29 Jul 2014

Playtime with the big cats

WE MADE IT!!!

After a long overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, which safe to say was an experience in itself, we made it safe and sound to Chiang Mai and checked into the first hotel we could find!



Actually, thats a lie, we tried desperately to check into the one next door with the swimming pool, however they insisted that there was no room at the Inn :(

Hey-ho, we dumped our bags off and headed out to see what Chiang Mai had to offer!

It honestly couldn't have been more different to what we had experienced in Bangkok. The streets were quieter and there weren't any of the annoyingly persistent men (boys) trying to sell you suits, tattoos and ping-pong shows every 5 minutes, without understanding the concept of NO!!! Ahhhh peace and quiet at last!

Once we had found our bearings we hoped in the shower (and obviously lay under the aircon for a good 20 mins), before heading out to the infamous Chiang Mai Night Market.




The market was incredible! Full of everything you can imagine, weather it be cheap designer goodies (my fave) or traditional Thai gifts.
 

This was the perfect place to practise our bartering skills! We did say we wouldn't be buying anything as it meant carrying it in our rucksacks for the rest of the trip.......this rule went straight out the window!


After a good'ol peruse around the stalls, we decided it was time to try a few Thai delicacies in the food hall. I've always been a bit sceptical of places like these, but decided to be a dare devil!



And boy was it a good decision! At £1 a dish you can't really go wrong! I went for the chicken fried rice with a side of spring rolls and it went down a treat!

Feeling rather slugish, we meandered back through the market and headed in the direction of the hotel.

Of course it would be rude to resist something so delicious on our journey back.....


Time for a quick snooze in the cool air before our 7:30am wake up call and boy did it come around quickly!!

We got swooped up from our hotel and chucked into the back of a truck....sounds dodgy i know but thats just the way they roll out here!


It was time to go and play with the big cats!!!

Oooopsie I think you might have got the wrong one there......


This is more like ittttt


We arrived at the Tiger Kingdom and got booted out of the truck.

Requested to see the baby tigers and headed on in......


Talk about chucking you in, luckily a guide came in with us 'incase' the bad boys needed taming (not the most reassuring thing to hear on entering the tiger's den)!!


Safe to say they were big softies!

This particular one was my favourite because he just found me so funny (I mean who doesn't)!! 




The guides were amazing with the tigers, playing with them and entertaining them, but also sitting them down to have a couple of photos!




I must have cracked another joke!!




These tigers were the most beautiful animals and so friendly to everyone! It was such an amazing experience and so glad we had the chance to do it!


After playing with the small tigers for half an hour we decided to wander round and see who else was at the Kingdom...


I took the opportunity to get snappy happy in the incredible surroundings!


And just when we thought we were all awwww'd out, we came across these babies...



Unfortunately they didn't let me take one of these cuties home, but theres always next time!

If your heading to Chiang Mai and this is something you might be considering then GO FOT IT! In comparison to a lot of stories we heard, these tigers are treated extremely well and looked after by a great bunch of people!

And after all, the opportunity to get this close to tigers is hard to resist!

To find out more info on the prices and The Tiger Kingdom go to http://www.tigerkingdom.com/Home.htm