After the two-day rendezvous in Bangkok, we set off to fly to Chiang Mai, a city located in Northern Thailand.
We booked a flight via Airasia (BKK-CNX), which has its terminal at the Don Mueng International Airport, Bangkok's old airport. Flight to Chiang Mai from Bangkok takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
|inside Don Mueang International Airport|
From our guesthouse in the Sathorn area, we took a taxi (as advised by our host since it was Sunday, no traffic) and paid around 220 Baht (Php 300).
To save a few Bahts on check-in baggage, we left one huge luggage at Don Mueang's Left Baggage section. Left Baggage is a facility at the airports where you can leave your luggage temporarily for a fee.
As soon as we arrived in Chiang Mai, we took a ride on a songthaew (Thai jeepneys), checked-in at our guesthouse then set off to the Tiger Kingdom.
As soon as we arrived at the entrance, we were given a queue number. When we entered the reception area, a lady oriented us of the packages we can avail.
Here are the rates (per person):
NEWBORN (2-3 months) - 620 Baht for 10 minutes
SMALL (4-8 months) - 520 Baht for 10 minutes
MEDIUM (9-12 months) - 420 Baht for 15 minutes
LARGE (13 months above) - 420 Baht for 15 minutes
LARGE/MEDIUM + SMALL - 840 Baht
LARGE + SMALL + NEWBORN - 1260 Baht
MEDIUM + SMALL + NEWBORN - 1260 Baht
LARGE + MEDIUM + SMALL + NEWBORN - 1480 Baht
My friend and I both got the LARGE/MEDIUM + SMALL package (840 Baht or Php 1142) and the lunch buffet for 250 Baht (Php 340).
Where did we first go? It's pretty obvious: the lunch buffet! >.<
The songthaew conductor we hired told us that the Tiger Kingdom buffet is really delicious, and we agree with her. The buffet spread has salad, noodles, pasta, Thai dishes, assorted fruits, and even coffee and tea.
After a satisfying lunch, we headed out to the waiting area.
It was impressive that the Tiger Kingdom is very systematic with the number of guests they allow inside the main area where the tiger cages are located. There is a monitor just outside the tiger cage where we can see our queue number.
Before we went inside the cage of the large tigers, we were instructed that we should approach the tigers from behind so we would not agitate them.
I was a little nervous before I approached one, but when I touched its fur and sat beside it, my nervousness evaporated. Really, tigers are the cutest animals I have ever seen up close!
I thought that we could only approach one tiger, but we were encouraged by the keeper to move to another tiger and have our photos taken. Well, I couldn't say no to that.
I had to chase the largest one in the pack, who was busy taking a bath in the small pool.
See? Busy talaga sya eh. hahaha!
We headed out to the next cage, where the small tigers are.
Small tigers are more playful than large tigers. It was more difficult to take photos with them. Ang kukulit!
Our trip to the Tiger Kingdom was indeed one of the most memorable things I have done in my life. This place is a testament that if we care for animals, they will care for you back. During my short stay, I have seen how the tiger keepers interact with their wards naturally, like they are their own pets.
Should you visit Chiang Mai, I really suggest that you visit the Tiger Kingdom.
Note: For our transportation to and from the Tiger Kingdom, we hired a songthaew driver named Mr. Samark for 300 Baht (Php 408). You may contact him at 084-894-1033.
51/1 Moo 7 Rimtai,
Other location is at Phuket, Thailand