Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai: An Adventure With Big Cats

The Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai is a must-see destination for anyone visiting this vibrant city. Experience breathtaking natural surroundings and an exclusive chance to get up close and cozy with tigers and see how this tiger center has become one of the greatest famed attractions in the region. That said, what are some of the best features that this Big Cat Kingdom has to offer?

Visitors can safely and closely interact with tigers of all ages and sizes at the Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai, from playful cubs to majestic adults. The park is part of a conservation breeding program and provides a safe and controlled environment for public education and awareness about wildlife.

The tigers are socialized and incredibly well-cared for, and visitors can choose which tigers they want to engage with, with the help of friendly and highly-trained staff. With its tiger park and restaurant combination, this attraction truly offers an unforgettable experience for big cat lovers and is a must-visit destination in Mae Rim.

Not only does the attraction offer an unrivaled occasion to interact with tigers, but the park is also situated amidst some of the most breathtaking natural scenery in the region. So, read on to discover how to have an unforgettable wildlife encounter, learn about their conservation and welfare, and support the local community in this ultimate Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai guide.

The Wild Origins Of Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai

The Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai (Google Map) is located in the Mae Rim District, just 10 km (6.2 miles) north of Chiang Mai City. You can easily get there by vehicle, and the trip should take about 30 minutes, depending on traffic. But don’t worry; the ride is well worth it for the chance to get personal and up close with some of the most majestic creatures on the planet.

Now, let’s talk about the origins of the animal home. Back in 2008, it started as a zoo specializing in big cats. But one day, an adventurous Australian traveler had an idea: why not let visitors interact with the tigers? After much research, training, and more, the Tiger Kingdom was born. Since then, it has become a popular facility for animal encounters, with different packages available for all ages and sizes.

But the attraction isn’t just about fun and thrills but also an interaction facility that helps fund the care of tigers and supports conservation efforts to protect and breed them. It’s also dedicated to education and conservation. The tigers in the welfare are born and bred there, with permits and licenses agreed by the government to do so under humane and kind conditions.

In fact, it opened a second branch in Phuket in 2013. It later founded the Tiger Kingdom Learning Center in Mae Taeng Chiang Mai, offering unique experiences that teach visitors about tigers, their care in captivity, and their plight in the wild.

Plus, by visiting, you’re supporting various conservation projects and organizations that aim to protect tigers and their territories.

The Amazing Diversity Of Tigers At Tiger Kingdom, Chiang Mai

At the Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai, you can meet different types of tigers, each with its own unique appearance and personality. Here are some of the majestic big cats you can encounter:

White Tigers

White Tigers are also not albino tigers but a rare genetic variation of the Bengal tiger and are among the rare breeds found in the conservation zone.

They have white fur, black stripes, blue eyes, and pink noses. They are about 35 to 43 inches (90 to 110 cm) tall at the shoulder and are stunning and graceful but also very strong and playful. They grow up to about 8 feet (2.4 meters) tall and weigh about 550 pounds (250 kg).

Golden Tabby Tigers

The golden tabby tigers are a rare variant of the Bengal tiger with a pale golden coat with reddish-brown stripes. They are not separate subspecies but a result of a recessive gene that affects pigment production. They are usually larger than normal Bengal tigers and can weigh up to 250 kg (550 pounds).

They have a similar length and height as normal Bengal tigers, around 8 to 9 feet (2.4 to 2.7 m) long and 35 to 43 inches (90 to 110 cm) tall at the shoulders. From a young age, they have been observed to be more friendly and curious toward humans and love to interact with people.

Indochinese Tigers

The Indochinese tigers are the most common subspecies of tigers in the Tiger Kingdom. They are smaller than the Bengal and Siberian tigers but larger than the Sumatran and Malayan tigers. They are native to Southeast Asia and have a reddish-orange coat with dark stripes.

Adults weigh between 330 and 430 pounds (150 and 195 kg) and measure between 8 and 9 feet long (2.4 to 2.7 m). They are about 35 to 43 inches (90 to 110 cm) tall at the shoulder. They are intelligent nocturnal animals that hunt at night and rest during the day while often observed to be independent and sometimes quite stubborn.

Siberian Tigers

Siberians, the largest and most powerful of all tigers, are native to Russia and other cold regions. They have thick fur, pale stripes, green eyes, and pink noses. Adult Siberians can reach weights of up to 675 lbs (306 kg) and measure up to 12 feet (3.7 m) in length.

They are about 43 inches (110 cm) tall at the shoulder and have been observed to be very majestic and dignified but also very gentle and affectionate in their younger years. They are also known to be intelligent nocturnal animals that hunt primarily at night and rest during the day.

