Nov 08, 2006
I couldn't decide if I wanted to include this place in my travel pod. I have chosen to do so only to urge all visitors to Thailand to avoid it at all costs. As the popularity of this place has skyrocketed, its intentions have plummeted into the depths of human avarice. The price for entry has increased to no less than 20x the original requested donation of 30 baht. This money has certainly not improved the living conditions of the tigers, but it has provided plenty of drugs to keep them sedated while tourists pay an extra 1000 baht (an insane amount of money in rural Thailand) to take photos with an almost unconscious tiger's head in their laps. These enormous tigers are regularly doused with water and manhandled into awkward positions simply to keep them awake. Upon visiting, my initial awe of seeing these incredible creatures up close was quickly extinguished by the painful recognition of what they have been reduced to. Thailand is notorious for corruption, but a Wat and wildlife sanctuary was not where I expected to find it. I was obviously naive, but I encourage others not to be. Please don't give your money to this place. The tattooed monks with cell phones are little more than street thugs who have surrounded themselves with opulence, all of it financed by foreign currency from hopeful but poorly informed tourists.