When I thought of Thailand, the first things that came to my mind were Tigers, Elephants, and Muay Thai. So it was among our plans to experience a bit of each. To see tigers and take pictures next to them, we went to Tiger Kingdom, and to experience Muay Thai, we went to a class in a specialized gym. Both experiences were great because they were really different from other things we did and made the trip more special. Read on to see the pictures! 😀
As you may already know from my previous post on Chiang Mai, we visited the Tiger Kingdom during a morning. We woke up early and got there right before opening time, so we didn’t have to wait very long to get in and start taking pictures with the Tigers!
Tiger Kingdom is like a zoo specialized in Tigers, but the special thing is that you can go inside the cages and take pictures right next to the tiger! These tigers are domesticated and very calm, although of course there have been some very rare problems in the past.
To enter, you can pay different prices. The cheapest (250tbh) is just entry to the area (not the cages), but that one doesn’t make much sense. You can then pay a price per cage you enter, or select a pack to save some money. The price per cage depends on the size of the tiger, you can check the following images to know the exact price (as of September 2015):
We chose the big tiger and the small tiger. Please note that kids are not allowed to enter the cages of bigger tigers. Sometimes you will also have the chance to see new born tigers, although we didn’t choose that option because of the timing. Also, if you’re going alone or just in a couple, you might want to hire the photographer option, where an employee will take pictures for you with a good camera. We took this service for the big tiger, and overall we are happy but we did realize too late that most pictures had the focus on the tiger, so our faces were kind of blurry…
Anyway, while waiting to get called and enter, we took some pictures outside (free area). From there, we could see that tigers had enough space to walk around, even though most of them were just happy laying on the ground and being lazy. Once inside, we first visited the biggest type of tiger, and it was so amazing!!! Just take a look at the pictures!
They give you plenty of time to take pictures and pose, specially when there’s not many other people around and you hired a photographer. We got maybe around 40 pictures taken, although most of them were really similar and a bit blurry on our faces. I like that some of them were taken when we were just looking at the tigers or laughing, giving it a very natural feeling.
We then went to the cage with the “small” tigers, which were actually pretty big already and could probably take over a human easily. These 3 tigers were siblings, and sadly we didn’t get the photographer this time, so most pictures are not that great. But we did take one perfect shot:
Awwwwww~~~~ right? ^^
I really enjoyed the experience. There are some people who worry about whether this is ethical or not, whether the tigers are drugged, etc. I just want to say that I did a lot of research and found what looked like the best out of the places where you could take pictures with tigers.
They are not chained, and although they are in cages, these are pretty spacious and they can roam around. The staff used some sticks sometimes to pat (hit softly?) the tigers so that they would look at the camera, and I would complain to them not to do that. You can check the FAQ on their website (http://www.tigerkingdom.com/faq/) and decide whether you will believe them or not, but I chose to believe them. Tigers are one of my favorite animals and I could not miss the chance of being close to them!
If I’m ever back to Chiang Mai, I’ll visit again for sure! It was awesome to be next to these creatures and to be able to pat them! Please do pay a lot of attention to the regulations and be safe!~