The Choice Of Tiger And What You Should Know

When visiting the Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai’s majestic wildlife, you can choose to visit different enclosures according to the size and age of the tigers. You can only interact with cubs and tigers up to 4 years old, as they are more tame, friendly, and manageable than older tigers. And the older tigers are kept in separate enclosures for their safety and well-being.

Only young tigers can be engaged because they are still learning and developing their social skills and behaviors. They are more curious and playful than older tigers and enjoy human company. They also have less developed teeth and claws, which makes them less dangerous to handle.

However, this does not mean that they are harmless or domesticated. They still are wild animals with natural instincts and personalities. With that in mind, here are some vital safety precautions to keep in mind and remember before you enter the majestic animal’s territory:

  • Do not wear bright colors or dangling accessories that attract or provoke their attention – Tigers are visual hunters who might mistake your clothing or jewelry for prey or toys. They might try to bite or claw them, hurting you or damaging your belongings.
  • Do not make loud sounds or sudden movements that might scare them or make them aggressive – The trained staff at the Tiger Kingdom will always plead never to excite the giant cats. These majestic animals are sensitive to sounds and movements and might react on impulse if they feel threatened or annoyed. They might growl, roar, or swipe at you, which could injure you or scare other visitors.
  • Do not touch their heads, faces, or front paws; they might see it as a challenge or threat – They are dominant and territorial animals, and some might not like being touched on their most vulnerable parts. They might interpret it as a sign of disregard or hostility and try to defend themselves or assert their authority. Instead, they rather enjoy being belly rubbed. So always listen to the instructions mentioned by the professional staff to ensure the best possible experience.
  • Do not approach directly from the front, and never get too close to their heads – Because tigers are ambush predators and might not like being exposed or cornered. They might try to escape or attack if they feel uncomfortable or stressed.
  • Do not suddenly turn your back or run away from them, as they might chase or attack you – tigers have the instinct to pursue fleeing prey and might be unable to control their impulses. They might also see it as a sign of fear or weakness and try to exploit it. You can freely pet these without exciting them to react by remaining calm and composed.
  • Always listen to the instructions of the staff and trainers, who will guide you on approaching and touching the tigers – because the staff and trainers at the Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai are experienced and skilled in handling the tigers and their behaviors, they know how to manage them safely and respectfully and how to avoid any potential problems or risks. They will also help you have a fun and educational experience with the tigers.

Though it may sound scary to many, acknowledging the caution, implementing it, and abiding by the rules is an absolute must!

On top of that, there may still be many more rules to follow that staff will guide you through, and by following them, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience with the tigers in Chiang Mai’s magnificent Tiger Kingdom. You can also learn more about their lives, habits, and conservation from the staff and trainers, who are experts on these animals.

Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai is a unique and unforgettable attraction that will give you a new appreciation for these fantastic creatures. You will also have a memorable photo opportunity to share with your friends and family.

How to Plan Your Trip

If you are interested in visiting Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai, you need to plan ahead and prepare for your trip. Here are some tips and information that will benefit you make the most of your trip:

  • What to bring along and what to wear

You should wear comfortable clothes and shoes that are not bright or flashy. You should also avoid bringing any jewelry or accessories that might attract the tigers’ attention or get caught on their fur or claws. You should bring along your camera, sunscreen, water, and some cash for souvenirs and food. You should also check the weather forecast before going, as Chiang Mai can get hot and humid.

The operating hours of Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai are from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM every day, including public holidays.

  • What to expect during your visit

Early morning visitation is a popular choice, and when you arrive at Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai, you will be greeted by the staff and given a brief introduction and safety briefing. You will then choose which enclosure you want to visit, depending on the size (small-sized, medium-sized, and large) and age of the tigers you want to meet.

You can buy tickets online beforehand or at the reception upon arrival. Each ticket gives you 10 minutes with the tigers, during which you can touch them, take photos with them, and learn more about them from the staff and trainers.

You can also watch the tigers from a distance as they play, sleep, or eat in their natural habitats. You can visit as many enclosures as you want if you pay for each ticket separately.

  • What else to see and do

Besides meeting the tigers, you can also explore the beautiful surroundings of Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai. The place is designed with impressive architecture, golden buildings, stunning Thai art, and traditional statues.

You can also enjoy some delicious food and drinks at the restaurant, which offers a variety of dishes and beverages with a view of the tigers. You can also shop for mementos and gifts at the shops, selling t-shirts, hats, mugs, magnets, keychains, and more. There is also plenty of parking slots outside the entrance to the attraction.

Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai is a must-see attraction for anyone who loves these big cats and wants to have a close encounter with them. It is also an excellent way to learn more about these amazing animals and their conservation efforts. By following these tips and information, you can have a safe, fun, and memorable Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai trip.

