After the elephant camp, the tour package I bought in Chiang Mai took us to what’s called the Tiger Kingdom. It’s basically like a zoo with just tigers, and for a small additional fee, tourists can actually go inside the cages and pet them! I found it completely mind-blowing that I was almost the only person in our large tour group who wanted to do that!
So, for the equivalent of about $15, I got to get up close and personal with three full-grown female tigers! At the keeper’s instructions, I got to pet them, handle their back paws, wrap their tails around me, lie down with my head on their backs, and rub their tummies! The keeper was nice enough to take pictures and video for me with my camera; click here to watch a short video of my tiger experience.
(Fun fact I learned: a group of tigers is called a “streak”.)