclamations of children who were smudged by the soil disturbed the strange silence.... It’s morning in the Long-Neck village....EndFragment

StartFragmentKnitting and making some souvenirs to catch the eyes of tourists is their main activity ...EndFragment

StartFragmentMen work very hard... In other words, they roll threads and sing :)EndFragment

StartFragmentThis little girl will be added a ring on her neck every year and will walk with pride... with her head raised high... And even if she wanted to, she couldn’t bend down her head.EndFragment

StartFragmentAfter travelling about 30 minutes from the long-necked village, I appeared in the radically different world... the “Buddha Cave” which is 2.5. kilometers long...EndFragment

StartFragmentAnd the temperature was also different...It was quite cool and as you moved towards the depth it was impossible to find the OxygenEndFragment

StartFragmentThe native monks come to this cave for the meditation.EndFragment

StartFragmentThe village of “Lisu” tribe appeared to be the crown of today :)EndFragment

StartFragmentIt seems quite difficult to get married in this tribe. ... As I was told this woman dressed in white is still living with the hope that she will one day find her “destiny” :))) Definitely !EndFragment

StartFragmentAnd this lady shows everyone her silver handcuffs with great proud... Which is the proof that SHE IS MARRIED!!! :))))EndFragment

THAI_DIARIES

StartFragmentIt was really the day full of emotions... many portraits have settled down in my private gallery :) I’ll stay in Chiang Mai for one more week as this town is very suitable for me :))EndFragment

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January, 25

...... Chiang Mai..... Chiang Rai....... Laos

It started raining yesterday... The weather can change very quickly here and it’s very common for the climate here.... the weather changed in a minute and covered everything with water. ..

I have a long way today and good weather would suit me better...

It’s 7 o’clock in the morning and the sky is still covered with clouds... I went out for a snack half asleep... I heard the monotonous sound of pray... The monks go out to town at the dawn and ask for the donation. They are holding a beautiful iron kettles in their hands and pray from door to door...

Of course, I fell asleep in the bus too :))) First Stop – Boiling Fountain! You can boil eggs in this tank in about 5 minutes and you can even make yourself a nice cup of tea during the hard times :))

I wondered how hot it was... So I burnt my fingers :)))) At at last I woke up! :))))) But such a big wakening was waiting for me forwards :)))

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January, 25  ...... Chiang Mai..... Chiang Rai....... Laos  It started raining yesterday... The weather can change very quickly here and it’s very common for the climate here.... the weather changed in a  minute and covered everything with water. ..  I have a long way today and good weather would suit me better...  It’s 7 o’clock in the morning and the sky is still covered with clouds... I went out for a snack half asleep... I heard the monotonous sound of pray... The monks go out to town at the dawn and ask for the donation. They are holding a beautiful iron kettles in their hands and pray from door to door...  Of course, I fell asleep in the  bus too :))) First Stop – Boiling Fountain! You can boil eggs in this tank in about 5 minutes and you can even make yourself a nice cup of tea during the hard times :))  I wondered how hot it was... So I burnt my fingers :)))) At at last I woke up! :))))) But such a big wakening was waiting for me forwards :)))

StartFragmentYou can buy a basket of eggs here for just 2 laries :) Some eggs are really chicken eggs :)))EndFragment

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The native people say that “The White Temple” will bring you happiness...

Snow-white....full of carvings and ornaments..... furnished with little pieces of mirror sparkling in the sunshine.... It’s really worth seeing

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StartFragmentAnd of course the fish are snow-white as well :))they have flippers like wings and it seems that they are flying in waterEndFragment

StartFragmentThere is Laos on the other bank.... Being there for just one day without visa is permittedEndFragment

StartFragmentBefore the boat reached the other side, the guide who was full of “Thai” jokes “performed” the song from the film “Titanic” with great pleasure :)EndFragment

StartFragmentLaos!!! From the very first minute it seemed very interesting with its different character... sad faces, pastel colours.EndFragment

StartFragmentThis siege reminded me of India... all of them were buzzing: Ten baaa, Ten baaat. The only difference was that they wanted rupees or shampoo... By the way, Shampoo would be a great idea for them too :)EndFragment

StartFragmentAnd this is the Laos trade drink. Whisky with snake... or Snake with whisky .EndFragment

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There was very little time to work very well... But I still managed to find some interesting shots for me... On our way back, as I looked up to this cloud I remembered the song that the guide sang to us :))) I wanted to believe that I would reach the shore dry .... But unfortunately I could not take the rest of the shots because of the cloud-burst shower and the strong wind... All the passengers got soaked from head to toes including me....

