My Many Furry Friends of South East Asia

My Many Furry Friends of South East Asia

Invariably one of the hardest things for me during my travels in South East Asia was dealing with the stray and often hungry or sick animals. It was this that reminded me of one of my fundamental truths. I love animals and I want to help them. This epiphany has led me to decide that I want a career working with them someday and has inspired me to try to become a veterinarian one day. I have made more furry friends while I’ve traveled than I have human friends.


I didn’t meet many stray animals in Malaysia so I went to a cat cafe in Penang. The little guy above was a big sleepy head, until he started licking the foam of your coffee.

In Koh Phi Phi there are a lot of cats around but not many dogs. This girl would be at the Stones Bar fire show every night without fail. If you were playing soccer or frisbee on the beach then you would have another player whether you liked it or not. I never learned her name but she is the darling of that end of the beach on Phi Phi.


On the morning that I was to leave for Koh Pha-Ngan I had a bit of time to kill before the bus so I decided to try and find somewhere for breakfast. I think this guy belonged to the resort that I was staying in while I was in Khao Sok. He followed me from my bungalow, up the main street and stayed with me while I ate. Then he followed me back to the bus stop and waited with me until it was time for me to leave. He loved attention and had a penchant for trapping my feet.


When I arrived in Koh Pha-Ngan for the full moon party I stayed in the Haad Rin area. I often ate at The Outback Bar since it was owned by the same people as my hostel and I would sometimes get a discount for staying there. Two days in a row this cutie came to me for some attention. She loved a good chin scratch. I moved to the other side of Koh Pha-Ngan and was adopted by another kitty. For three days she hung around my bungalow and slept on my lap while I relaxed in the hammock. She was a very vocal cat. I usually heard her before I saw her.




I arrived in Chiang Mai very early in the morning after catching an overnight bus from Kanchanaburi. I wasn’t able to check in so I left my bags at the hostel and went to explore. Along the way I spotted this kitty on the side of the street. It was very, very timid so I had to sit on the sidewalk and move slowly so as not to scare it. I had my travel pillow on my lap so it made itself quite at home on my lap. It was still very skittish and when a bus drove past it bolted. I never saw the little one again but we were friends for half an hour.

While I was in Chiang Mai I also visited Elephant Nature Park and got a chance to play with some of their rescues. They have over 400 dogs and only something like 20 staff that work with them. Needless to say they don’t get anywhere near enough attention. I really think we made their day.



All bark at first. But as soon as I called him he was all over me demanding attention. According to his owner he’s very cheeky and will take every bit of attention you’re willing to give. Sukhothai.



This little girl was just a baby and what a playful kitten she was. I was having dinner at BARacuda in Donsol when i felt a tug on my dress. I looked between my feet to see her chewing on it. If it wasn’t my dress it was my shoelaces. Such a cheeky baby!

I’ve met many more puppies and kitties, these are just the ones I took photos of. You’re never far from an attention starved animal in South East Asia. I have had my heart torn in two at times by what I’ve seen these animals go through. Please be kind to them when you visit. If you can afford it there are usually animal rescue associations around that are grossly under-funded and are always grateful for donations of anything from cash to food to flea treatments to old clothes for bedding. It’s a good idea if you have old sheets or clothes and some room in your suitcase to take them over for them. Some places will also facilitate adoption overseas as well if you can take on an animal.

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