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Written by Shriniketh on April 16, 2020 Share on

Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi

Tiger Cave Temple, also known as Wat Tham Suea in Thai, is one of the most-visited sacred sites in Krabi, Thailand. It is a Buddhist temple located in the Northeast region of Krabi. This sacred site is predominantly known for its tall Buddha statues and the strenuous flight of stairs to reach the top of the temple.

This temple, which is located on a cliff, basically serves as a residence site for the monks who live and worship there. The temple has a plethora of natural caves in a thick overgrown jungle where several tools that were used to make Buddha footprints like stone tools, pottery remains, and the mold was excavated.

The temple’s cave has tiger paw prints, and that is how the name ‘Tiger Cave’ was formed. It is not just the temple that is beautiful, but what makes this experience unique is the amazing flight of stairs to reach the summit of the temple, and also the breathtaking view around the temple while you reach the summit.

History of the temple

The history of this temple dates back to 1975, when a Buddhist (Vipassana) monk, named Jumnean Seelasettho (Ajahn Jumnean) went into these caves for meditation. While he was meditating, he saw several tigers loitering around the caves, and that is how the name Wat Tham Suea came into place. The interior of the caves have tiger paw prints, and that is how these caves came to be known as Tiger caves.

Another legend claims that there was one huge tiger that used to live in the cave and roam around it, and that is why the name came into place.

How to reach the temple?

The Tiger Cave Temple is located about 7 kilometers away from the Krabi town by road. Since this is a very frequently visited place in Krabi, there are a lot of options to reach this place.

  1. Moped: There are several operators who offer Mopeds on rent for people who would want to visit the temple from Krabi or Ao Nang Beach. Please keep in mind that the roads leading to the temple are quite dangerous, and it is advisable you consider this option only if you are experienced on two-wheelers.
  2. Private vehicle driver: One of the most convenient ways to visit the temple is by hiring a private driver. Get ready to bargain for the rates, as they charge exorbitant prices if you don’t. Ensure you take stops in between the trip to capture some amazing photos and also to enjoy the spots. 
  3. Tuk-tuk: A cheaper but slower alternative to the private vehicle driver, ensure you fix up the fare and pick-up time in advance with the driver.
  4. Public bus:  Also known as Songthaew, buses are a cheap option to visit the temple, although you should keep in mind that the buses will stop a short distance away from the temple, so you will have to walk a little bit to reach the temple.

The ideal time to visit the temple

The temple is open on all seven days of the week, and the opening hours are between 5:00 am – 7:00 pm. The best time to visit the temple is early morning, as there is very less crowd, the sunrise view from the summit of the temple is astounding, and also the weather is quite pleasant and chill, which is very conducive for a peaceful meditation atop. You can visit the temple from Krabi/Ao Nang without any hassles early in the morning.

Highlights and spots to visit

The temple’s summit, placed atop at a height of 238 meters, has a flight of 1,237 steps. It takes roughly 45-60 minutes to reach the summit, and since this is a very tiring climb, and it is advisable only for people who are fit enough to endure this climb. Ensure you carry a water bottle with yourself as there is a very good chance that you may be dehydrated before you reach the summit of the temple. Although this grueling challenge is completely worth it, as the views that you get after you reach the summit is incomparable!

The center point of attraction is the majestic golden Buddha statue, overlooking the city of Krabi. The 360-degree landscape view of the Thai countryside is simply amazing. Explore the dragon sculptures, decorated buildings, amazing ornaments, and also get blessings from the monks who reside in the temple. Beware of the notorious monkeys at the summit, where occasionally they may bite the humans who visit the temple. Please ensure you keep your belongings in a backpack as the monkeys may snatch it and run away with it.

There is no entrance fee for the Tiger Cave Temple, and it is absolutely free, although you have donation boxes, in case you wish to donate any. The Tiger Cave Temple is a litter-free place, so ensure you pick up your trash before you leave to maintain the cleanliness of the temple.

No trip to Krabi is complete without visiting the Tiger Cave Temple, as it is an experience that you can never find elsewhere. The tiring climb of steps to reach the summit, the splendid Buddha statue, the amazing artwork and buildings, the views of the Thai landscape from the summit, and the peaceful and enlightening interaction with the monks are more and more reasons why you should definitely visit the temple. This activity not only satiates the spiritual side, but it also keeps your adrenaline pumped, considering this is an outdoor activity that is similar to hiking. So no better place than the Tiger Cave Temple if you are looking to keep your body and mind happy!

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