ROLLING WITH THE TIGERS AT TIGER KINGDOM IN CHIANG MAI THAILAND
If you couldn’t tell from some of my previous posts, I enjoy experiencing different animal encounters. Some of them might be more organized, like when I rode elephants at Ran-tong; and others are spur of the moment encounters, like that time I was almost eaten by a hippo at the Chiang Mai zoo. This time we planned to go to the world famous Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Tiger Kingdom is a zoo-like attraction that allows you to pay a fee and then go into a cage with different sized tigers for some once in a lifetime selfie opportunities. The prices are going to range from 900 Bhat ($26) for a picture with a medium sized tiger all the way to 2500 Bhat ($72) for a picture with a new born tiger; prices for pictures with other sized tigers will fall in-between those ranges of 900 Bhat – 2500 Bhat. If you are going to want your picture taken with multiple sized tigers, you’ll be best off buying one of the multi-tiger packages. Those multi-tiger packages will range from 1,600 Bhat ($46) for a two tiger package to 3,700 Bhat ($107) for a four tiger package.
Now, I do understand that these prices are completely outrageous, and yes, this is a tourist trap, but this is one of those things that will make your Instagram blow up, and your family members back home will love seeing the pictures. Plus, once you visit Tiger Kingdom once, you won’t have to do it again, I mean unless you want to hug a massive soft tiger again.
When I went to Tiger Kingdom, I opted for the TAKE 2 package, which cost 1000 Bhat ($29) and allowed me to take pictures with a big tiger and a small tiger. If I did it again, I would just settle for just the big tiger because I think those pictures came out better.
After you get to Tiger Kingdom and you pick out what tiger picture package you want, you are going to sign your life away. By that, I mean you will be signing a Terms of Agreement stating that if you are injured or killed while with the tigers you can’t sue.
I think the actual chances of anything happening are pretty slim. When I was doing my research online before coming to Tiger Kingdom, a lot of people seem to think that the tigers are drugged. Now I’m not sure if they are actually drugged or if their just so use to being around people. From the time they are newborns they are constantly being held so they are quite domesticated. That still didn’t stop me from jumping when I would be petting a big tiger and he would ever so slightly turn his head.
Besides the fact that the tigers seem sleepy all of the time, you also have the protection of an electric fence and staff members that carry tiny sticks. They use the sticks to get the tigers to move; I think they also feel that if a tiger were to attack, they would be able to fend off a 600-pound tiger with their tiny stick. I’m guessing they still haven’t had to fend off a tiger, because I don’t think their sticks would be able to stop an attacking tiger.
When you enter the cage with the tigers, you will have a member of the staff with you that will assist you in taking the perfect shot. There aren’t many other people in a tiger cage at a time, so it’s pretty easy getting that perfect shot, so long as the tigers are willing to cooperate.
When you’re all done taking your 500 pictures with the tigers, you will enter the front of the building where they have a full restaurant and gift shop. Because my sister and I are such picky eaters, we decided to skip the buffet restaurant and head straight for the gift shop.
Tiger Kingdom was definitely a once in a lifetime experiences. Some of my favorite travel photos came out of this adventure; let’s be honest here, how could a picture with a giant tiger not be one of your favorites!
If you ever find yourself in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Tiger Kingdom is a place I would definitely check out if you want some fantastic Instagram opportunities. Besides the amazing pictures, the entire tiger encounter shouldn’t take more than a few hours out of your day, so you’ll have plenty of time for other activities.
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Have you ever visited Tiger Kingdom or another tiger encounter somewhere else in the world? Let us know all about it in the comments below.