Into the wild - Tiger Temple
Kanchanaburi Travel Blog› entry 5 of 6 › view all entries
April 26 2008
It happened before going to see the Pandas in chiangmai and lucky us that most of tigers don't sleep when we're there. This temple just became the tiger temple since the famous abbot, Loung ta Mahabou, decided to help the tigers but now some people boycott this temple. They say the way the abbot does is the way he hurt the tigers.
The story is, at the beginning one tiger has lost the way back to the forest so the monks helped him. They fed him there then from one became two, three and now I think it’s ten to twenty. The temple becomes famous because of that. And even more after Animal Planet, documentary channel, visited there and made the documentary about it so it’s another way to promote this temple without any cost.
The ticket to the temple is 300 THB per person. You have to be sure that you dress ok otherwise you pay more.
After buying a ticket you have to sign the document that you accept and understand that anything can happen there.
In an early of this year, the Islaelian tourist were hit by the buffalo. They said the guy was so excited when he saw the buffalo so he wanted to take a picture then he ran into him but the buffalo was panic, he didn't know that the guy would come to attack him or just to say hello so he hit him back, hard. That’s why you have to be careful. But normally those animals are not come to you unless you do it to them.
It was really hot on that day! Really! I've never been here before.
They tied up the tigers with the chain and the trees. There's about 10 tigers. I heard later that if you wanted to take the picture so close, pay more for 1500THB and you will have the picture that the tiger is on your laps. (Really? 1500THB?? WOW!) Many people were waiting in the line. I don't understand - they said they don't allow the pink, red or yellow to go there because the tiger doesn't like these color. It's too bright. The tiger will hurt you if you wear it but the team who taks care of the place there wear the green - bright green but they're safe. Ok understand that green is the color of the tree but isn't too bright? Haha :)
The tigers were in an open space in the middle of the canyon.
But I got good pictures :) I love them all. Me first, Ale later. I wanted to touch them because their hair is nice. I love cats so I love them too. But one of them turned to me when I was trying to touch him. I was scared when the tiger looked at me in the eyes - still. Hope he just wants to smile at me so I just smiled back .. hae hae..
After finish taking the pictures I walked inside. There are the cages of tigers and places for other animals. And not far is the place of the monks.
Now some of people would like to vote and boycott this temple. They are arguing about is this case right or wrong? Temple should be only temple as the other temples. Why do we have to pay to go inside the temple? No Buddhists pay to go to the temple but why here? They are doing it because they are taking care of the tigers that have lost their home or they are feeding them to earn money to the temple? I have no idea yet because I didn’t know the truth and I didn’t search or read the whole information yet. The boycott thing just happened after I visited there.
One of the travel agents in Thailand started boycott this temple for last few months. Because of those reasons. Now they took this trip out of the tour. I don't know will be more or not. Some people discussed about this. The boycott gang wanted them to be closed. But if they don't feed the tigers so could the tigers live their lives in the forest again? Because now they're used to stay with people. I don't know. They're still talking about it.
When we're inside, most of them doesn't have a go to see the pagoda, temple, the images of Buddha, etc. but they just want to take a picture with the tiger. Some said that the foreigner veterinarians have visited and thought that the tiger was taken drug or something by the person who takes care of them. Because they’re tired and want to sleep every time they visited. They said they were taken drug because it would be easy for tourists to touch, to take pictures with them, to sit near them but the monk opposed that they didn’t do that. If they did, the tiger would be in a bad mood and upset and can break the chain to bite people. So they insist that they didn't do. But some people said they saw the volunteer dab the tiger’s mouth with the white powder if that tiger becomes nervous. And after did it, the tiger calm down. But they don’t know what kind of powder, could be milk powder or maybe something else?
I don't know.