Tigers in Thailand

My brother moved to Thailand last May.  Since we love to travel, we could not resist the free lodging and tour guide.  So we invited ourselves to visit before his two year gig ended.  And then we found out we were having a baby.  We booked tickets the next day.

Thailand was everything we expected and more.  We spent most of our time in Chiang Mai which is in the northern part of the country.  No beaches=less tourist=less crowds=more activities for us.

the guard in the back let us borrow his cell phone to call my brother.  thais are so nice.

Here we are after a very long 18 hour flight.  We look chipper, right?  We were so excited that we didn’t let jet lag get us.  We went to my brother’s house to freshen up, ate dinner and went to a night market.

The next day we were up bright and early so we could start our touristy stuff.  Our first stop was the Tiger Kingdom.

You can stare at the tigers through the comfort of a fence or you can pay to pet them and potentially get attacked.  Tough choice.

Normally, I would have just stared at them.  Which is what my brother does every time he goes there to eat lunch at the restaurant.  But I was on vacation so I coughed up the $30 and signed up for the medium and large tiger touching. I assumed the tigers which were handled by tourist were heavily sedated.  I was in Thailand.  There isn’t a PETA here, right?

As you can see, the first tiger we visited was zonked out.  Phew, no danger of being bitten.  Or was there?  As soon as all of us had a turn taking pictures with the sleeping tiger, it decided to get up and play.

Yikes!  We took a few more pictures with them once they were done cooling off and moved on to the big tigers.

Sleeping tigers are so much fun to pet.  We even took a few silly pictures.

What kind of tranquilizers did they give these guys?  C was able to move its leg to show how big its paw was.

And then this happened:

The trainer decided our pictures were boring and decided to wake up Jackie Chan (yes, that’s the tiger’s name).

Can you tell the difference in my smile?  We moved on to a few more tigers despite the terrified look on my face the fact that Jackie Chan was done with his cat nap.

We had so much fun.  The trainer said they don’t tranquilize the animals.  They keep the tigers well fed and it wastes too much energy to move around too much in the day time.  I believed him since they were able to wake them up make them sit where every they wanted.

There were no obvious signs of abuse and the tigers did not seem to be afraid of the trainers.  The trainers had strict rules about approaching the animals from the back and only touching the back half of them to prevent the tigers from feeling threatened.  Overall, I had a great impression of the Tiger Kingdom and would recommend this place to anyone.

Too many picture of tigers?  This is only day 2 of our 12 day vacation.  I will share the rest of our vacation in another post, but I’ll condense it.  This was such a cool experience that I had to post a billion lot of pictures.

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3 Responses to Tigers in Thailand

  1. tracy says:

    What an awesome experience! Congrats to you and Chris on the baby!! I can’t wait to see the night market pics.

  2. randicorreia says:

    Great pictures…amazing how BIG and beautiful they are. Love the look on your face when he wakes up!

  3. Tiffany says:

    That’s so cool! It makes me want to go back to Thailand even more. I was just talking about a Thailand/cambo trip with my mom last night too! Weird huh? I did see fear in your eyes in the picture where the tiger lifted its head haha. Now I might have to get Thai food for lunch.

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