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Tiger temple in Kanchanaburi

Posted by licasi on 16/11/2007 at 13:46

Can anyone tell me why it's hard to find any tours including the tiger temple in Kanchanaburi ? I've found one site, but none of the hotels have this attraction included in their tours, and it's not mentionet under attractions on Sawadee etc....
Do you know if the web-page I've found is reliable ??


#1 licasi has been a member since 16/11/2007. Posts: 4

Posted by breconion on 16/11/2007 at 14:09

Never really noticed that tours do not list tiger Temple.

Most people seem to go on private tour with guide.

Comments are very mixed from both ends some realy hate it and would wish they had never gone whilst others think it is a good project

Visit trip advisor for many varied trip reports on Tiger Temple

#2 breconion has been a member since 15/11/2007. Posts: 5
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Posted by jenmoss on 16/11/2007 at 15:07

I visited the Tiger temple a week ago and I loved the experience. I didn't take a tour though and chose to go on my own.

My partner and I stopped at the TAT office (located close to the bus station.)and got ourselves a good map. We rented a motorbike and rode to the temple. It's a 35-38 km ride from the TAT office and though that sounds like quite a distance, the road, after you take the first right, is a straight one with very little traffic. We got there in forty-five mins.

After you've ridden about 30 odd kilometers, keep an eye on the right side of the road where you'll see a large sign board advertising the Tiger Temple (Wat Pa Luangta Bua in Thai). Take the right, immediately after the signboard and keep going for another 2 kms. It's at the end of that road and you can't miss it. The admission fee is 300Bht.

The advantage of going on your own is that you can hang around right till the end. After the tigers are walked back at 4pm, the other animals are fed. A couple of cubs are brought out and visitors get plenty of time with the cubs (great photo opportunities and some quality time petting these wild cats).

#3 jenmoss has been a member since 16/11/2007. Posts: 6

Posted by licasi on 16/11/2007 at 15:13

Thanks alot !
We're spending 2 nights in K and we're the kind of people wanting to see everything. Thought it would be good with a tour to get all the stuff organized. We also would like to syay at the River refts, anyone tried it ?

#4 licasi has been a member since 16/11/2007. Posts: 4

Posted by ChangFai on 16/11/2007 at 15:22

Please read this earlier thread before thinking about visiting the Tiger Temple .

#5 ChangFai has been a member since 10/4/2007. Location: Thailand. Posts: 139

Posted by khunwilko on 17/11/2007 at 10:22

If you know anything about or care about animals - DO NOT visit the tiger temple - there is a vast grounswell of opinion against the place
Chech Thorntree forum, Thai Visa anywhere - just google up tiger temple - it will make you sick!

#6 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by goo_stewart on 17/11/2007 at 21:55

Mr Wilko, I hear what you say, I even agree to an extent, but I must point out that there has been NO conclusive proof that these animals are mistreated. I realise the arguments of the close confinements etc, but there has never been any definitive report to weigh both sides.

One thing I will say is that the monks are acting in a very 'un'monk manner. They are taking too much money to just claim of up keep (and why the hell are they keeping tigers in the first place????) and they are going against traditional Thai Buddhist attitudes. Locals Thais don't really support this 'temple'.

#7 goo_stewart has been a member since 10/10/2007. Posts: 69

Posted by khunwilko on 18/11/2007 at 08:50

Ive spent about 4 years reading around the issues surrounding this place and in my opinion the overwhelming weight of opinion is AGAINST it....that it is a con and a disaster for all aspects of Tiger welfare, breeding or preservation...the only benefit is to the "monks" (whose authenticity has also been questioned).
The alarming thing is that the "against" evidence comes mainly from people - eye witnesses - actively involved in animal welfare. The "pro" argument is largely form lay people questioning the evidence rather than saying why the place is OK

#8 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by EmjayReet on 19/11/2007 at 19:09

I would be very careful about 'bagging' tiger temple on the forums... I am one who does not like the Tiger Temple based on my personal experience however when I wrote a post about this on Trip Advisor I received a very nasty threatening private message from someone who has said they have downloaded my photos from my blogs and passed them onto people who are going to do their own thai style justice when I come back to thailand .... it was pretty sick!! Apparently I was screwing with peoples livelihoods by advising against going there... not very monk like behaviour whoever it was!!!

Here is just some of the threats made ( I have deleted the more obscene parts of the email) :

"You want to mess with my friends livelihoods do you? SKANK.

I can safely call you SKANK as i have seen your f*cked up head on your blogs that you advertised on this site, all which are pretty lame!!!

Now i believe you will be in Thailand February/March? Is this correct HO? And you will be spending some time with Tong? Well how about some Thai style justice from the people whose livings you are f*cking with. They know Tong well and are directly and indirectly involved with the Tiger Temple and are very interested in meeting you, you skank!!!! Then you can tell them your concerns in person about this particular institution, and how you want them to lose their livelihoods

I have already downloaded your pics and forwarded them, people are very intereted in you. A*S WIPE!!!!!! You deserve what is coming your way Skank!!!"