The Benefits And Challenges Of Captive Tiger Conservation

As you’ve seen by now, this tiger home is an attraction, preservation, and elevation center for tigers. By visiting this place, you are supporting their efforts to protect and breed these magnificent animals, which are facing the threat of extinction in the wild. However, captive tiger conservation is not without controversy and challenges. Here are some of the drawbacks and benefits of this approach:

  • The benefits: Captive tiger conservation has several advantages, such as:
    • Providing a safe and comfortable environment for the tigers, where they are free from poaching, habitat loss, disease, and human conflict
    • Contributing to the genetic diversity and population recovery of the tigers by breeding them under controlled conditions and following international standards and regulations
    • Raising awareness and education about the tigers and their plight by allowing people to get close to them and learn more about them from the staff and trainers
    • Supporting the local community by providing employment and income for many people in the area and donating to various conservation projects and initiatives

  • The challenges: Captive tiger conservation also has some disadvantages, such as:
    • Tiger Kingdom sometimes faces ethical and welfare issues, such as whether it is right to keep wild animals in captivity, whether they suffer from stress or boredom, are exploited for entertainment or profit, and are treated with respect and dignity.
    • Dealing with public criticism and scrutiny, such as whether the tigers are drugged, sedated, or abused, whether they are healthy and happy, endangered or hybridized, and whether they contribute to conservation or trade.
    • Balancing the needs and interests of the tigers, the visitors, the staff, and the stakeholders, such as ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone involved, providing a quality and enjoyable experience for the visitors, maintaining a professional and responsible image for the staff, and meeting the expectations and obligations of the stakeholders.

They follow strict rules and regulations for keeping and breeding tigers. They also conduct regular health checks and veterinary care for the tigers and do not dose them with drugs or abuse them or sell or trade any of their tigers.

And notably, they do not release the tigers into the wild and do not claim to be a sanctuary or a rescue center. Everyone involved knows these benefits and challenges and strives to address them positively and transparently.

They also welcome feedback and questions from the public and invite them to visit their website or their park to see for themselves how they operate. They also cooperate with various organizations and authorities to ensure their compliance and accountability. They also participate in various research and education programs to improve their knowledge and skills.

This encounter park believes captive tiger conservation is a valid and valuable approach that can complement other conservation efforts in saving these amazing animals from extinction. They also believe that allowing people to have close encounters with tigers can inspire them to care more about their welfare and habitat.

And finally, by supporting the local community, they can positively impact both people and nature.

Our Conclusion

The Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai offers a treasured opportunity to get up close and personal with tigers of all ages and sizes in a safe and controlled environment. As part of a conservation breeding program, the tigers are well-cared for, and visitors can choose which big cat they want to engage with. The park also provides a chance to learn about conservation efforts and support the local community.

With various packages available for all ages and sizes, the Tiger Kingdom is a must-visit destination in Mae Rim, offering an amazing diversity of tigers, each with its own unique appearance and personality.


The Tiger Kingdom generally opens at 9 am and closes at 6 pm. But double-check online or call in advance, just to be sure as hours can vary sometimes.

You can take a tuk-tuk or taxi from central Chiang Mai to the Tiger Kingdom, or you can opt for a minivan if you’re part of a larger group. Some visitors also prefer to rent a scooter or bike.

It depends on your preference. Booking online can save you some time, but you can also get tickets at the venue. If you want some advice and additional travel support, a travel agency might be the best bet.

Yes, guided tours are offered, and the guides typically speak English. But it’s a good idea to check if they provide guides in other languages if you need one.

Yes, you can interact with the tigers under the supervision of the trainers. There are also safety guidelines in place for this purpose.

Children under the age of 15 are generally not allowed to interact with the larger tigers, but they can visit the cubs. Always best to check the most recent rules online or via a phone call.

Trained handlers are always present during interactions, and visitors are given safety briefings and instructions on how to behave around the tigers.

It’s primarily tigers at the Tiger Kingdom, but sometimes they have other animals like cheetahs or lions.

Visiting early in the morning or late in the afternoon can help you avoid larger crowds and is also a good time to see the tigers when they are more active.

The Tiger Kingdom has a team of experienced vets who oversee the health and diet of the tigers. The tigers are also provided with environments designed to mimic their natural habitats.

Yes, visitors are allowed to take pictures and videos with the tigers. In fact, the staff often assist in taking photos.

Sure! There is a restaurant where you can grab a bite to eat, and there’s also a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs.

Discover a variety of pricing options for renting automatic scooters, maxi-scooters, semi-automatic motorbikes, and manual-gear motorcycles in Chiang Mai by browsing our Bike Rental Rates page. Find out more about our motorbike rental in Chiang Mai.

If you prefer to travel by car, be sure to read our guide on how to save up to 50% on rental car expenses in Chiang Mai.

For an extensive compilation of our travel advice, explore our Northern Thailand Routes and Travel Notes section.

If you encounter any inaccuracies in the text or have valuable information to share with our readers, please feel free to contact us.

Cat Motors Team

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