Since my dad has lived in Bangkok for the past two and a half years, he knew all the spots that we and he would want to check out now that he could and we were there to do so.
The day we rode in on the train, he and Preaw picked us up from the train station and we drove directly from there to Tiger Temple, about three hours away from Bangkok. It was a long drive after a night of train riding and I wasn’t feeling too well but getting another opportunity to pet tigers . . . well we were all for it. Squire and I got to pet tigers in Bangkok and in Chiang Mai and are proud to boast about that.
The Tiger Temple was very different. It felt like an open zoo. There were horses, bison, pigs, deer, and goats roaming freely.
We saw a huge bear family (the only caged animals) and tigers were walking around with monks (the tigers were on leashes made of chain).
Considering they were walking around with us, the chains made sense and made you feel a little safer, but it was still a little sad to see. They had an area where there were a bunch of tigers chained to different spots and they would walk you to a few of the areas by hand so you could have a few minutes petting the different tigers.
For all intents and purposes this is a temple and has the distinction of being the only temple that allows for people to walk around with the tigers. There were a lot of rules because we were in a temple environment, but not too many people abiding them, which was a pity, although they all seemed to be very logical. For instance you aren’t to wear bright colors, like orange, red, and shades thereof, because the monks are normally in that color and the familiarity they have with them may not be the same comfort level you’d want them to have with you. Don’t run, as much as the tigers are domesticated in many ways, they are still by nature, hunters, so keep the kids close if you choose to bring them here and don’t let their excitement make them run around.
Although these tigers are probably the closest to domesticated as you may get, they are still larger and heavier then most humans and I really don’t relish the idea of playing with a cat of this size.
I’m so glad we got to visit another tiger petting place. It’s not like there are many opportunities to do this. I think it’s definitely worth the visit if you are in Thailand, and so inclined.
As an added bonus we were able to stop by the River Kwai Bridge. You may wonder how they got the army across it in the movie, but maybe not since Hollywood has a way of working it’s magic.