Charming people associated with this place!!

Reet xx

#9 EmjayReet has been a member since 4/7/2006. Location: Australia. Posts: 156

Posted by licasi on 19/11/2007 at 19:16

Thanks to all of you, I'm very glad I asked. It's funny with that funny feeling you get sometimes, alot of times theres something in it and I'm glad I checked it out !

#10 licasi has been a member since 16/11/2007. Posts: 4

Posted by jenmoss on 20/11/2007 at 08:54

I did read a couple of threads about the tigers being drugged, prior to my visit. My own experience proved those threads wrong, at least as far as the drug accusation went. The tigers were up and active.

I can't really comment on the "money-making racquet" the monks are involved in, but if you're interested in seeing these tigers up close, this is a good chance.

I also believe the monks are working on a project which will enable them to provide a natural habitat to the cubs born in captivity in order to get them used to the wild. The plan is to set those cubs free in the wild once they're ready. The temple claims that money contributed is going towards that project. I, for one, would like to believe that my money (the admission fee) will be used to advance that project.

There are several western volunteers as well, working at the temple. Those in doubt could have a word with them. They should be in the best position to tell you the truth. Talk to more than one of them if you like...After all of them can't be lying.

As far as claims about cruelty towards the animals go, I saw absolutely nothing to justify that accusation. The animals were treated with respect at all times. I was there for more than a couple hours and only left right before closing time.

Now, coming to the river rafts...We stayed at one called The Tamarind Guesthouse (very close to the jolly frog and right in the midst of all other tourist attractions while still allowing you some peace and quiet). It had both regular rooms and the river raft type. A fan-room with private bathroom and hot shower cost us 350 Bhat a day. The views were good and the rooms were new and clean. The one thing I didn't realize when taking up the raft-room was the drainage system, or rather, the lack of it. The gaps in the wooden board serve as a drain for all your soapy, bath water and the loo leads right into the river as well.

Personally, I wouldn't have chosen to pollute the river that way if I'd known about the drainage set up earlier on. We only stayed there a day. If you do decide to stay at one, please refrain from snorkelling in the water (as some jolly englishmen chose to), unless you want to be swallowing some of the waste matter from the river raft rooms.

#11 jenmoss has been a member since 16/11/2007. Posts: 6

Posted by khunwilko on 20/11/2007 at 09:21

Jenmoss - If you read around you will find that both the drugging and enclosures have been addressed and whislt drugging of the animals if carried out is to alter their behaviour not to send them to sleep the enclosures have been "talked about for years and money has been collected but no enclosures....also the designs have been criticied. BUT the main argument is that such an establishment serves no beneficial purpose for the Tigers.....the fact that you can sit next to one is merely an example of how these animals are not behaving as they should!

#12 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by khunwilko on 20/11/2007 at 09:25

PS - A lot of the critism has come from disillusioned volunteers

#13 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by jenmoss on 20/11/2007 at 11:44

Mr Wilko-- I hear what you're saying about the tiger's acceptance and tolerance of human presence. But at the same time, I'm glad these tigers were rescued from poachers and are alive today. Soon, a time may come when we won't be able to see any tigers...anywhere. I can only hope that the cubs will eventually be able to enjoy the benefits of the project and will eventually be set free.

The thorntree threads I was referring to clearly stated that the tigers appeared drugged to the point of apparent sluggishness and lethargy. My experience of them was different. Yes, the present cages did look too small though.

Again every forum I've read about has people expressing opinions that reflect both ends of the spectrum. You've read some written by disillusioned volunteers and I've read some written by delighted volunteers. What's the truth in all this....I really don't know. The one thing I can absolutely rely on is my own experience of the place. But again, that's only limited to a few hours....Maybe I'll volunteer someday and find out :).

I will continue to read around to get more perspective. Maybe I'm being idealistic, but I just hope those tigers get a fair deal.

#14 jenmoss has been a member since 16/11/2007. Posts: 6

Posted by khunwilko on 20/11/2007 at 14:53

"I'm glad these tigers were rescued from poachers " - all of them? they breed tigers and ship them elsewhere...where is not clear but probably not too savoury (Chinese diner table??) can't set free tigers that have no fear of humans...........any cage is too small for an annimal that is designed to live and range over a large environment.......I defy you to find one single "delighted" VOLUNTEER - e.g. someone not paid by the Temple..........and as you so rightly say your "experience" is extremely limited and I would suggest rather untrained and naive.

#15 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by jenmoss on 20/11/2007 at 15:04

You sound like a "know-it-all"....! I don't think you care for anyone's opinion except your own..which I assume is 'trained'!

