Right after the hot air balloon ride, I hired a driver for personal tour. Joe of Chiang Mai Expert Driver, recommended a few places to visit; one of it was the Tiger Kingdom. This is the only place that you can enter the enclosure and get close to a tiger. Set aside, the Tiger Kingdom has been marketed all over Chiang Mai. You will noticed posters for Tiger Kingdom all over the city and that include on every Tuk Tuk and Song Taew has a ‘Tiger Kingdom’ promotional sticker on it.
Located in Mae Rim on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, about 30 minutes drive from the city, the Tiger Kingdom aims to increase the tiger population through captive breeding. Thus, the tigers get accustomed to being around and petted by people.
The facility offers differential pricing to offer a range of experiences. You will be asked which type of tiger you would like to get up close and personal. From smallest, small, medium and big cat. Obviously, the new born are the most expensive while the oldest are the cheapest!
- Big/Medium and Small at 990 Baht
- Big/Medium, Small and Smallest at 1,530 Baht
- Big, Medium, Small and Smallest at 1,840 Baht
You will then need to sign a disclaimer form that there is a possibility that you will be maimed or killed. A reminder that the tigers are wild animals after all. Caution signs has been put up at every corner of the Kingdom. Follow the instructions and you will definitely be safe!
The facilities is clean and well-maintained. To be honest, the tigers looks like being sedated but according to the trainer, since the tigers have been born in captive and fed a special diet of milk and chicken, they tend to be less aggressive than tigers in the wild.
Every visitors will be given a queue number to get in the enclosure for about 15 minutes. The enclosure is surrounded by fence and topped off by electric fence wire.
Playful newborn cat
The trainer watches warily with wooden stick while I got the chance to be up close with the tigers.
Visit to the Tiger Kingdom can be an eye opener. There has been a mixed reaction on the purpose existence of the Kingdom. Nevertheless, I had a good experience at the Tiger Kingdom.
The Tiger Kingdom opens everyday from 9am to 6pm
Chiang Mai Travel Series | lonelytravelog.com