Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Anakin & Oliver

Here's another 'This time last year....' post - though it's actually been a bit longer than a year but you get the idea!

So last year the LOML and I packed our bags and headed out of the country with a one way ticket and two nights accommodation booked.  We started in Malaysia before heading to Thailand and then Lebanon before coming home (earlier than we planned but I got a good dose of homesickness and just wanted to sleep in my own bed.  Of course, after two nights home I wanted to go back!!).

We spent most of our time in Thailand and had the absolute best time in the world.  So much so that we are planning to go back again next year on our way to Lebanon.  While there we may also check out apartments again because moving there to live for a while is not an unviable option.....

But anyway, that's a whole other story!

While we were in the north of Thailand, enjoying the food (yuuuuummmmmm!) and seeing the sights, we went to Tiger Kingdom.  It was a beautiful place, all green and tropical with plenty of hidey-holes behind rocks and under bambooo clumps for tigers to lay and watch the world go by, and big splashy pools for them to cool down during the hot, humid days.

One of the touristy things to do was to have your photo taken with the tigers.  Not just any old photo - no, you could enter the tigers cage, it's very own personal space, and sit behind/beside/on top of the massive 160-200kg beasts of the wild to have your photo taken.

So that's what we did.

After we signed the little bit of paper saying we take all responsibility if, perchance, the tigers take a disliking to us and decide to eat us a little or play with us like a mouse.  Nice.  Nothing like being reminded of your potential, imminent death after you've paid your money.
They started us off with the little ones - baby tigers about 3 months old.  They were cute.  We were there mid-morning and it was nap-time so they were all sleepy and dozy.
3 month old kitties

You'd think a tiger's fur would be similar to a cats wouldn't you?  Soft and clean and nice to stroke.  That's what I was expecting.  It's not though.  It's all tough and wiry and a whole lot oily.  

After the babies, we then ventured up to the stars of the days show - Anakin Skywalker and Oliver.  This was the sign that greeted us.  Not very confidence inspiring.....
Nice to meet you.  Yum Yum.    EEEEEKKKKKK!!!
But we went in anyway.  I love that the LOML pushed me to go first with the patting and posing.  He stood behind both of the handlers and took photos from afar.  My brave hero.
At this stage I was in flight/ fright mode - I was tensed and ready to run....
'Just lie on him - he likes it', Yeah, just before he likes to eat me.  See my stretched out leg - that's to support me so that I can RUN if I need to!
'Pick up his tail. Feel how heavy it is'.  Yeah, heavy enough to hold me down while he eats me!  I had relaxed a little by this stage - especially cos he was distracted with the sugarcane branch!
'Rub his belly, he likes it.'  Yeah, then he'll eat me!  I don't need to tell you how much I freaked out when he lifted his leg onto me - FREEAKKKEEEDDD!
Eventually I made the LOML get in for a shot too though he did keep more than a respectable distance from the tiger and reeeeaaaaacchhed in to touch it!  Meanwhile I'm still sitting up close and personal!  The busload of Japanese tourists that arrived as I was lying on the tiger were very appreciative of my bravery with their oohs and aaahs and madly snapping cameras.  

All up it was a great morning at the tiger park.  I have a whole heap of amazing photos (they are very photogenic these kitties) and best of all I have no tiger love bites to show for my troubles!


  1. I have Tiger Kingdom on our must visit list, was hoping to have a Thailand honeymoon, but budget has us heading to Vanuatu, maybe a 1st anniversary trip :) Sounds like you had a ball!

  2. Totally had a ball!

    Thailand is a must-visit destination - beautiful scenery, friendly people and delish food! And with the aussie dollar at such a high, fantastically cheap (though even when the dollar is lower, it is still cheap).

    We spent 3 weeks in Thailand, most of it in the north (Chiang Mai). When you do go, be sure to head up there.....


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