Oct 15

Tiger Temple: Must See and Must Pay More, Thailand

by in Thailand, Top travel tips

We have learned, after publishing this article, about the reports of animal abuse in the Tiger Temple. We do not support such activities and participated in this excursion unknowingly. For more info visit Animal Abuse in the Tiger Temple

 

As we mentioned before, we manage to travel for less than $25 per day. However, there are some must see attractions for travellers where you feel like you want to pay more to either treat yourself or have a great fun (or both). Keeping the balance when spending the money is extremely important when travelling with limited budget, so if you spend a little bit too much one day, make sure to spend less the following day!

The beautiful scenery surrounding the Tiger Temple

The beautiful scenery surrounding the Tiger Temple

 

There is one place called Wat Pa Luangta Bua (generally known as the Tiger Temple), where you can observe the tigers, touch them and take unforgettable photos with a grown tiger or a small cub if you wish to.

A tourist posing with tiger

One of the tourists holding a tiger’s head on her leap.

 

What is more, paying little more allows you to have tigers’ heads on your lap (not all at once though). The staff members are extremely friendly and they take professional pictures of you with the tigers (not one, but as many as you like from different perspectives). The cost of this treat is much more than $25 per person, but we strongly recommend it as it was, for us, a lifetime experience! It is worth it for the magnificent pictures and to face your fear!

Tigers, Tiger Temple

The tigers and the monk

 

To say something more about the place itself, it is a Buddhist sanctuary founded as a forest temple for wild animals. Apart from the tigers, there is a pretty impressive variety of other wild animals such as bears,pigs, deers, antelopes, water buffalos and apes.

Overview

Budget: $55 per person (600 Baht=$20  entrance + Baht 1000 or $35 for special photos with tigers)

Country: Thailand

Location: 38 km from downtown Kanchaburi, Saiyok District, Kanchanaburi Province

Currency: Baht (US$1 = ~30 Baht)

Time required: All day to fully appreciate the place

Minimum number of people: 1

Tigers playing, Tiger Temple

Cez trying to join tigers’ play time

How to get there

There are two options. You can either take a tour going directly to the temple or get there on your own. Kanchanaburi is approximately 3 hours from Bangkok (but you need to add another 2 hours from Pattaya) by train from Huamphong Railway Station or by bus from Morchi Station. You can easily get to Morchi Bus Station using the sky-train.

Activities

– Observing tigers and other wild animals.

Tiger temple, bambi

When people saw it they started screaming “Bambi!”

 

– Getting nose to nose and having photographs with tigers.

Picture with tiger

Epic moment for us

 

– Watching or participating in the afternoon show when tigers get active (you can be locked in a cage in the middle).

Things to be aware of

– There were no food shops around, just one closed restaurant and a kiosk with drinks so make sure you pack some food and snacks.

– Do not wear bright coloured clothes, especially red. Ladies should dress modestly (it’s still a Buddhist temple.

– Obey staff instructions, do not be aggressive to any animals.

Wild animals at Tiger Temple

You can spot a bear, herd of cattle, buffalos and more

 

– Do not stay in the temple too long as you might find it hard to find some transport back to Bangkok.

 Summary

For some people that would be a waste of time and money. For others, that could be an adventure of a lifetime or at least a great time. Is it worth the money? It is hard to speak for everyone. We had an amazing time with tigers we could only see on TV before, plus… look at the photos… !!

 

About Agness Walewinder


Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"

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15 Responses to “Tiger Temple: Must See and Must Pay More, Thailand”

  1. From Sam:

    I love this post. You take such beautiful photos! I can’t wait to visit next year :-)

    Posted on October 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm #
    • From Cez:

      Thank you Sam. I can’t see for the next years to see your photos from here:)

      Posted on October 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm #
  2. From Karin:

    That’s awesome Agness, I would pay $55 to hang out with Tigers!

    Posted on October 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm #
    • From Cez:

      Thanks Karin Good to know someone’s as crazy as we are ;)

      Posted on October 15, 2012 at 5:18 pm #
  3. From Steph (@ 20 Years Hence):

    I am super impressed that you guys manage to travel for so little, but I ABSOLUTELY agree that splurging and paying a bit more every so often is really important, especially when it means you get to have such an amazing experience! I have never understood people who save up all this money to travel and then once they are out in the world, are too cheap to do anything!

