Sunday 12 August 2012

Smog on Langkawi

Todays view 12.08.2012 on the beach of Cenang

First of all I would like to say, I think my entries about Malaysia and Langkawi have always been positive and we still love living here. What we have been experiencing in the last few days though, I would like to write about, as people reading our blog may want to see this. We have had smog on the island as we have never seen before anywhere else in the world and it is very worrying to us. The fires in Indonesia are burning and because we have had very little rain or wind lately the smoke is coming over here. You can smell it, and wherever you go you breath it in. The tourists might think it is haze due to the high temperatures and you see them jog on the beach, kids playing outside all day and people relaxing on deck chairs maybe not realising what they are breathing in. I shall let the following pictures speak for themselves.

On a clear day
Where are the hills?

Without smog

Smog today
Health hazard chart today for Langkawi

We are already above 101 i.e. the unhealthy part

with a 102 and rising
Please make this public!! Forward this link or "like" in Facebook. 

Thursday 9 August 2012

Tiger Temple Thailand

Fiona with a Tiger, check out where the chain is...
The Tiger Temple in Thailand was one of the things we definitely wanted to do whilst visiting Bangkok. We already saw a TV coverage about the temple when we were still in Germany, so it had to be a "must see" whenever we would get the chance to do so.
Fiona and a cub
Strange to know he has no chain on
On an evening out with Sara and Clas we decided to book a driver with a mini bus who would take us to the temple the next day. We were told it would be an hour or so journey, so booked the driver for pick up at 9:00 the next day. The driver pulled up in time and Sara Clas, two friends of theirs Fiona and myself started the trip which unfortunately did not take 1, but 3.5 hrs, so we arrived a lot later to what we expected. On arrival the girls were told: knees and shoulders were to be covered, but we could buy some trousers and shirts at one of the stalls outside the entrance. PFFFFT the fashion and prices were just ridiculous, but luckily our driver took us to a shop in the next village, which sold some cloth which the girls started to wrap themselves in, hahaha, but this cost us more time.

This was one of the biggest tigers

That`s one big Tiger
Once we paid the entrance fee and got the all clear where the clothing was concerned, we started walking up a path sweating our socks off (being polite!) where we could see deer, cows and wild boars roaming free and then... our first sighting of some tigers on chains, just lying in the shade under some trees. It was an impressive sight and it got even better when we went to the tiger valley where we were able to have our picture taken with these beautiful creatures.

Cute, but still dangerous

My hand soon moved when his head came close
Very unfortunately the feeding of the tiger cubs was sold out and this was a great disappointment for all of us, specially for Sara and Clas as it was the reason why they went on this trip. We all expected more of the Temple to what it actually was. It might have started off as a sanctuary for Tiger cubs whose mothers were killed by poachers, but now it is just another tourist attraction. We saw all of two monks sitting around, everything costs extra, i.e. picture of a group of people with a tiger, cub feeding, in the water with the tigers etc. We loved the experience though and to see how beautiful these animals are when you sit right next to them was just amazing.  Here you can see more Photos or watch the slide show below.

Our next post will be about our new neighbours and friends, the crew of the Super Yacht Silandra V. You can already have a quick look here.