One of the most adventurous tourist destinations in Krabi is, without a doubt, the famous Tiger Cave Temple, AKA Wat Tham Sua in Thai language. This holy place is especially known for its 1237-step, extremely sweaty ascent that rewards climbers with a stunning vista of Krabi’s limestone rocks. However, the main “Tiger Cave” and the “wonderland” rainforest are also fascinating and well worth visiting.
The tall Buddha sculptures, the tiger paw prints within the cave, and of course, the strenuous climb up the mountain to the Tiger Cave Temple with its breathtaking vistas are all reasons why people visit this temple. However, it is unquestionably worthwhile to make the 1260-step ascent to the top of the 309-meter-high cliff. The vista of Krabi is breathtaking, with its limestone cliffs and gorgeous, thick rainforest.
This climb is challenging even if you are in terrific physical shape because of the heat and humidity. You are rewarded for climbing all the way to the summit with breathtaking panorama views of the surrounding area and the Andaman Sea. One of the top attractions in Krabi and a once-in-a-lifetime experience is to visit this holy site. Keep reading as we tell you all about the beauty of this temple and what makes it so special.
Highlights of Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple) and what to expect
Large trees that are hundreds of years old are all across the area, especially in the Khiriwong Valley. There are mountains on all sides and several smaller caves. It is one of the fascinating temple complexes in southern Thailand since the monks live and practice their religion amid a maze of caves found in a valley covered in thick forest.
In addition to being the location of a meditation center, it is a site of historical and archaeological importance. In excavations, stone tools, ceramic fragments, and a mold for Buddha footprints have all been discovered.
Based on the teachings of the oldest Buddhist writings, Wat Tham Sua promotes a branch of Buddhism known as Vipassana (insight meditation). Strange images of internal parts and dismembered corpses may be found in the main temple cave. These images are meant to emphasize the transient nature of the body and aid the monks in concentrating on higher spiritual issues.
Not to mention that the 1,272-step ascent of a limestone tower to see the “footprint of the Buddha” is the main highlight for visitors to Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple).
Watch out for the cheeky monkeys as well. They choose items that are simple to grab. So keep an eye out for your phone, sunglasses, and other priceless items. To ensure that you won’t lose anything, simply place all of your loose items in your bag. Since these monkeys are accustomed to humans, they won’t hurt you. The best advice is to simply ignore monkeys as you pass them rather than trying to make eye contact with them, especially if they’re attempting to frighten you.
Once you get to the top of Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple), a stunning Golden Buddha statue, which is really remarkable to view, is perched on the mountain. After the tough effort, the solitude at the summit of the mountain, combined with the breathtaking scenery, practically puts you into a meditative condition. There are a number of more sculptures, a smaller temple, and lovely statue details to be seen.
The history of Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple)
The Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi has a long history that began in 1975 when a monk meditated there. He saw tigers prowling about the cave when he was in deep concentration, and this led to the discovery of the shrine Wat Tham Sua. The temple’s name is also related to the finding of tiger paw impressions on the cave’s walls.
How to get to Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple)?
There are several options that you can take to get to Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple). To name a few, you can take a motorbike or go there by a songthaew although you should know that a songthaew won’t be able to take you to the hilltop and you have to walk the rest of the path.
Another way of going to Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple) is to take a private taxi which you can bargain to get a much more reasonable price. Or you can just join a day tour!
Last but not least option to get to Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple) is to take the red bus from Krabi Town. Red Bus from Krabi Town is the least expensive way to go to Tiger Cave Temple!
1. Does Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple) have a dress code?
Just like other temples in Asia, you must cover your shoulders and knees in order to enter the Tiger Cave, which sits at the base of the complex. However, the mountain’s summit shrine is an outdoor space with no dress code. Because of this, you don’t need to pack special clothing for your climbing trip. Just ensure that you dress comfortably for the hike.
2. How much does it cost to visit Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple)?
You will be pleasantly surprised if I tell you that entering Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple) requires zero amount of entrance fee. Even all the public amenities, including the toilets, were free to use. However, there are donation boxes that support the maintenance of the holy place.
3. What’s the address for Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple)?
35 Krabi Noi, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi 81000, Thailand.
4. When is the best time to visit Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple)?
The Tiger Cave Temple is best to be visited in the early morning and late afternoon, especially if you want to hike to the top. The light is not too intense at this time of day, and if you arrive before sunset, you may see the sky over Krabi changing colors to yellow, orange, and pink. Avoid doing this climb in the middle of the day since it will be too hot and it will be quite exhausting.
5. How long does it take to get to the top of Tiger Cave Temple, and how hard is it?
Tiger Cave Temple Mountain is 309 meters high, and there are 1260 stairs to climb in order to reach the top. Depending on your level of fitness, it will take you 20 to 30 minutes to get to the summit. If you feel challenged, good luck! It takes 10 minutes to reach the summit on record. It’s a fantastic leg workout, and you’ll still feel the burn days afterward!
Final words about Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple)
One of the most intriguing temple complexes in southern Thailand is the Tiger Cave Temple, aka Wat Tham Suea. It is a Thai-Buddhist meditation center that is notable in both archaeology and history since several historical artifacts have been found here.