    How did you feel the tigers were treated at this temple? I have heard that some of the places in Thailand may drug or mistreat their animals… I would imagine a Buddhist temple that has a fairly high admission fee would not do that, but I suppose you never know!

    Posted on October 17, 2012 at 12:51 am #
    • From Agness:

      Hi Steph,

      We absolutely agree with you. There are some attractions you just have to go for and pay more, and there are some where you feel like spending extra money is not worth it. Regarding the tigers, well, we don’t really know how the tigers are being treated there. We could see the staff were amazing and very friendly to us as well as to the animals there. Members of the staff touched tigers very gently and played with them all the time. I know they must do something to make tigers less active (probably drug them), but during the afternoon show they get back to life jumping like crazy, so I am not sure, it’s hard to say really. We didn’t ask anyone. The place was way too busy.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Posted on October 17, 2012 at 4:28 am #
  4. From Care for the Wild:

    Hi Agness – the blog is really interesting, and love the idea of the site. Can I add to the Tiger Temple discussion? At Care for the Wild we funded an investigation into the Temple a few years ago because of concerns raised about the tigers. If anyone wants a brief glimpse at what it says, take a look at http://www.careforthewild.com/what-we-do/campaigns/previous-campaigns/tiger-temple-the-truth/.

    We are also setting up our RIGHT-tourism website which gives travellers the chance to weigh up the pros and cons of ‘animal’ tourist attractions.
    I hope you don’t mind me popping on here with this – everyone must judge these kind of attractions themselves, but we’re trying to help give as much info as possible so people can be informed.

    Thanks – good luck with your trip!

    Posted on October 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm #
    • From Agness:

      Hi Chris.
      Thank you very much for stopping by. I’ve read the report and investigation results and I found it very alarming. We had no idea how the tigers are being treated there and we are very sorry to hear we supported an animal abuse in some way. I will share the link with other people to make sure travellers know that before going to the temple.

      I’ve also sent you an e-mail with some more details.

      Look forward to hearing from you,

      Thanks, Agness

      Posted on October 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm #
  5. From Emily McGee:

    Wow, those tigers are beautiful! And the pic of you and Cez is awesome… so worth $55. When else can you pose with a tiger’s head in your lap?

    Posted on October 17, 2012 at 1:24 pm #
    • From Agness:

      Thank you Emily. I know, the tigers look wonderful, especially the cubs. I have no clue if there are some more places where you can take a photo with a tiger in Thailand, but if I find out, I’ll let you know immediately.

      Posted on October 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm #
  6. From Kate - Canuckiwikate:

    I can really relate to this article, as well as the comments. I recently visited the Tiger Temple in July, as it was per-arranged as part of group tour I did. I hadn’t done any prior research either. At the time I loved it, and actually participated in the ‘tiger exercise’ programme for an extra 1000 baht. It was really busy, and the staff were really good and they had explained their reasoning as to why the tigers could be touched and played with later in the day (they said they had a big play/run and then a big feed, so were tired in the hot afternoons) and we took their word for it. I was even set to return and volunteer. But then once we got home, I learned about investigations. I was gutted that I’d been sucked in and definitely my lesson the hard way to do the research before going to a place.

    Posted on October 18, 2012 at 2:11 am #
    • From Agness:

      Hi Kate,

      Thanks for sharing. I’ll try my best to spread the word about it anywhere I can. I was also very gutted yesterday after reading the article :-(. Poor tigers…

      Posted on October 18, 2012 at 3:32 am #
  7. From Arti:

    The photos are terrific and the feel (then), to be with them in such proximity must have been an amazing one. Although, I am sorry to learn about the animal abuse, I sincerely hope all this changes for the better very soon.

    Posted on October 23, 2012 at 4:31 am #
    • From Cez:

      Hey Arti,

      That’s exactly what we think. This was an unforgettable experience to get close to real adult tigers and we were also shocked by the discovery of animal abuse, hence we written a post about it.

      Happy travels,
      Cez

      Posted on October 23, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Animal Abuse in the Tiger Temple | eTramping.comeTramping.com - October 18, 2012

    […] Agness in Thailand We have written recently about our “Photo with a tiger” experience in Saiyok District, Kanchanaburi Province in Thailand. We recommended everyone who […]

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