Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tiger Taxi

Yesterday, when I took a taxi, there was a laminated Thai-style drawing hanging on the ceiling of a tiger with a Buddhist monk sitting on its head. I thought perhaps it was from the famous "tiger temple" in Thailand, but the driver told me he bought the artwork at a temple on Rama 3 Road. The "tiger temple", or Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, is a Buddhist temple in Kanchanaburi Province in Thailand which has become a sanctuary for wild animals. The temple has grown into a popular tourist attraction, and many people think that the monks are keeping the tigers to make money. Worse, some believe that the animals are mistreated. I haven't been there myself, but I'm curious to see monks walking around with tigers. If the creatures in the temple are as ferocious-looking as in the drawing, I'll be sure to keep my distance.