Phuket has now got another destination for tourists and local to check out. Brought to Phuket by those who have successfully operated Ubon Zoo and Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai, the big cats are now to be seen at the newly opened Tiger Kingdom Phuket, located adjacent to Patong Go-Kart Speedway in Kathu, on the foot of the mountain to Patong.
All tigers at Tiger Kingdoms are Indochinese tigers, a breed usually found in Myanmar, southern China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. They are hand raised by their trainers from very young and are used to humans. Staff assures that these big cats can be played with, but you need to know how. It is suggested that the best method is to cuddle and stroke the cat firmly to make it feel comfortable. A gently stroke will feel ticklish and irritate them, especially a sleeping tiger. Baby tigers are more playful than the adult ones. But you don’t have to worry as there is well-trained and experienced staff to ensure your safety. Tigers are still wild animals and you will still need to follow strict instructions and treat them with respect.
Tiger Kingdom’s friendly staff explained that there are a lot of people who think these tigers are drugged, but it’s not true. These big cats, as part of their nature, will sleep up to 18 hours a day and in order to make the most of visitors’ visits, staff there will play with tigers during the day and let them sleep and rest at night instead.
Tigers here are provided clean and natural habitual places to roam and play around. They have their own swimming pool in each enclosure and are cared for closely by the trainers who have raised them. There will be 2-4 tigers together in an enclosure which are divided by their ages. The smallest tigers are aged 2-4 months, small tigers aged 5-10 months, medium tigers 11-15 months and big tigers 16-36 months (they are huge!).
Any of you who are brave enough to go inside the enclosure will be asked to wash your hands first and leave your belongings outside. Visitors are allowed to be inside with tigers for about 10 minutes and visitor numbers are limited in a round. You can take with you a camera but please note that flash photography is strictly prohibited.
Single ticket prices start at 800 Baht per person. The full combination ticket costs 3,500 Baht per person and these allow you to visit all enclosures, be with tigers of all ages, with a photographer accompanying you at one cage. For those interested in having a separate photography service besides your admission ticket, the service costs an extra 500 baht per cage. The ticket prices are inclusive of insurance premium, service charge and VAT.
Tiger Kindom Phuket also houses one restaurant with an a la cart menu and buffet lunch priced at 550 Baht per person. From its restaurant guest can enjoy observing the tigers whilst enjoying a meal. For more information about Tiger Kingdom Phuket, tickets prices and their facilities, please contact Tel: 0-7632-3311-2. Tiger Kingdom opens daily 9:00 am-6:00 pm.