You can never see enough tigers (or elephants?) in Thailand! Having recovered from our encounters with the tigers at Tiger Kingdom, out of Chiang Mai, we were back for another dose recently. This time we travelled out to the famous ‘Tiger Temple’ a few hours out of Bangkok. The Tiger Temple is a sanctuary for tigers and other animals. You can go in the morning or afternoon and they even run extra bonus sessions for extra money in the late afternoon. We took the standard afternoon entry which included unlimited strolling around the grounds and the temple and approximately five minute photo session with a range of tigers.
As at Tiger Kingdom, the tigers are hand-reared. The tiger population has grown from 4 to over 100 in the last 13 years. There is no shortage of helpers who care for them, including a number of foreign workers, both paid and volunteers, who clearly adore them. Most of our interaction with the tigers occured at ‘Tiger Canyon,’ which was our first port of call in the extensive grounds. Every visitor is led by the hand or wrist by one of the helpers and is able to pose for photographs with a range of the big cats. They are chained up, but clearly no chains were necessary. You can cuddle up to them but generally park yourself away from their mouths! Fantastic! After leaving the canyon we strolled around the rest of the complex. There we saw a range of other animals, which were of less interest, including deer, hogs, horses and cattle. We checked out the actual temple, where some of the tigers are on show in the mornings. During our stroll we were able to interact with a couple of tiger cubs being led on leashes and saw a huge tiger being bottle-fed.
If you would like a once in a life time opportunity to get up close and personal with some massive striped beasts, we would highly recommend the Tiger Temple!
For more information, visit their official website: http://www.tigertemple.org/