The Tiger Temple, Thailand

The Tiger Temple is a Buddhist place of worship located in Thailand, northwest of the city of Kanchanaburi. The monks practice breeding different animals including tigers. It is open to tourism. Tiger farming began in 1999. According to the monks, they received the animals directly from people who had them as pets or they were young tigers that were brought after their mother had been killed by poachers. The temple opens from midnight to 16:00. In addition to the monks, there are international volunteers and local staff who take care of the animals. You can go there from Bangkok or Kanchanaburi. The tourists are accompanied throughout the visit and the monks are always close to control them in case a cat fuss. There are many controversies about this because many people think that tigers are drugged but the people who work there say they are quiet precisely because they have just finished eating before the visit of tourists. There are urns where visitors can make a donation as they plan to open another space, Tiger Island, where the felines could stay in a more natural environment and where they would have the opportunity to learn to hunt in order to a possible release in nature.

Tips

The best way to visit the temple is to do it on a guided tour. There are several options for combining the temple with other nearby attractions. In full day tours, lunch is included.

Do not wear red or pink or you must buy clothes before entering the temple. The only ones who can wear these colors are the healers. Women can not have their shoulders uncovered, but short-sleeved shirts are accepted.

Phuket, Thailand

Phuket  is the largest Thai island in the Andaman Sea. It is a true paradise of 50 km long and 20 km wide. It is very mountainous, especially in the west, with a chain of mountains aligned from north to south. These mountains constitute the southern end of a chain that stretches for 440 kilometers in the Kra isthmus and culminates at 1,138 m at Khao Phra Mi. The highest altitude on the island itself, is however only 529 m above sea level, at Mai Tha Sip Song. Nearly 70% of the island is covered by forest. The western coast has several sandy beaches. The southernmost point of the island is Laem Promthep, very popular point of view for its sunsets. The main tourist area of the island is Patong Beach, which also has most of its nightlife and is the center of cheap shopping on the island. Other popular beaches include Karon, Kata, Nai Harn and Bang Tao.

Tips

Phuket, the nearby Phang Nga Bay and the Phi Phi Islands show some of the most dazzling landscapes of Southeast Asia. Go on a discovery tour by taking the opportunity to go snorkeling, canoeing or fishing. Take a speedboat out to the islands, engage in a round of golf or participate in scuba diving training. For children, there is mini golf, bowling, elephant trekking or the Tiger Kindgom amusement park. You can also join an ecotourism circuit, with hiking or kayaking, in national parks. For those who like to live at night, there are cabarets, discos, bars and many restaurants.

Kawachi Fuji Garden, Kitakyushu, Japan

Located in the city of Kitakyushu, Japan, straight from an impressionnist paint, Kawachi Fuji Garden is home to an incredible 150 Wisteria flowering plants spanning 20 different species. The garden’s main attraction is the Wisteria tunnel that allows visitors to walk down an enchanting tunnel exploding with colour.

Tips

Located about 6 hours from Tokyo, the best time to visit it, is from late April to mid May, typically peaking at the end of April. The garden is private so there is an entry fee. Stay in one of those typical Japanese guest’s house, you will be enchanted.