The market here is quite big with designer clothes (fake of course), second hand books, second hand clothes, a small flea market, tools, posters, fashion jewellery, spectacles, toys, fruit, and in fact nearly everything you can think of! We were in Sri Racha for a few days and visited the market before eating at the adjacent night market, we would easily spend an hour or so wandering around. I actually broke the frames of my glasses and we had been to several opticians but the price for replacement was exorbitant, not less than 1500 baht, but we found a stall at the market who had almost matching frames, he had to file my lenses a little to make them fit but at 300 baht i was extremely pleased.
Ko Si Chang is an island about an hour by boat from the island temple of Wat Ko Loi where the passenger boats depart from. The trip across will take just over an hour and you will see many huge tankers as they wait to offload. You will arrive at the pier by a sleepy town. The island is only 5 kms long by perhaps 1-2 kms wide so we were able to bear the heat and walked to a beach on the west side called Hat Tham Pang. Here there were tables and deck chairs on the beach belonging to the two restaurants which served good food at a surprisingly cheap price. The beach was nothing special but is sandy and we enjoyed our swim. We then visited Rama's old palace, then a big Buddha where we sat and relaxed for a while before continuing on to the Chinese temple of Saan Chao Paw Khao Yai which is located just north of the small town where the pier is (100m). We then climbed the many steps and toured the large temple compound. After that we continued up about another 400 steps to the top of the hill where there was a shrine housing Buddha's footprint, which was so big he must have had trouble finding shoes to fit. There are a few places to stay on the island and next time i intend to stay there a few days. The boat can leave and depart from the pier at the north or the pier at the south end of town so check where yours will leave from to avoid being stuck on the island for the night
Wat Ko Loi is located on an island which is accessible by a 500m causeway that has been constructed for the many visitors. Around the small island are many places to eat and this is where the passenger boats leave for Ko Si Chang. While the Wat is just like all the others it is the setting that makes the difference, enjoy the view and treat yourself to some fresh seafood.
Situated by the sea between the pier and the and the island temple of Wat Ko Loi where you will find many exercise machines, stages, children's playground etc. This park is crowded early morning and evening with locals jogging, playing sepak taraw, yoga and using the free machines. In the evening join the locals exercising as a instructor carefully goes through his moves on stage as the locals try to keep up with him.
This is THE thing to do in Si Racha. Mind you, it is that far out of town that this could almost qualify as an 'off the beaten path' tip. In terms of interaction with the animals, this is probably the best zoo I have ever been to and it would probably be a very exciting place to take kids. You can ride, pat, feed and get your photo taken with a very wide range of animals.
There are restaurants there, the compulsory souvenir shops and there are also a number of daily shows.
Entry is 300 baht and they are open from 8am till 6pm daily.
More wacky stuff at Sriracha Tiger Zoo. This time it's a sow nursing three piglets and two tiger cubs. In the next enclosure they had a female tiger with three piglets. I asked the handler why this was so and he mentioned something about 'biology' and 'safety'. I just nodded and pretended to understand. The tigers were smaller and weaker than their adopted brothers and sisters, and the handler often had to supervise so that the cubs would get their fair share (the piglets kept pushing them out of the way).
We rode our bikes to the other side of the island and came upon this beach area with tables, awning, and a beautiful beach. There were outdoor kitchens set up to make food and the food was good and very cheap, 50 cents to a 1.50. Alot of people had brought there own bottle of booze and they were camped out for the day. It's not luxurious in the least but it sure feels like it. It was really tranquil and relaxing.
I'm not sure what the reasoning is behind this, but in the zoo's nursery, you can see a female tiger caring for her three piglets. They put a small tiger skin coat on each of the three piglets (so the mother doesn't eat them?). Anyway, the strangest part of it was that in next cage there was a sow feeding two tiger cubs.
There is a lot of bizarre stuff in this place!
It costs 100 baht to get your photo taken with a snake at the Tiger Zoo. I originally gave the handler the money on behalf of my wife but she changed her mind and I filled in ;-)
Strong little critter - I can't believe they let me hold it! They also have deer, horses, donkey and other animals you can pose with. One was enough for us though....
All of these pigs have numbers painted on their backs because they are about to race. If you think this is a strange concept, well so did I! Basically, you pay a small fee to 'bet' on one of the pigs and if your pig wins, you get a small prize.
One of the handlers reckoned the same pig wins every time so don't put any real money on them!-) Anyway, the races are on every day at lunch time.
The handlers of various animals roam around the zoo with their charges and you can feed them for a small fee (the animals that is, not the handlers;-)
In this case, it was time to feed the elephants. I paid 20 baht for ten bananas. The Tiger Zoo has a lot of other animals too and you can interact in different ways with many of them.