Lets go play with some big cats! – picture special

by Kirsty on December 1, 2010

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We really enjoyed Tiger Kingdom whilst we were in Chiang Mai. Within 24 hours of us arriving Jeremy Living the Dream had persuaded us to hop in the back of a Songtao and head off to play with some big (and I mean BIG) cats.

We signed up to meet three different types of tigers,

  • Baby
  • Small
  • Big

To enter three different cages it costs 1260 Thai baht each, around 25 pounds. They say that you need to pay for an extra photographer if you are by yourself but the handlers are usually happy to snap a couple for you.  We’ve lined up our favourite photos from the day, for more information check out Jeremys post.

Tiger Kingdom – Chiang Mai

Baby Tigers

The baby tigers are about 5/6 months old and about the size of a small dog already! These are quite possibly the cutest things I have seen in a while!

baby tiger tiger kingdom chiang maiHow cute is little La La?

Kirsty with a baby tigerHolding a baby tiger in between my legs! 

poi with baby tigerDaddy tiger in the making!

Poi and kirsty with baby tigerWe really didn’t want leave La La

Small Tiger

Next up were the small tigers, these are just 8 months old, but they are already at least twice the size as the babies! As you can see I wasn’t quite sure about them…

Kirsty tiger kingdom I was pretty confident at first, until he looked at me!

Poi and Kirsty with small tiger chiang mai tiger kingdom All three of us together

Kirsty with small tiger at tiger kingdom chiang maiOnce the boys stopped showing off I decided I could have a another quick pose!

Big Tiger

The biggest tiger you can hang out with at Tiger Kingdom is just under two years.  We were introduced to an 18month old called Oscar, and he was plenty big enough. A mixture of scared faces and trying to pretend this is natural…

kirsty with big tigerI thought I was a little more brave until I met this guy – he is massive!

poi with big tigerPoi is taking it all in his stride – like normal

tiger kingdom chiang maiMaybe not! Look how big his head is!

how big is a tigers pawIn fact look how big his paws are. You can see why they are called big cats!

Massive Tiger

Once they are two, the general public aren’t allowed near them and they are sold to zoos as part of a breeding program. Thank god we didn’t have to pet them – I was freaking out enough at the big size!

tiger kingdom chiang maiLuckily there is a very filmsy fence between us and the big big tigers

big cat tiger kingdom chiang maiChilling on top of his perch – I guess they must become massive posers in the two years they are in contact with humans everyday!

We really enjoyed our day at Tiger Kingdom, and they have a lovely cafe which overlooks the tiger enclousre, which is good if you are not brave enough to go in. To see more pictures of the day check out our Facebook page: No Place To Be


{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

Faye December 1, 2010 at 9:12 pm

These photos are amazing! I am so jealous – I would have been very nervous too. When you were with the big tigers, were you instructed to stay away from their head? Thanks for sharing this!


Poi December 4, 2010 at 9:05 am

Yeah, for the big ones we were told to come up from behind, that sounds so wrong but you know what I mean.


Zablon Mukuba December 1, 2010 at 9:52 pm

its amazing how every animal looks cute when they are young. and grow up to be killers. that is a really great place to play with tigers of all ages. i hope they have never had an incident


Kirsty December 2, 2010 at 12:07 pm

it’s really true! I don’t think they’ve had any problems as they are well trained, or that is what they have told us!


Amanda December 2, 2010 at 1:36 am

Ohhhh my gosh I wanna cuddle with baby tigers!!! I love cats of all sizes. But I think I would have been a bit wary about those giant kitties, too, Kirsty!
Amanda´s last blog post ..The Pros and Cons of Travel


Kirsty December 2, 2010 at 12:06 pm

they were very very very very cute, especially when they tried pouncing! They stop being cute by 2 years though, then they are just killing machines!


Melvin December 2, 2010 at 2:04 am

I guess they are drugged! Otherwise they would be stressed… & stressed tigers aren’t fun! LOL
Melvin´s last blog post ..Explore Gunung Mulu National Park in Borneo – Malaysia


Kirsty December 2, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Yeah stressed tigers would not be fun… They claim they are not drugged but as you say we couldn’t work out why they would be soooo calm


Nick Laborde December 2, 2010 at 2:48 am

I would totally dig that. The look on Kirsty’s face is priceless.
Nick Laborde´s last blog post ..15 ways to deal with travel dream killers and a couple ass kicks


Kirsty December 2, 2010 at 11:52 am

Thanks, I like to provide a service! I am now saying that it was just good acting… honest! I was actually not scared of them at all….


