The wonderful tiger temple of Thailand

Interacting with the tiger, photo by permanently scatterbrained/flickr

One of the most colorful countries of the world, Thailand attracts numerous visitors every year. It is home to wonderful and unique tourist attractions, featuring Buddhist temples, exotic wildlife and spectacular islands. Having a fascinating history and a unique culture that includes the famous Thai food and massage, Thailand features friendly people, thus it is not surprising it is also named the “land of smiles”. Visiting this country is surely a memorable experience and I guarantee you will want to return to Thailand on your next holiday. One of the spectacular and unique attractions of the country is the tiger temple or Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua which is a Buddhist temple in western Thailand, in the Saiyok district of Kanchanaburi Province. It is a forest temple and sanctuary and was founded in 1994.

 

Tigers

 

The tiger temple is a sanctuary which is home to numerous animals, including several tigers. The tigers walk around once a day and can be petted by visitors. The first tiger cub was given to the temple in 1999, but unfortunately it died. Later, other tiger cubs were brought to the temple. By the year 2007, about 21 cubs had been born at the temple. In 2012 the number of tigers has risen to about 100. Thai monks, volunteers and the local Thai staff take care of the tigers. Tigers are even walked on leashes once a day. The staff guide the visitors as they are admitted to sit with and pet the tigers. They keep everything under control and intervene if something happens. The best time to see the tigers is the early morning breakfast with the monks when the tigers are very active. As the day goes on, the temperature gets very hot and the tigers get very relaxed.

 

Interacting with the tiger, photo by permanently scatterbrained/flickr

 

The environment

 

There is an entry fee which is used for feeding the tigers and also funding the construction of a bigger tiger sanctuary. The future sanctuary will let the animals to live in a more natural environment than the present one. Some parts of the future sanctuary are ready and already inhabited with some tigers, while other portions are under construction. There is a need for money for the strong fencing around the sanctuary to keep the animals inside. The temple is also reforesting a huge surface of land nearby for a possible releasing of the tigers in the future. There are donation boxes around the temple for those who would like to support the future plans.

 

The tiger temple’s environment, photo by permanently scatterbrained/flickr

 

Activities

 

Visitors have the occasion to watch the tigers’ morning or evening exercise programme. Maximum 20 visitors may do this at a time. They can also watch monks and volunteers as they walk, handle and wash the tigers. Guests can engage in other activities with the tigers, such as bottle feeding tiger cubs, bathing tigers, exercising adolescent tigers, hand-feeding tigers and posing with sleeping adult tigers. They can sit with, pet the cats and make photos with the adults or cubs.

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