Arriving in Chiang Mai is a little like arriving on I-Drive…there are tons of tourist things to do…whitewater rafting, elephant riding, cooking classes, massage classes, bungee jumping, biking, hiking and well it goes on forever and you can spend all your travel money here if you wish.
We decided to rent our own motorbike to save money and head over to Tiger Kingdom…
The roads were completely flooded due to heavy rains the night before so we had to detour and detour and our 20 minute ride ended up to be 90 minutes…but it was a beautiful ride.
Tiger Kingdom is a park and restaurant…if you eat at the restaurant, get the buffet (much better deal at 200 B a person)
We looked over all of the packages to see the tigers and they had 4 sizes (no new borns at the moment) smallest, small, medium and big tigers. You can pick your package as to which ones you want to spend time with.
We opted to see three sets for 1200 B or about $45 per person.
The experience can not be compared to anything Ive ever done. The tigers acted like puppies or kittens and played. The trainers or workers played right along, wrestling and playing with them. The park is used as a breeding camp and has been opened for 2 years. They have litters of 5-6 cubs and instead of only the strongest surviving like in the wild, they all survive due to the aid of the workers. After 2 years, the tigers are then given to the Chiang Mai zoo.
We got there in the afternoon when it was not so hot, but the tigers sleep for 18 hours a day, so it is best to go early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Around 5pm, the tigers were put in “yards” with swimming pools and the big tigers played, the baby tigers played. It was a lot of fun to watch.
Touching the tigers, laying with the tigers was a bit scary, a bit exciting and pure adrenaline..especially when you touch it and it flinches as if you are in its space (which you are)
The “trick” was to approach from behind so they know you are not there to attack…as if I would even try that.