Heather December 2, 2010 at 4:20 am

Hehe, love your face Kirsty in the photo when the 18mo old wakes up 🙂 I think I’d be okay with the younger ones but not so sure about the older one! 🙂
Heather´s last blog post ..Living the dream- 6 months in


Kirsty December 2, 2010 at 11:51 am

The younger ones were really really cute, but I was definitely scared by the second cage! I’m glad I did it though 🙂


Kieron December 2, 2010 at 7:17 am

Very cool, we got to pet white tigers during our time in Bali but had some concerns that they may have been drugged in order to let us tourists get up close with them.

Even still, it was an amazing experience to get up close with such beautiful creatures. The baby tigers are adorable!
Kieron´s last blog post ..The challenge of delayed gratification


Kirsty December 2, 2010 at 11:56 am

Yeah, they say they aren’t drugged just trained from a young age but we weren’t completely convinced.. I would have happily spent the whole time with the little babies, we got to see some ones that were only a few weeks old… they were the size of a domestic cat but sooooo cute 🙂


Jeremy December 2, 2010 at 8:55 am

Finally caught your posts up to Chiang mai I see? That was so much fun going to Tiger Kingdom! I don’t get sick looking at these pictures, especially from the very authentic look of fear you have 😉

(PS: me doing shameful advertising, but your linking to my site doesnt have the .com at the end, hehehe).
Jeremy´s last blog post ..Shaving off the Scruff


Kirsty December 2, 2010 at 11:59 am

Yep 🙂 Now it’ll all be from your favorite place! The links sorted 🙂
And it’s not fear it’s errrrmmm… ok it could be fear, very much fear!!


Dan Collins December 2, 2010 at 11:41 am

This is AWESOME! I’m going to Tiger Kingdom in Feb… I CANNOT WAIT now haha…. these pictures look so awesome!
Dan Collins´s last blog post ..The Countdown begins!


Kirsty December 2, 2010 at 12:03 pm

It’s definitely an experience, I loved it 🙂


Erica December 2, 2010 at 4:22 pm

LOL Kirsty I love your face when the guys are so chill about the tiger yawning/roaring. TOO CUTE.
Erica´s last blog post ..New Page- London Pt 2


Poi December 2, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Kirsty’s a right wimp, I didn’t flinch once, honest….


Natalie December 2, 2010 at 5:37 pm

You are a lot braver then me!! Magnificent creatures though.


Poi December 2, 2010 at 10:55 pm

They are, next plan is to see them in the wild and less sleepy.


Abby December 2, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Is that really safe?! You guys all look so comfortable! Wow, what an experience.
Abby´s last blog post ..Celebrating Latin America — my first ebook!


Poi December 2, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Yeah it’s fine, the trainers there let you know when the tigers have had enough and we sure as hell take their word for it!


Andi December 2, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Probably the coolest thing EVER!!! You better frame these pics when you get back. 🙂
Andi´s last blog post ..Cuba- Day 6 Part 2


Poi December 2, 2010 at 10:57 pm

The ultimate bragging photos right?


Chloe Johnson December 2, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Sooo jealous – your face in some of these pics is priceless!!


Kirsty December 3, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Thanks! It was pretty scary with the bigger ones! But, I think I was mainly just wimping out!


Camels & Chocolate December 2, 2010 at 11:01 pm

OK I don’t like traditional cats (husband has one and I hate him!), but what is it about big cats that’s just so darn cool? That last photo of the three of you and the tiger is classic!
Camels & Chocolate´s last blog post ..Ho Ho Ho! What to Buy the Traveler in Your Life


Poi December 3, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Same here, I’m a dogs guy, maybe we should hang out with wolves instead?


Emily December 3, 2010 at 3:22 am

Oh my gosh, that is awesome!!! Those baby tigers are so precious. And that picture of you with the tiger roaring is priceless! I’ve also heard that they claim that the tigers aren’t drugged and that they just get used to being around humans at a young age–I like to think that’s the truth. But I read one travel blogger say they thought they saw a worker slipping one of them some type of white powder one time. Hmmm…regardless, I want to go there someday!


Poi December 3, 2010 at 4:00 pm

That’s a shame, we figured they must be giving them something, everybody seemed to want to hammer it home a bit too much that they wasn’t drugged.

You should still visit though, very cool.


AudreyDez December 3, 2010 at 10:54 am

OMG this is so cute!! Looks like an amazing experience! Was it worth the $?
AudreyDez´s last blog post ..Help needed


Poi December 3, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Hell yes! Even if it’s just for all the comments from people telling us how awesome we are haha!


