The Tiger Kingdom Phuket
What do you think if I tell you Thailand? When I chose this destination to vacation, I thought of exotic paradise, incredible beaches, delicious food, and elephants… but I never imagined that I would be face to face with tigers… yes, with 5 real tigers!
It was during a tour in Phuket, in southern Thailand, when the guide offered a stop at a tiger sanctuary.
To be honest, without thinking much, I agreed to explore this experience of sharing for a few minutes with these wild animals.
With my heart almost in my mouth, I arrived
The emotion rises to high levels. It is not the same to see these animals in videos or zoos than live and in full color, literally. Being in front of them intimidates even the bravest.
The guides of the place took the time to explain how people should behave along with the animals and what should not be done.
They also assured that there had been no accident on the site. In any case, I entered
The encounter with the felines has the requirement of having a minimum of 17 years of age and measuring 160 centimeters (although it is not so strict, because I lacked 5 cm). The same regulation exists to enter the territory of the big tiger, only that the minimum age is 18 years.
There is no minimum height regulation to visit the smallest tigers, but those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Tiger Kingdom in Phuket
The friendly trainers explain in detail some of the rules that must be met during the encounter with the Tigers. For example, people can only approach them from the behind, should not touch their faces or legs, should not make sudden movements, if not firm and light.
Only enter with a camera and cell phone to the area. Self-stick, canes, wheelchairs and, of course, strollers are forbidden.
The time with the animals is approximately 10 minutes. I liked that you do not have to pay an additional for photographs, if not that the trainers take photos and video with your phone or camera.
In the encounter with the tigers, it is forbidden to feed them. After 5:00 p.m., the animals are more active, as the night approaches.
Visiting, or not visiting, the Tiger Kingdom?
As I told you at the beginning of the post, my visit to this place was unplanned. It could be said that I didn’t research about the place, and the origin and treatment of the animals.
I can not deny that the experience is surprising, new and exciting. The animals look good, but when I question if I would return to a place like The Tiger Kingdom, I think I would think more.
In some way, the question remains about what really happens behind closed doors. As a tourist, I would like to think that if the site is kept open it is because the government authority that looks after the welfare of the animals endorses that everything is fine. But many times that does not happen.
In any case, you can enter the place without necessarily having an encounter with the tigers, and you can draw your own conclusions.
Are the Tigers drugged?
In the Tiger Kingdom, they indicated that the reason why tigers do not react wildly to people is that they have nocturnal activity. Wild animals sleep between 15 and 18 hours a day and “work” at night.
On the place’s website, it is rejected that they drug the tigers. They indicate that sedans are only for annual medical check-ups or medical emergencies.
In my experience, while I was in the Kingdom of the Tiger, the animals were calm for a few minutes and then activated, jumped several times in a pool and were in very good condition. I can not say that they are drugged.
The place looks clean, without bad smells. The skin of the tigers looked healthy. All the tigers I saw kept their teeth and claws and they did not look sad.
Why do tigers get so much attention from people? In addition to its beauty and its role in nature, I would say that because of the great personality they have. They look confident, with authority.
The stripes they have are so unique that they resemble fingerprints. They have the ability to swim and capture their prey in the water.
The view is one of the most developed senses, which allows the Tigers to focus perfectly on the darkness of the night. During hunting, tigres can reach speeds of up to 90 kilometers per hour.
The spectacular tail can measure up to one meter. Their teeth are almost three inches and they weigh between 90 and 300 kilos.
Unfortunately, this is a species that is in danger of extinction.
Visit the Tiger Kingdom in Thailand
The restaurant food was not good, although Thailand has spectacular gastronomy. If you go to The Tiger Kingdom, my recommendation is that you eat before or after, at another restaurant.
The entrance to the site has no cost, what is charged is the interaction with the animals. Depending on the size of the tiger, so is the price.
Our visit took approximately two hours. Each encounter with the tigers takes only 10 minutes, but then you can see the experience of other people.
The Tiger Kingdom opens every day, including holidays, from 9 a.m. at 6:00 p.m. Last admission 5:30 p.m.
The following are the prices for an animal encounter, although they
- Smallest (Tiger age – 3 months) $41
- Small (Tiger age – 1 year 1 month) $29
- Medium (Tiger age – 1 year 3 months) $29
- Big (Tiger age 3 years 1 month) $32
There are many tours that offer
If you do not take a tour, I recommend you ask for a taxi from your hotel. If you are staying, or are going to do it, in the area of Patong (super recommended), it will take 9 minutes. Thailand is a very cheap country, so I’m sure the fee to pay will be low.
If you rent a car to know the surroundings of the area, take into account that in the country you drive on the right, as in the United Kingdom.
Tiger Kingdom’s address is 118/88 Moo 7 Kathu, Kathu, Phuket, Thailand, 83120.