Tiger Kingdom is a fairly small setup, but with many tigers. You can choose different combinations of visitations, from just watching other people being taken into photos from outside the cages to interacting, to a small extent, with the tigers or 4 different sizes (and age), from the smallest to the big ones. I chose the "Smallest, Small and Large combo" with photographer, as I was by myself, for 1860 baht ($72CAD). This is not just a quick photo op with one tiger of each category, but rather a good 5-15 minutes with two to four tigers of each category, depending on availability. So I believe I spent time with about 10 different tigers. I was there for the better part of two hours, and there was a good crowd, with the longest waiting line of about 15 minutes for the baby tigers, as they are the less numerous and most popular, and expensive. So I had a dedicated guide and dedicated photographer for each of the tigers I was with. They took photos with their camera (got a CD later) and fortunately, with mine as well, as I have no way of reading CDs with my iPad or iPhone.
For those wondering whether it is a scary experience, well, I can't say it was for me. They are tigers of course, but not wild and well fed. There are a few rules to follow and let's face it; with the popularity of this site and the stats of no reported accident, it feels safe enough, despite the insurance policy coverage we have to sign for before paying for the opportunity. Some of the rules are :
- we cannot touch the head nor the front paws of the tigers, meaning approaching them from behind and staying and interacting only in that general hind area is a must.
- we have to move slowly enough and quietly and basically follow the directions of the guide
- and never do anything that might be interpreted as teasing or playing.
- as well, petting softly is like tickling the animals so they could react promptly. They prefer and enjoy a hard scratch on the belly. Two of my sleepy tigers turned promptly on their back with paws up upon me doing it.
Of course, having the photographer constantly asking you to look at him for photo ops, meant that I wasn't keeping my eyes on the tigers as I was petting them, in case of a quick reaction on their part. They are powerful animals and deserves every ounce of respect you have. Other than that, I was calm, too much for the photograph who kept asking me to pick up the tail or even bite into it. Yah right! I am sure those poor beasties have seen worst with their kids but I don't know where those tails have been ;). Kidding aside, this was an enjoyable part of the day, I admit that much, but of course, I couldn't help but realize that it is more of a necessary thing for the tourists than it is for the tigers.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.