I rolled my camera together with its bag in the life waistcoat of the rescuer and saved it from getting wet :)EndFragment

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At last the sun appeared and I got dry ... :)

On my way back, I stopped in one of the villages where many tribes live...

Many of them came here from other countries...

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Pa long (MYANMAR) – Black teethed

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Akha

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StartFragmentMien(China)EndFragment

StartFragmentAkhaEndFragment

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Pao

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StartFragmentThe night has come... Several more days and I’ll change my place... I’ll go towards that place where the interesting wind is blowing...EndFragment

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January, 28

The Cobra Kiss

The sun is shining brightly from the early morning... and has warmed up the town very much :))

My favourite transport Tuk-Tuk and its tight-lipped driver ... I showed him on the map the places I wanted to see and he rushed me towards the town... In 45 minutes I was in the first destination point :)

There are snakes sorted according to their character in several boxes. Some of them should jump, some of them should suffocate, and some of them should stretch towards people... This is the show, with its musical accompaniment, where you won’t be have a chance to relax... You watch all this from the 2 meters distance... They seize the snake on its tail and throw it in your direction... And of course they don’t take their hands off the tail :)))) you could hear the terrible screaming women during all 40 minutes.... :) After performing each trick, they conduct the snake around and you ought to touch it... This will also bring you happiness :)))

If You don’t touch it, they will bring it to your leg :) It means, whether you want it or not, You are still happy :)

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Now they announced a jumping snake quite loudly .... They opened the box and tried to take it with the stick but pretended that they could not manage it and then one of the snakemen tried to take it with a hand and suddenly throw a rope towards people... You can imagine what could have followed all this :)))

They rolled up the trousers of this woman, put the snake’s head on her leg and waited for her reaction :))

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StartFragmentI saw how the snake was biting its owner several times in India... In was nothing.... It had no teeth so there was nothing dangerous about it... But here they showed demonstratively how they took out the poison out of the snake – to prove that the snake was in working condition :)))EndFragment

StartFragmentThe lord of snakes wasn’t satisfied with the fight on the land and jumped into the water together with the suffocating snake. Both of them were performing battle scenes perfectly.EndFragment

StartFragmentAt last the suffocating snake showed the demonstration of its strength that lead his owner to the red eyes ...EndFragment

StartFragmentThe main skills of the snakemen is that they work very quickly and get rid of the snake attackEndFragment

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I tried my strength in this field as well...

But it’s better if I do my job :)))))

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StartFragmentI saw a programme about the painting elephants in my childhood and I always wondered how can the elephant draw itself, or the landscape...EndFragment

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They make each stroke very carefully... slowly and calmly... as it suits the elephant... and the movement of the trunk is defined by his owner, who is holding the elephant’s ear tightly and as he moves the ear in a particular direction, so the elephant moves his trunk in that direction as well...

It seems that an elephant is not a painter at all :))))

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StartFragmentDo NOT offend the elephants !!EndFragment

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I’ve come... I’ve left the sweet bite for the end... The sun began to roll down...The warm lightning was laid down along the whole village...

This is the largest village of long-necked people.... And if there there something like a hotel, I would willingly stay here for a couple of days and get acquainted with their lives...

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The Christian Long-Necked people live in this village. I was so glad and so surprised to find out the church here...

