24.4.11: Thai Buffalo Training Camp

The van dropped us off at the Thai Buffalo Training Camp. From the looks of it, this is the first time the tour guide and the van driver brought tourists here. I requested to see this place as I thought it would be a good experience to see how buffaloes work and how paddy is planted and processed. There weren't anybody there when we arrived, and it looked vastly different from their website, which showed lots of tourists. We were the only ones there. Anyway, the people there catered for us and proceeded on for the demonstration. 

Top left and right: Demonstrating how to mount a buffalo
We learnt that there were 3 types of buffaloes - Bison (found in North America), Water Buffalo (Swamp buffalo) (Found in Asia) and Cape Buffalo (Found in Africa). Water buffalo produces milk, and the milk is made into cheese and yoghurt. The buffaloes there were water buffaloes. The farmer asked if any of us would like to try to mount the buffalo, but none of us wanted to do so. The buffaloes looked dirty and there were blood marks on their skin. Leeches, I suppose?

Demonstration on how a buffalo grinds sugarcane into water. I wouldn't want to taste sugarcane made that way. It looks unhygienic. Anyway, I think this equipment is obsolete as there are more hygienic motorised ones now. 

The largest leech I have ever seen in my life. It was about 3 inches long, broad and flat. It moved rather fast. The farmer put tobacco on the leech, claiming that tobacco would kill it, but the leech just continued moving through the tobacco and carried on. The farmer said that it would only such buffaloes' blood, but I wasn't sure about that. After that I was careful check our legs and keep an eye out  for leeches. 
Paddy being grown

Looking at the paddy stalks (looks just like wheat stalks)
Processing paddy into rice grains and removing the husks the traditional way. It was a lot of hard work. The chickens ate the husks. 
Showing us the other rice variations - black rice (pulut hitam) and glutinous rice  (pulut)
S was more interested to chase the chickens.
E is bravely patting a dog.
This is the first time we tried feeding buffaloes. Of the 3 buffaloes there, one refused to eat the leaves we gave her. 
After that, we went back to the hotel to rest and would be visiting the Sunday walking street later that evening. 

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