THINGS “NOT” TO DO IN PHUKET!
Plenty of websites are out there giving you “The Things to do in Phuket” stories. Heck, even we have one! But no one is bold enough to stand up & say: “Stop! Somethings should just not be supported & you need to be aware of it.”
In short. If you care for Animals at all, then anything on this island that uses them as entertainment is an absolute no-go. Sure, a profile pic with you posing next to a tiger will make you look cool on Facebook, but in reality, that tiger is pumped up with so many drugs, it has no clue where it is or what’s happening. How brave!
Here is a list of some of the worst places you must cross out from your itinerary while in Phuket. And don’t just take our word for it. A little research online is bound to shock you.
TIGER TEMPLE (KINGDOM)
Ah, how glorifying and yet how misleading! The Tiger Temple is supposedly a “sanctuary” and a haven for Tigers, but in reality, far from it. If anything, it’s the opposite. The tigers here are bred illegally and in captivity so that they can be used to make some money from tourists. Chained up for most of their lives and drugged every single day, the Tigers here are not born docile. They are made so. In this temple, the dazed, confused and suffering Tigers become pussycats that the ignorant tourists can snuggle up to and have some ego-boosting selfies with.
The Tiger Temple in Bangkok was even recently raided due to rumours spreading about tigers having gone missing and being sold on the black market for body parts like teeth, skin etc. Among the many incriminating items, can you guess what else they unearthed during the raid? 40 tiger cubs. Dead.
TIGER TEMPLE SELLS THEIR TIGERS
DEAD CUBS FOUND IN TIGER TEMPLE
YOU ARE PAYING FOR ANIMAL TORTURE!
The money from your pocket is what keeps such businesses up and running. Once the tiger gets too old as a tourist attraction or simply dies off from all the constant torture, it’s just dumped somewhere before trafficking in a new one. If this was indeed an eye-opener for you, then it’s time to stop obsessing over the selfies and instead start self-reflecting on the inhumanity that your money will end up sponsoring.
Few sacrilegious temple facts that’ll make you think twice:
⦁ These hand-reared tigers can never survive in the wild.
⦁ Forced breeding in the name of conservation
⦁ A front for tiger trafficking
⦁ Adult tigers are caged and isolated 24 hours a day, except for photographs.
⦁ Trainers often beat the Tigers and deny food or water to maintain dominance
⦁ Tigers often found to be nervous and pacing to and fro.
⦁ Sometimes out of frustration, the Tigers attempt self-mutilation
⦁ Drugged, beaten and isolated, only the exterior of the Tiger remains, while the spirit is killed
Elephants are Thailand’s national animals, and one would expect them to be protected and respected. The truth of the matter, however, is quite different. Asian elephants are an endangered species, and experts now estimate less than 2000 wild elephants currently living in the Kingdom of Thailand. Moreover, their population is dwindling rapidly, all thanks to the loss of their natural habitat and the poaching these Elephant attraction rackets encourage.
We know it’s fun riding through the jungles of Thailand on the backs of these magnificent animals, but you should understand that these Elephants are ‘specially’ trained to do so. The training method is aptly called ‘Phajaan’ or, simply put ‘, Elephant crushing’, which is to beat, stab and starve them into submission from a very young age. Then, instilling the fear of pain and suffering into these giants, the elephant’s spirit is finally crushed, so you can sit proudly on its back and have your fake adventure ride.
HERE’S A VIDEO UNCOVERING THE SHOCKING TRUTH BEHIND THE HAPPY ELEPHANTS
- Guaranteed torture from an early age!
- Unlivable confined spaces for habitat!
- Beaten and stabbed into submission!
- Fear is the main motivation for work!
- Starvation and sleep deprivation as reward!
- Finally a meek animal with a crushed spirit.
Unlike the Tiger Temple issue, there is a solution to this cruelty. You can still visit and interact with elephants at an authentic natural sanctuary. Elephant Nature Park (ENP) in the pristine jungles of northern Thailand is one option for an unforgettable experience with these gentle giants. Their mission is to protect and care for the mistreated and ailing elephants rescued from the tourism and logging industry rackets, like the ones in Phuket.
The park’s 250 acres of undisturbed wilderness are currently home to 36 happy elephants. No elephant rides are being sold at the Elephant Nature Park, nor are there elephant paintings or other circus tricks and shows here. There is no bullying of the elephants of any sort. A life of peace for the rescued Elephants is what the nature park promises.
