Sunday, January 6, 2013

You Tiga Now

I love this commercial:

Anywho, on to our second full day in Chiang Mai.  I had scheduled a day at cooking school but after waiting in the hotel lobby for what seemed like forever I called the school and they had forgotten to pick us up!  Sooooo,  Ryan and I hopped in a taxi for a drive out of town.  And by taxi I mean the bed of a covered pick up truck.

This mode of transportation was by no means safe, especially considering the haphazard traffic and plethora of zigging and zagging mopeds and tuk tuks (I never got a picture of one) on the road, but it was a pretty fun way to get around town.  And you couldn't beat the prices (and they waited for you wherever you went).

We arrived at our destination: Tiger Kingdom!  When you enter the building you get to choose which tigers (yes, I said tigers) you would like to visit (yes, I said visit): smallest, small, medium, or large.  You can choose to visit almost any combination of one to four sizes of tigers.  We chose to visit smallest, small, and LARGE!  First we went to see the babies, which were around 3 months old.  And when I say "see", I mean we literally got to get in their pen with them and TOUCH them!  They were so cute and playful and tiny (for tigers - they were still bigger than China).  We were allowed to be in the pen for about 15 minutes with the handlers and we got to see several of the babies in there.

Next we headed on to the "small" tigers, which were about 6 months old and in no way small.  Their fur is not nearly as soft as it looks and it has a very distinct smell to it, you know how horses and cattle each have distinct smells?  Well, maybe only rural kids can tell the difference in the scent of a horse and a cow, but anyway, that's the only way I know how to describe it.  One of them  may or may not have hissed at Ryan...which may or may not have caused emotional scarring.

Look at those paws!
Look at those chompers and claws!

After about 15 minutes with the "small" tigers we headed to the LARGE ones, as in full grown, massive tigers.  There was quite a line for the large tigers so we got to sit in the zoo like area outside of the pens and just watch other people with the tigers and the tigers that no one was visiting.  Why is my face this close to this tiger's face?  Even though Ryan took a picture I'm sure he was secretly freaking out.  Don't worry, the tiger didn't even open it's eyes, but still - Public Service Announcement:  Don't ever do this.

Finally - the big show.  Please note Ryan's and my different reactions to the large tigers.  Please then deduce which one of us is more practical and reasonable.

Those are some paws:
Wow, these creatures are so majestic.  What an opportunity to get to see and touch these animals.  I know that we weren't technically in nature when seeing the tigers but being so close to them caused in me great awe of the wild, natural world.  The strength and beauty humbles me.


  1. What a fantastic post and you got some AMAZING pictures. My parents did some volunteer work at a big cat sanctuary not far from our home some years back and had encounters like this on a weekly basis. Those babies are just precious and good for you for getting up close and personal...what an awesome experience!

  2. You are braver than I would be I think. I saw you with the baby tigers (I would definitely be brave enough to do baby tigers. They are just too darn cute to not touch) on your Christmas card and I thought, "Oh I bet that must be in a different country with a very different legal system. That is a lawsuit waiting to happen"