update - program closed
2018 - UPDATE - PROGRAM CLOSED
Tiger Temple 2012
Location: Kanchanburi, Thailand
Project: Animal Sanctuary
Duration: Ongoing (Minimum 1 month)
Project Details: Cleaning, Feeding, Enrichment and General Care of the Tigers and all animals at the sanctuary. Working with the Tourists.
The Tiger Temple, Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, is located in Kanchanaburi, Thailand about 3 hours from Bangkok. It is one of the only Volunteer programs that does not require a fee. The program provides you with shelter, food and the experience of a lifetime. You are required to be there for a minimum of 1 month. As this is on Buddhist land, the accommodation is a bare room. Women are in separate quarters from the men (There are 4 rooms in each quarter, so a max of 16 volunteers). Mattress and mosquito net are essential. Your shower consists of a cold water hose, which you actually look forward to by the end of the day. There is also a common room for the volunteers to hang out together in.
Food is provided once daily as monks believe in fasting after 12pm, a Thai buffet that has been offered by the community and served in the Sala (an open air temple) with the monks and tigers. (As Westerners, we are permitted to eat privately throughout the day with our own food or food saved from breakfast.)
Your schedule is from 7am until 4:30, 6 days a week. The morning is spent with the tiger cubs: training them to walk, to play, feeding and providing them with heaps of love. Cleaning cages and the areas around them is another part of our morning ritual as well as an hour of enrichment, (building toys, enclosures, stimulating their senses or other jobs for the many other animals at the temple).
The afternoon is spent dealing with the tourists. You could be sorting lines, giving speeches, selling tickets, watching the guests near the tigers, providing information or looking after the cubs. The people can be abundant and the heat excruciating, but at the end of the day you eagerly look forward to your mornings with the tigers - definitely worth it all.