This post is a little out of order, but better late than never. When we first arrived in Thailand we had to spend two nights at an alternate location before moving into our permanent hotel in town. This wonderful venue is called The Juniper Tree. It's a Christian Retreat center located not too far from the center of town. It's run by a great Christian couple from the UK. We not only met the people we would be working with, but we met some really interesting others who have been all over the world working in God's service.
Our stay there was only two nights--much too short!
Each night we were there, we heard loud & boisterous cheering and shouting at around 11 pm that continued for quite a while. I finally remembered to ask the owner, Tim, what was going on. He said that right outside the back gate, the locals held beetle competitions during the mating season--which lasts for about 4-5 months each year.
Two females are confined in a tube and two males are placed on top of the tube. The males fight each other until one of them falls off the tube. The remaining male is the winner. Obviously the men bet on who the winner will be even though betting is illegal. Tim assured us that there is no harm to the beetles, one just gets knocked off the tube, and they are only doing what they would be doing in the wild anyway--fighting for dominance over the females.
To hear the cheering you would think it was a world championship prize fight. Maybe to these locals it is.