Thailand - Tiger Temple

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September 7th 2012
Published: September 7th 2012
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We arrived in Bangkok Tuesday, and for those familiar with E's leg condition, he did great! No great swelling. Qatar Airlines were very accommodating him and even blocking seats so he could keep his legs up. That was a great start.

But even better was the trip to the Tiger Monastary. This was a trip we arranged on our own before we left which is why we came a couple of days early. This was one on my bucket list and it was worth every dime!

We had to leave our hotel at 5:00 am since Kanchanaburi is 2hours from Bangkok but I had no complaints Our guide helped us buy and give food as alms for the Buddist Monks. This is the only way they receive food and the breakfast meal is the only one they eat all day.

We were then able to go into the temple and share the food and play with young tigers. This place is a sanctuary for the tigers with no mistreatment. Only a few hundred tigers still exist in Thailand and these Monks are trying to save them and prepare them for the wild. So these are not circus tigers forced to be docile. We were told many times to stay behind the tiger and not to make any sudden moves or loud sounds

At this temple i was able to feed a 6 month old cub and ended up getting milk all over him and me. You could tell I was not expert on feeding babies. There was a 2 week tiger out for the first time. The staff had to hold it but it's eyes we're still closed and it cried and cried just like any other little kitten.

After this we got to walk the tigers for the temple down to get a bath. The first time I got the leash, my tiger took off after another one,but I let goin time not to end upon my face. We got to soap up the tigers then rinse them off. Of course they wer a very short chain. And staff was always very close. Then the gave me some raw chickens to feed the tiger. Wow! To have home eating out of my hand was incredible. Ernest refused to take part in this. He was more reluctant than I was getting too close to the tigers. When you touch the tigers you have to go it firmly, not like petting a house cat. Else they think you are and fly and reach around to bite.

Next we met the tigers in their play area. We were given long poles with toy bags on the end to entice tiger. When we got their attention we raised the pole up so they woulkip ump after it. You had to be really aware during this because they cold come back down on top of you! And a couple started playing with each other or going after the same toy so the staff would step in to get them separated. And of course E decided he would just take picturedue ring this also. This was amazing to play with them liked would play with our cat, Maou.

After this we got to see the big tigers and some pictures made with them. You couldn't lay down beside these like you could the small ones cause these guys could roll over on you. We got to walk them down to the canyon and of course have pictures made with them. In the canyon, we were placed in a sort of cage and got to watch these big ones play with the staff. We were told not to turn our backs on them even though we were behind a fence cause they would charge the fence.

We finished the day with lunch at a restaurant floating on the River Kwai with a perfect view of the bridge. The rebuilt part after the bombing was made in a different style so everyone would know which part was destroyed.

This was such an incredible, once in a lifetime experience. I am so trilled I was able to do this.

Oh what about Bangkok? Well, I'm not one for big cities and this one is overcrowded. We saw the palace, a few temples, the reclining golden Buddha (that was pretty awesome)and the Jade Buddha. We went to see a show of Thai history last night and I got to feed an elephant. But I'm ready to leave tomorrow.

Oh, one more thing. We have had massages every day. Thie first one we got was 90 minutes for less than $10 and so much better than the $20 ones we get in Chinatown. I was I could have taken a picture when Ernest first realized a girl was walking on his back! It was hilarious! I expect therewill be many more massages all through this trip.

Additional photos below
Photos: 36, Displayed: 25


7th September 2012

All I can say is WOW! I can't believe you were actually able to get so close to those incredible creatures. Loved the photos! Thanks for sharing.
7th September 2012

Lions, tigers and bears...
These tigers act like big kittens. I take it they ate before the grooming starts.
7th September 2012

Amazing pictures!!!
Wow! Ernest and Melinda I am in awe reading this blog entry of your experience with the tigers, the monks and the Far East journey. Looking forward to reading and seeing more of your adventures!
9th September 2012

Living vicariously through you!
You are a natural blogger and what a trip...I feel like I was there with you...thanks for sharing!! Safe travels!
9th September 2012

That's cool
I called Rachel to make sure she saw the Tiger pictures and read the story. To quote Rachel \"that\'s cool\". She loves animals so I knew she would enjoy the pictures. Looks like you were in your glory.
18th September 2012
2 week old cub

I know you love cats.
they are very cute as cubs...
18th September 2012
what a day!

Nice composition
Good pic and I like the b/w

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