#16 jenmoss has been a member since 16/11/2007. Posts: 6

Posted by khunwilko on 20/11/2007 at 15:32

Not really - just seem like it to a "know-nothing" I guess, .... if you want to reduce this to name-calling....
However, I'm sorry if you don't like my answers but I have spent some time looking into this place and the issues that surround it....if you feel that you can form a valid opinion by a casual glance at the place then I might suggest that you would be well advised to be prepared to receive some criticism. An opinion is only worth the amount of rational though and analysis behind it.

#17 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by jenmoss on 20/11/2007 at 15:59

I'm open to both differences in opinion and thoughts from other "experienced" people. Do describe in detail what "I have spent some time looking into this place and the issues that surround it" involves. I understand that you've done 4 years of reading about this place but what apart from that have you done that convinced you that they're breeding tigers and shipping them elsewhere?

And if what you believe is true, why hasn't anyone brought it to light? You seem to be very passionate about this topic, so, what else have you been doing apart from getting on this forum to rectify this situation?

#18 jenmoss has been a member since 16/11/2007. Posts: 6

Posted by khunwilko on 20/11/2007 at 17:06

If you read around rather than criticise others who have, you will see that this was mentioned quite recently by a volunteer from the place. Now I'm not prepared to bicker with you about this so I recommend you take your petty-fogging quibbles and go and look for something better to do with your time than pick arguments on matters about which you more and more apparently know nothing.
I'm not your wet nurse...if you want to find out what's REALLY going on...get off your BTM and do something about it...this is not the time or place to enter into such trivial gainsaying

#19 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by somtam2000 on 20/11/2007 at 17:22 admin

Ahh the Tiger Temple -- always a good one to get a bit of debate going!

I've visited there and what you read on Travelfish's write-up regarding it is a result of my visit and further research I undertook.

In the end it's a personal decision -- some will go, some will not. I'd prefer that nobody went and the place was shut down, but hey, there's lots of things I'd like to see change in Thailand!

It's worth noting that the issue is complicated by the involvement on the Buddhist clergy. It is complicated for some of the groups involved to start alleging that monks are doing the wrong thing.

Subsequent to my visit there I had a meeting with the director of one of the largest animal welfare groups actively operating in Thailand (I won't name the group as the meeting was expressly off-the-record) and was told the organisation desperately wanted to see the place shut down. They were adamant that the only thing that the Tiger Temple's activities will guarantee is that the animals will never be able to be returned to the wild. While the original animals were "orphans", the number of tigers is growing due to breeding -- not more orphans. I'm no zoologist, but would warrant a guess that tigers shouldn't be brought up in an abandoned stone quarry.

A more sensible discourse is what is the alternatives?

In my opinion a well-funded reintegration plan, based perhaps in a remote section of Huay Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, with absolutely ZERO exposure to tourists (or anybody except trained professionals), would be a good start. But don't expect too much encouragement from the abbott.

Other suggestions?

#20 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,943
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Posted by paul123456789 on 20/11/2007 at 18:41

I see my opinion is not needed but I will add it also. I recommend not going. I have been twice. Once many years ago. Then again when my mother visited Thailand recently, she wanted to go to this place as she had seen it on TV. We went. I noticed that the prices had gone up and the massive tourist buses were coming in in droves. But amazingly nothing had been done to improve the life of he tigers. Someone is clearly making a mint from this and at the same time is keeping tigers in cages to do it and making a mockery of Buddhism to make his fortune. My mother didn't enjoy the experience and it was another event that made it hard to be in Thailand - which is a shame as overall it is s beautiful country filled with so many amazingly nice people. Oh yes, the experience is nothing like shown on TV if you have seen promotional shows.

#21 paul123456789 has been a member since 10/7/2007. Posts: 15

Posted by jenmoss on 21/11/2007 at 07:37

I watched the documentary made almost four or five years ago and it did seem convincing. I also heard that a second part had been filmed about the temple's current status but haven't seen that one yet. But obviously this temple has been in operation for several years now.

Paul- I'm glad I read your opinion. It's easier to relate to someone's personal experience.

Somtam, I think your suggestion is a good one. But why hasn't anyone been able to stop this? I know that the clergy are very respected in Thailand but going by articles in newspapers they're not above the law in any way. I've read of such men being "unfrocked" for crimes as simple as drinking in bars, this one's definitely graver than that.

#22 jenmoss has been a member since 16/11/2007. Posts: 6

Posted by stickmansucks on 1/10/2011 at 19:13

Apart from an American guy who must believe hhe is a guard at Guantanamo and keep shouting his advertising the tiger temple is OK, but still very expensive for what it is (600thb), especially when you know that doing anything else but taking a photo with the tigers must be paid 1000 thb more !

Just wonder where is going the money...

Not all used to feed the tigers for sure ! Maybe this US guy has some special reasons to shout-advertise so much for more activities...

#23 stickmansucks has been a member since 10/6/2011. Posts: 22

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