Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Discovering Thailand.... part 4 Chiang Mai..... Butterfly and Orchid Farm and Tiger KIngdom

Instead of going on a tour with a tour group... we decided to hire a private car with a driver/ tour guide who can speak English to take us to our destinations in Chiang Mai. You can get one thru the help of the front desk of your hotel. The cost of a private tour  ( car and driver/guide is 1500 Baht/ day )...

our  first stop..... Orchid and Butterfly farm...

It is in the tropics that orchids are at their most diverse and spectacular. With more than 25,000 species, orchids are among the most successful and remarkable plants in the world. In Thailand, they have 860 species, 473 of these species can be fund in and around Chiang Mai province.

This Butterfly and orchid farm is 13 kms north of Chiang Mai city. It is in the Mae Sae valley. There are a number of orchid farms and nurseries in this area. The main nursery is called ORCHID FARM located on the Mae Rim to Sameong Road. It is opened from 9:00 am - 6:00 pm. The cost to enter the butterfly and orchid farm is 300 Baht per person.

On to the Tiger Kingdom.........

The Tiger Kingdom is one of Chiang Mai's latest tourist attractions. It opened its doors to the public late last year. This Tiger Kingdom is the only one which allows visitors an " up close and personal " experience with the tigers, allowing them to play, stroke and take photos in the tigers ACTUAL ENCLOSURE !!!

The best time to view these tigers is early in the morning or later in the afternoon where these tigers are fully active.... most of the time these felines appear to be asleep for large part of the day. Don't worry their cages are very clean and their handlers are really helpful.

There is no entrance fee unlike other parks . You just have to pay the admission fee to enter their cages. You are free to walk around to view the tigers behind their cages. The admission fees you pay are solely based on the" age group " of tigers that you want to interact and have photos with.

Once you have decided on which age group you want to visit ... they will ask you to sign a disclaimer before entering these cages.... then... they will show you the cages where your chosen group of tigers reside. Once inside the cage you are accompanied by at least 2 handlers, who both carry sticks with them and occasionally tap on the end of the tigers noses, if they become too boisterous or frisky.

It is a good destination place for tourists looking for a different experience than you would normally do at a zoo.

From all that you have read above you must conclude whether a visit to the Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai is for you  or not, you could always go and just wander around without the full participation in interacting with the tigers.

You can bring a camera to take photos by yourself inside the cage. If you need a professional photographer to take the photo you have to add an additional 300 Baht and get a CD with 50 pictures in it.

The admission / playing or having your photos taken with the tigers are as follows:

Big cats                      520 Baht with insurance  for 30 minutes
Medium Cats              380 Baht with insurance
Baby cubs                   240 Baht with insurance ( for 15 minutes )

The Tiger kingdom is located in Mae- rim. It is 10 km ( around 20 - 30 minutes ) from the city center of Chiang Mai.


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