Heroes and Turtles

On one of my many trips around Singburi province I visited a village called Khai Bang Rachan, which is remembered for resistance against Burmese invaders in the Burmese-Siamese War (1765-1767). One of the most prominent monuments here is the Heroes of Khai Bang Rachan monument, which remembers the villagers who bravely fought against the Burmese. There were many more troops to villagers, but it took the Burmese eight attacks before the villagers were defeated due to shortage of weapons.  The monument itself stands magnificently in impeccably kept gardens.

Heroes of Bang Rachan
Heroes of Bang Rachan
Gardens at Khai Bang Rachan
Gardens at Khai Bang Rachan

As we wandered around the gardens we came across a local Thai women releasing turtles. This is something you see in many places throughout Thailand where you can pay money to release a turtle into the “wild”. I have done a bit of research on this and apparently this is a traditional way of merit making for most Thai’s on a lot of occasions, such as birthdays and to bring good luck. On the surface this appears to be a nice thing to do, to release a turtle into the wild, but if you look they are all cooped up in a small, bowl –like container before being “set-free”, and then caught a few hours later and put back into the container, only to be “set-free” once more for the next paying tourist. It’s supposed to provide good luck- for you maybe, but for the turtle it is deprived of a normal life and will probably end in its death. Much better to get involved with one of the many turtle conservation projects, like the one I visited on the island of Koh Mannai, off the coast of Laem Mae Phim, where you can help to care for the turtles and learn about the work they do, breeding and releasing them into the wild (properly!)

Baby Turtles
Baby Turtles
Turtles in their Tanks
Turtles in their Tanks
Ready for Release
Ready for Release
Enjoying Freedom
Enjoying Freedom

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