Tiger Temple Thailand is popular tourist attraction located in Saiyok in the Kanchanaburi province. Just minutes from the Myanmar border, the temple can be easily accessed via 323 highway. Formally known as Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, the Tiger Temple Thailand is the oldest Buddhist school and is forest temple that has become a bit of a wildlife sanctuary, particularly for tigers.
Founded in 1994, Tiger Temple Thailand received an 80kg gold statue of the Golden Jubilee Buddha and took in its first tiger cub in 1999. The temple continued to receive tiger cubs and by 2007, more than 21 cubs had been born, bringing the total tiger population to 12 adults and 4 cubs. The total number of resident tigers is now approximately 90, thanks to a successful breeding program.
Due to the hot climate, the best time to visit the Tiger Temple Thailand is early in the morning while the tigers are still active. As the day gets later, the temple heats up and the tigers can be quite lethargic. Once a day in the Tiger Temple, the tigers are free to walk around as they please and visitors are even able to pat them or have their photo taken with them.
With around 300 to 600 visitors daily, the entry fee to Tiger Temple Thailand funds the food and maintenance of the tigers and temple as well as for a larger sanctuary to be built, allowing the tigers to live in a more natural environment. The temple is safe, with guides close by to ensure both visitors and tigers are happy and safe. In depth tours are also available that allow visitors to bottle feed cubs, exercise young tigers, bathe the tigers, handfeed them and even pose with adult tigers.
As a monastery, visitors are reminded that certain etiquette is observed including no alcohol and appropriate clothing for women such as not bright colours, no sleeveless of strapless clothing, no miniskirts and no sarongs/shawls. Women should dress with their shoulders and knees covered as a sign of respect to the celibate monks.