Before it succumbs to pressure, changes or fades into memory, you should pack your bags and purr your way into one of Thailand’s most controversial tourist spots...
Horsing around with a deadly carnivore is usually a trick left to animal trainers and circus acts. But, if you’ve always harboured a secret desire to pet a big cat without getting eaten alive; Thailand will be a good place to get started. Tigers splashing about in pools, playing with toys and nestling in your lap – you’d almost think they were domestic animals the way they act here!
String together Buddhist monks, sanctuaries and wild animals and you’ve got Thailand’s Tiger Temple or, if you want to trip over a tongue twister, Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua. The temple isn’t as ancient as name and location (in Western Thailand in the Saiyok district) suggest, founded in 1994. If you’re a big history buff, you’re going to find out soon enough that there were other animals here before, but the temple is now limited to tigers roaming free, something tourists have lapped up like good wine – and we can understand why.
Imagine the absolutely thrill of being able to pose for a picture with a tiger head in your lap, petting a dozen or so tigers around you without worrying about being scratched, bitten or mauled and seeing the magnificent animals up close... all for an entrance fee they term basic but is actually a bit stiffer than most places in Thailand and a bit of tolerance (your visit to the Tiger Canyon in the temple will not be without a volunteer, so don’t expect free reign over land and creature). Wear long sleeves and pants when you’re there, it’s recommended even though you’re not likely to walk out with any scratches or scrapes.
Of course it’s weighed down by its fair share of controversy. Are the tigers sedated? Are they just docile because they’re (after years of good old Buddhist monk training) just used to human contact? Whatever it is, if you’re in Thailand and don’t visit the one place you can roam free with tigers as close to house-cats as can be, you’ve missed out on something.
But, if you question captivity, hate zoo’s and are an animal lover that can’t bear to watch animals on display, visiting Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua (can you say it yet?) is not such a good idea. Yes, the tigers live there, are petted and visited by a stream of people every day and are born and die there. So, don’t say we didn’t warn you! Glorified petting zoo, wildlife sanctuary, overrated tourist attraction or just not worth another glance – you should visit and decide that one for yourself. If you want information about Thailand tour package, Phuket Tour Package or Koh Samui Tour Package, so please visit our website today!