They are so warm and hospitable people.... I fell in love especially with the people of this tribe... They talk to you in such manner that you can understand everything...)))) With emotions, with mimes and with their hands .... It’s very venturesome to communicate by using the pre-historic method

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StartFragmentI met many children in the village… Their joy was heard everywhere... And what else I needed :))) at first when they saw the camera they stood straight at once in front of it as if I was taking a passport photo of them :))) But when they saw that I was not going to leave, they gave up posing in front of the camera and continued playing... They even didn’t notice me and I was waiting exactly for this :))EndFragment

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All the houses here are built of wood, bamboo and straw... Not even built but combined together… Everything is squeaking .... :) I couldn’t wait as I wondered what was happening inside :)))) And a loud alarm welcomed me there :))))) The mother appeared on the alarm and showed me around the house.... As I was walking I kept thinking that the Bamboo floor would break down ...

THAI_DIARIES

StartFragmentIt was a big day today.... I’m full of emotions... It’s hard to fall asleep after such amount of impressions... Tomorrow I’m going downwards... to the place where it is even hotter ... :))) I’m moving towards the next dream that will soon come true :)))EndFragment

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February, 7

Yellow in Black and vice versa…

It has been the seventh evening since I lived in the Tiger Temple...

It’s getting dark... If you strain your ears, you will be able to hear the monks praying...

The sun has set ... but it’s still hot... The ground is hot... reddish... It’s 32 degrees...

The more it gets dark, the more you can hear strange voices.... (It’s not recommended to go for walks at this time of the day, especially alone...)

There are numerous animals and birds living in the surrounding area of the Temple...

Deer, camels, buffalos, peacocks, cows and hogs walk around with great ease...

Lions, Bears, Leopards and Eagles are, of course, in cages.... :)

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There are about three hundred tigers left in the jungles of Thailand... And this number is gradually decreasing... The tiger is not protected in its natural ambience... It sounds a little rough, but it’s a cruel reality....

I was in the Indian Tiger reserve three years ago... After wondering around for about three hours we saw only one tiger....

And today the tigers from the Indian reserve have vanished... I think you guess why...

The first tiger came to the temple in 1999. It was weak, without any teeth... the monks gave it the shelter... And took care of it... From that time on, thanks to the hunters several homeless tiger cubs have been brought to the temple and they have been brought up with a human love and care...

Today there are fifty-four tigers in the temple and about forty have been born among them in the temple...

Saifa, Namfa, Hernfa, Dauruan, Yak, Mek, Payak, Paiu... these are how their names sound...

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Yak is 3 years old yet... and weights 200 kg altogether.... He was born here as well...

He is one of the most beautiful among all the other tigers here...

Where he was little, they hugged him and fed him with milk this way... But now he eats five well-boiled chickens a day...

Their food is without blood in order not to wake up their predator instincts....

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Each day starts at 6 o’clock by feeding the little tigers and bringing the elder ones to the temple... It’s not so easy to take it for a walk... It can either see a roe or a hog or even a peacock, sitting on a branch of a tree and singing in a “sweet” voice...

And this time if there is a tree near you, you’d better hold it tightly in order not to take you with it...

If a tiger doesn’t want, it won’t go and if you precede it a little, it stops immediately... It’s got used to be first.... And If you precede it a lot, you’d better remember the main rule quickly :)

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Each day starts at 6 o’clock by feeding the little tigers and bringing the elder ones to the temple... It’s not so easy to take it for a walk... It can either see a roe or a hog or even a peacock, sitting on a branch of a tree and singing in a “sweet” voice...

And this time if there is a tree near you, you’d better hold it tightly in order not to take you with it...

If a tiger doesn’t want, it won’t go and if you precede it a little, it stops immediately... It’s got used to be first.... And If you precede it a lot, you’d better remember the main rule quickly :))))

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At 8 o’clock in the morning they have breakfast in the temple... Tigers,their owners and monks have breakfast together... It’s like one big family where everyone knows each other and the love towards tigers connects all these together....

In other way, you won’t be able to stay here and work...

And among these seventy people I am as a volunteer...

We all love yellow in black.