Stephen December 4, 2010 at 4:26 am

Wow, can’t believe you can get so close!


Poi December 4, 2010 at 8:53 am

I didn’t really expect to be laying on them when I arrived thats for sure.


Caz Makepeace December 5, 2010 at 5:27 am

Great photos guys. That last one when the tiger woke is priceless!
Caz Makepeace´s last blog post ..Random Travel Encounters- It’s a Small World After All


Kirsty December 5, 2010 at 10:32 am

Thanks Caz, Seems to be a popular one that, came out great!


Martin December 8, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Now all you have left are Great Whites to stroke off of South Africa and a few Gizzly Bears to cuddle in Alaska ?


Poi December 13, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Sounds like a plan to me!


Ryan December 22, 2010 at 3:15 am

Liz and I really enjoyed our time at Tiger Kingdom. Now that I think back to it… it was so crazy! 😉


Poi December 22, 2010 at 11:45 am

haha we do the same – Holy crap I laid down with some huge tigers!!!


Ella December 28, 2010 at 11:10 pm

This looks amazing! The baby tigers are SO cute! I’ll definitely be checking this out when I’m in Thailand!
Ella´s last blog post ..Rarotonga- Cook Islands- Paradise on Earth Photo Essay


Kirsty January 28, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Do it! 🙂


Ryanne March 7, 2011 at 12:06 pm


You jumping in the cage girl. Respect. ^_ ^


Steph April 30, 2011 at 8:24 am

Aw, big kitties 🙂 *like!*
Steph´s last blog post ..Fique- Fibre for Pretty Things


Poi April 30, 2011 at 1:43 pm



Kobes June 9, 2011 at 9:14 am

Pics look incredible! The fearful one is the best haha.

I’m goign in two weeks and have been trying to find a tiger place that treats them well (for tigers being unnaturally close to people!).

Do you think that they were abuse free and well cared for, apart from the potential drugging? They look muscular and playful.

Did they say what zoo they trade with?
I’ve found some articles of tiger temples saying they look after them but there is evidence of them trading them illegally for medicinal and meat purposes : (


Travellyn June 20, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Pics are great of these wonderful beasts and what an amazing experience to have. I would be very very nervous but Tiger Kingdom at Chiang Mai is definitely going on my bucket list. Great post.
Travellyn´s last blog post ..The Strand Tropical TownsvilleNorth Queensland


Rachel June 23, 2011 at 6:22 am

This is amazing! I would have been terrified of the bigger ones.


Poi June 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm

haha thanks, they were pretty calm but it was still scary!


Afrika's Finest July 29, 2011 at 7:53 am

F’n crazy!


Dennis March 1, 2012 at 1:14 am

Most stupid thing you could do anywhere. No cat is trained completely. Stupid people would do this.
Plus, its not fun for the cats having to be poked and fawned over hour after hour.
Please avoid this type of ‘adventure’.


Poi March 1, 2012 at 10:14 am

Dennis thank you for commenting but I have to ask did you search for this just to leave a negative comment?

These places will always exist and although you may not agree with it this place is at least trying to do it better than most.

I’m not sure it’s the most stupid thing you could do anywhere either but then what would I know, as you say, I’m stupid.


NIla Kurnia April 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Beautiful pictures. I’m going to Tiger Kingdom in May. Really excited and can’t wait 🙂


Heart October 8, 2013 at 12:29 am

haha, hilarious photos! love them! we also went to chiang mai and had close encounters with the third kind — umm, i meant, the tigers. hahaha



Miles of Happiness December 17, 2014 at 3:18 pm

how come they are so quiet? I wanted to go there during my trip but I didn’t get enough time… It’s definitely something I wanna do! Your pictures are hilarious.


Lynn A Girard June 9, 2015 at 3:38 am

My husband & I visited Tiger Kingdom when we were in Chiang Mai for our honeymoon. I have to admit, I was a little nervous that the animals were not going to be treated well but once we were there we were both impressed by the quality that we did see.

For all those that claim that the tigers are drugged, have you ever spent a day with a house cat? I have a cat & she sleeps most of the day, it’s just how the animals are.

Check our our blog post about our experience at Tiger Kingdom:


Debbie August 2, 2015 at 1:58 am

We met Tigers in South Africa, but the baby Tigers are so freaking cute! I would love to get up close with a baby Tiger! Great photos!
Debbie´s last blog post ..Picturesque Mount St Helens


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