One man’s motorcycle trip from Bangkok to Korat with his 11 cats goes viral

Photo via Facebook/ Kingdom Of Tigers: ทูนหัวของบ่าว

The heartwarming story of a Thai man, known as Uncle Samsen, and his 11 cats went viral on social media after he travelled with his pets in his sidecar motorcycle from Bangkok to the Isaan province of Nakhon Ratchasima or Korat. The route was nearly 300 kilometres and took almost five hours of travelling.

Some Thais know Uncle Samsen, 65 year old Choowong Thepkoh, because many Thai TikTokers posted videos of him and his cats and praised him for his love and kindness toward the cats.

Choowong sells amulets and other knickknacks at flea markets in the Pom Prap Sattru Phai district of Bangkok. He also recycles trash and sells it to a recycling factory.

Cat lovers support him by giving him cat food, toys, and other essentials. A popular cat Facebook page, Kingdom of Tigers, also raised funds to buy Choowong a sidecar motorcycle so he can travel to the markets with his cats.

On Friday, March 17, the Kingdom of Tigers page urged followers to donate cat food to Choowong as he was about to travel to Korat. The page also asked followers to take care of Uncle Samsen if they met him along the way.

The rescue team in Korat also helped Choowong by accompanying him until he arrived at his destination yesterday at 3.30pm.

Choowong later gave an interview with Amarin TV revealing that he travelled to Korat to sell his goods at the annual flea market, which was paused for three years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He also said he missed his home after he left Korat 26 years ago. He wanted to bring his “kids,” or his cats, to visit his birthplace.

According to the Kingdom of Tigers page, Choowong had a small construction company that went bankrupt due to an economic crisis in 1997. Unable to cope with the insults and complaints from his neighbours and friends, he left home and travelled to Bangkok.

In his media interview, Uncle Samsen revealed that he left home a long time ago and did not contact his family. He stayed in Bangkok and sold anything he could find just so he could have enough money to buy food for himself and his cats.

Choowong said all of them were stray cats. He picked them up, took care of them, gave them names, and went everywhere together. The cats’ names were Thong Kwak, Thong Ek, Thong K, Thong Daeng, Thong Kam, Thong Heng, Thong Pradab, Si Nuan, Si Som, Si Suay, and Si Baitong.

Choowong says he loves his cats and would never put them up for sale. He made a vow to take care of them even though he sometimes went without food. Choowong said…

“Someone once offered to buy Thong Kwak for 20,000 baht, but I refused to sell him, fearing that the person would become bored of taking care of him and abandon him. I want to take care of him until the day he dies.”

Choowong expressed his gratitude to everyone who supported him and his cats. He received a lot of cat food from people he met along the way, and he was surprised that the rescue team came to accompany him until he arrived at Korat. He also felt thankful for the support from the Kingdom of Tigers page and its followers.

See some videos of Choowong and his cats HERE.

One man's motorcycle trip from Bangkok to Korat with his 11 cats goes viral | News by Thaiger

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.