PHUKET DOLPHIN AQUARIUM
Whereas the rest of the world, in an act of kindness and concern, is closing down these inhuman attractions, Phuket decided to open one apathetically. But you can never escape karma, can you? Owing to the furious protests and the enormous amount of negative publicity generated during its development process, the Phuket Dolphin Aquarium has been struggling ever since. This prison of an aquarium acquired some of its Dolphins from the hell’s pit, known as the ‘Cove’. It will be an extreme eye-opener if you’re wondering what the Cove is. Get ready to be shocked that something as gruesome as this still exists.
Or better still, watch the videos below. A single picture can speak more than a thousand words. If you watch the top video, you’ll see how even many A-list movie stars know the horrific facts about the aquarium. They have stood against this cruel attraction and sincerely hope you will realize the truth and oppose such an atrocity.
THE COVE, WHERE 20,000 DOLPHINS ARE SLAUGHTER EVERY YEAR
THE SEA SHEPHERD CONFIRMS!
The dolphins in the Phuket Aquarium are from Taiji Cove in Japan. Some of the sad ordeals the Dolphins at the aquarium face:
⦁ Several of these are wild Dolphins from the monstrous ‘Taiji’ killing cove
⦁ Only one single tank and no separate enclosure for sick dolphins
⦁ These intelligent beings become mere props for tourist entertainment
If you really want to see dolphins while on your trip in Phuket, there are plenty of wild dolphins to be spotted right in their natural habitat, the sea! The dolphins love the waters surrounding Phuket and can often be seen coming out to swim and play alongside Phuket’s fastest catamaran – Blue World Safaris.
THE PHUKET ZOO
Now, most zoos in the western world are governed by laws that protect the welfare of the animals. This happened because, as society grew more compassionate over the years, its views about zoos and holding animals in captivity changed drastically. People began to resent the sight of animals pacing back and forth behind bars. The frustration of the caged animals started to weigh down on their conscience, and instead of being entertained, the public began to express concern over the welfare of the animals at the zoos. The American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) is an example of a responsible organization that speaks up for animal rights.
In Thailand, however, no such organization exists. Even the local concern or awareness for the animals’ welfare is little to none. And although the world is now more sensitive to the sufferings of helpless animals, the lure of wild animals in captivity still tempts many tourists into making the Phuket zoo a one-time visit. Once in there, you feel sick forever handing over money to witness such an awful experience. The zoo authorities are well aware of their sadistic endeavour and have strict rules to prevent any shocking videos or pictures from coming out. The reviews on their trip advisor page, however, say it all. Karma wins again.
JET SKI RIDES
This isn’t a “not-to-do“ thing in Phuket, but definitely, one we believe is worth a warning. Riding them is fun, and the adrenaline rush of skimming over the waves is worth the price, but behind all this excitement runs a scam that used to be so common it was an everyday occurrence. Eventually, it got so much negative publicity that the players running it had to bring the Scam down a few notches to calm the aggravated public. It still happens, though, so be aware.
The Scam is quite simple: You pay to ride the jet ski, and when you return, they tell you you broke it. Don’t be taken aback now. These guys take advantage of the innocence and ignorance of the confused tourist to make them pay up for the alleged damage to the jet ski. It was probably already broken before you took it out, usually just domestic damage.
HOW TO AVOID GETTING SCAMMED
It is a simple scam that takes advantage of your unsuspecting nature. The best way to avoid falling into their trap is to be vigilant. Before you get on the jet ski, please inspect it. Take at least a good 5 min to check it out. Inspect the sides and the ridges as if you knew exactly what to look for if you have a GoPro or a camera. Even better! Take photos from a couple of sides and even a video, if possible. Include the jet ski guys in the video as well. And most importantly, let them see you doing all of this. Problem solved!
Now they know you have the evidence, so there’s no point in fooling you. If, after doing all this, they still claim damage done and try to make you pay, you better check again because you might have broken it by accident. But there’s no need to worry about this since accidentally damaging the jet ski is not criminal. Which means the police don’t have much jurisdiction over the case. So no need to blow steam. It’s just a civil matter. Find a local lawyer and fight the good fight.
TO AVOID THE JET SKI SCAM, REMEMBER:
⦁ Skip this activity if possible
⦁ It is a common scam and very likely to happen if you hire a jet ski
⦁ Inspect thoroughly and point out pre-existing damages
⦁ Take photographs and videos as evidence
⦁ Ensure they know you have evidence
⦁ Before things get too heated up, call the police yourself
⦁ If all else fails, get a lawyer
The sun, the sand and the sea make Phuket one of the most gorgeous islands to visit. However, just like many tourist destinations, Phuket has its dark underbelly. And if you thought it was always all sunshine and butterflies, well, now you know.