StartFragmentFrom 400 to 500 tourists visit the temple every day... The leader of the temple meets them and leads them to the gorge together with tigers... It’s very hot at this time of the day... The temperature reaches 45 degrees...EndFragment

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StartFragmentThe most beautiful, the most striped, the most pliable and the most energetic show begins at about 4 o’clock... EndFragment

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They left a relatively elder tiger among the young ones today... Others didn’t like the appearance of their leader... As a rule, only two of them fight with each other, but this time several tigers attacked one another...

Experience had its own way and showed everyone its place.

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StartFragmentIt will soon make a huge leap...EndFragment

StartFragment Gladiators are those young people who know the tigers well... they live with them for a very long time and the tigers know them as well...EndFragment

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They engage themselves in the tiger battles from time to time and attract their attention with different things attached to the sticks... This is a very good amusement for the tigers... and a very good shot for me :)))

If you live in the temple and you are with tigers every they, a feeling that you can also take a stick,enter the cockpit rises in you as long as you look at the Gladiators every day.... BUT :)))))

One of the volunteers, who has been living in the temple for a very long time, was allowed to “play” with the tigers.... Two gladiators had to shield in front of our freshman, because several tigers felt a stranger on their territory and it seemed as if they were going to attack him... It was seen from their movements.

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I have a day-off once a week.. I can go to the town and have a good sleep there... I can have a rest and return back to the Temple the other day (It takes about an hour to go from the town to the temple)... But getting tired here is the biggest rest for me...

I still have time to get maximum tiredness with emotions ...

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StartFragmentSaifa ate well... rolled around and fell asleep :))) And there is a little Leopard beside it :)))EndFragment

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February, 20

Mek...

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Tomorrow will be exactly three weeks since I have been at the temple... I’m a little sad today and I’ll be even more tomorrow... This is the last day...

I’ll miss it... His name is Mek...Which is translated as “sky” from their language... Every morning starts with him...And sometimes we spend whole days together...

When I go to him, I take my palm to his nose... He smells me... and lets out the typical voice for tigers... HFRHF......HFRHF.....HFRHF

This is the sign that I have gone through a registration successfully :)

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It looks like learning a new language whilst having a relationship with a tiger....

Step by step,choosing words, sentences and then, finally, you speak....

I’m on my first year and the first semester as regards studying this language :)))

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StartFragmentThey call the monks who are working in the tempe “The Forest Monks”... They have to obey 227 rules. They should eat once a day and they ought to spend the main time on meditation and tigers... Comparing to the other temples they live very strictly... The temple is far away from the inhabited area and it’s built on the deserted place... Maybe because they are so close to nature affected the way that they managed learn tigers’ language so well...EndFragment

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The monk is not allowed to touch a woman... He can’t even take a thing from a woman (there were some occasions when a woman tourist wanted to take a photo with a monk shoulder-handed and this caused a huge conflict) and, of course, they are not allowed to have families... The temple is their family and they take care of each tiger in the same manner as of their children... Many people are surprised by such relationship between men and tigers... They look at them with a doubt and ask very often why are the tigers so calm... You should know the history of the temple... You should know how the tigers are btought up and only after this you will be able to see the Tiger Temple...

I think that after reading this diary you will look around with more intereset if you come to this place one day and touch the striped creatures....

By the way, say “hi” to Meck :)))

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He is a general by his nature... He isn’t very complaisant and it’s very difficult to make him change his mind :)

If you show resistance, he will show his sharpened fangs...

The main thing is to feel his actions and undesrtand it like a dialogue ...

Each one has its own character. some of them are so angry that they don’t let them out... It means they could not receive warmth...

But most of them wait for the morning to come to have a stroll wil a human

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THAI_DIARIES

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The most striped weeks...

Each day was full of something new and full of strange emotions....

If you stay here for several days, you’ll also find it difficult to return back like me.... This is the Tiger Temple :)

I ‘m full of emotional shots :) And this is the biggest joy for a photographer...

There is very little time left for the journey to end... And there were many shots born during this journey... :)

I will go towards the South from here and will definitely keep in touch with you ...

The news will reach you whilst searching for some new shots :)

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March, 5