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Tiger Temple - Go or Don't Go?

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Apr 16th, 2011, 03:07 PM
  #1
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Tiger Temple - Go or Don't Go?

I was just about to book the Tiger Temple with Tong when I ran across an old thread started by Bush Chick. That thread was from over 3 years ago.

I couldn't find any recent information...

Has anyone been recently?
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Apr 16th, 2011, 03:37 PM
  #2
 
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If you accept and support that it is a tourist attraction and in no way a refuge with any hope of releasing tigers to the wild then go. Tong will make sure you have the best experience possible. Just don't be disillusioned.

They run a breeding program to ensure they can provide tourists with babies to feed and play with - there is no chance that tigers raised with human contact like that would ever survive in the wild, and their website saying their goal is to release the next generation to the wild just seems to be a statement to make people believe they are something other than the tourist attraction they are. A bit of research will reveal that under the best conditions of raising tigers in captivity with no human contact, release to the wild has failed.

In addition to the issues of misrepresentation of their motives and the ethical issues involved with visiting such a place, please also consider safety. In spite of being raised with extensive human contact, the tigers are not domesticated and can be unpredictable. I have seen reports of injuries, none major, but still requiring medical treatment.

I suppose whether you should visit or not depends on your motives. Don't go if you think you will be supporting a place with the best interest of the tigers at heart - it can't be in the best interest of the tigers to be used as photo props for a bunch of tourists day after day, and those cute babies you can play with and feed are being groomed for the same life.

If your motive is to touch a tiger and get a photo and nothing else, then you will be happy. You can do that there and by all reports, Tong can give you the best possible experience there.
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Apr 16th, 2011, 05:15 PM
  #3
 
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Stand back!
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Apr 16th, 2011, 07:26 PM
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absolutely go.... !!!! it was nothing like what the tree hugging, do-gooders have described in their negetive rants about the place... is it perfect, no, what is... does the head monk profit, probably.... does he sell cubs, maybe... will you ever get that close to wild animals, doubtful.... should you go---well yes and evaluate it for yourself and return here and give your thoughts to help others answer the same question...

it was clean, well managed and fun.... the animals all seem in excellent condition and were all treated well... yes they are chained, yes they are restrained---hell they are wild beasts...

the 1/2 day we spent there with tong was 2nd only to the 1/2 day we spent with her at the "secret place"....

a nice combo with the tiger temple is a visit to the orphanage in the forest.
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Apr 16th, 2011, 07:26 PM
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take comfortable shoes and a hat and a cover up.....the sun is hot and there is little shade.... go early..
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Apr 16th, 2011, 07:34 PM
  #6
 
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This website pretty much illustrates the "controversy".

http://www.tigertemple.co.uk/

When you read the opening page, you will realize what a terrible place the temple is. The bloggers' conclusion is based on what they "heard" and "read".

Yet, if one bothers to continue into their blog, you will find that, based on their actual experience volunteering at the temple, they thought is was a good place.

The great majority of the temple dissention is based on what people "hear" and "read", not what they actually know.
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Apr 16th, 2011, 07:56 PM
  #7
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Thanks to all of you...we're going!
jewelhawg is offline  
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Apr 17th, 2011, 07:37 PM
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good decision
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Apr 18th, 2011, 07:35 AM
  #9
 
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I went in June 2008.
For me it was an amazing experience.
I'm glad that you have decided to go.
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Apr 18th, 2011, 09:34 AM
  #10
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The main activity I want to do at the Tiger Temple is feed the tiger cubs. I'm a tiny bit nervous about "walking" with and among the tigers, but I'm sure that will change once I get there.
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Apr 20th, 2011, 09:37 PM
  #11
 
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Go-Tong took us here in 08-It was a wonderful experience. Tong is a delight. Please say hi from Chris & Don
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Apr 21st, 2011, 04:12 AM
  #12
 
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There are a lot of unanswered questions about Tiger Temple.
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Apr 21st, 2011, 05:42 AM
  #13
 
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There are also a lot of unquestioned answers!
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Apr 21st, 2011, 06:45 AM
  #14
 
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It's not a slam-dunk decision, one way or the other. I think there are very good points to be made on both sides of this question. On balance, however, I say go. We did, and we're glad for the experience. I mean, where else can you do this?
http://onelittleworld.zenfolio.com/p...b836#h1da1b924

BIG CAVEAT: the experience of going there with Tong made it significantly more interesting, more worthwhile and more enjoyable. Without her, I'm not as sure.
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Apr 21st, 2011, 09:10 AM
  #15
 
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you will come away with amazing pics of you and the beasts...

being with the babies carries a hefty additional price tag i think, and a time commitment
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Apr 22nd, 2011, 06:28 AM
  #16
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Mr Go~ Thank you for the link to the photos...wow! I really appreciate you sharing them with us. This really makes us even more exited about going which I didn't think was possible!
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Apr 22nd, 2011, 05:32 PM
  #17
 
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My Thai wife will not allow the family to go to the Temple as she says the tigers and drugged and there have been accusations that they sell some to the Chinese tiger market trade....I don't think any of these rumors have been proven but I am happy to comply with my wife's wishes. And after visiting and living in Thailand for decades now, and seeing how horribly the Thai treat animals in general, I cannot imagine that this place could be any better....We prefer to see the wild ones...Here are some images of our recent tiger trip:

http://www.pbase.com/cokesmith/tigers

But, I have really enjoyed reading the various perspectives on this thread. It even got me doing some research and there are many interesting accusations and defenses of the Tiger Temple. Travelocity has a very long and interesting debate on the temple worth searching out and reading.

I don't know what the truth is but the temple is controversial for sure - no argument there! Hope you have a good time if you go.
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Apr 22nd, 2011, 06:51 PM
  #18
 
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i think everyone has to go and see for themselves....then and only then will you know for sure.... i am squarely in the go and see group
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Apr 22nd, 2011, 09:00 PM
  #19
 
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Just an often overlooked perspective ...

I have no "moral" issues with the place. Neither do I have any desire to visit. These are animals that, given a whim, can rip your arm off.

There is a reason such venues exist in Thailand, and it has nothing to do with the treatment of the animals.

If you go, go with the knowledge that you assume all risk. In Thailand, when you accept the liability waiver, it is a contract, not just a formality. They can not, and do not, "guarantee" your safety.

PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO ALL INSTRUCTIONS.
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May 21st, 2011, 07:36 AM
  #20
 
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THe breeding program is illegal and the care of the tigers is substandard. You should have serious worries about safety too.
It now appears that the animals are property of the Thai courts or govt and not the monks who lost their rights when the courts closed the place several years ago. Unfortunately no-one thought through what to do about the animals so they have stayed where they are and continued to breed.
The place is run down and shabby and it is quite clear that it is nearer to a 19th century circus than a serious attempt to benefit any tigers.

If you enjoy seeing monks poke tigers in the testicles as a joke then you might find it worth a visit.
If you have any knowledge of wildlife conservation you will find the place to be a travesty.
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