Wat Tum Sua (also called, “Wat Tham Suea”) is one of the most fun things to do in Krabi on your vacation.
You can make this a 4-6 hour trip – half-day or full-day. Make sure you eat a couple of hours before and have a lot of energy because you will need it to climb the mountain, and then later climb another 90 steps to get into the foothills area (see 2nd video, coming soon).
Watch the video to see the climb up the hill. Don’t let the idea of 1,256 steps scare you into not attempting it. We’ve seen 80+ year old people at the top, and a 5 year old that made the climb. It’s difficult, but if you rest every 50 steps or so – you’ll be fine. There is almost always ice-cold water at the top for you. Bring a clean cup or a water bottle to refill so you don’t need to use the dirty cups at the top.
Tiger Cave Temple History
Theravada Buddhist monk, Ajahn Jumnien, is the founding abbot of this amazing temple located at the beginning of the Khao Phanom mountain chain just outside of Krabi Town in the south central area of Krabi province. Ajahn Jumnien is a world-renowned meditation teacher and he travels to many continents to help others learn Buddhist meditation. Ajahn Jumnien is also well-versed in the mystical aspects of Buddhism and he creates many important amulets at his temple – which you can find HERE.
The temple started as a small place for monks to learn about Buddhism, and now has grown to be a massive temple and one of the most important Buddhist temples in Thailand’s South. There is a large Chedi being built – 99 meters high – of concrete. There is a very high set of steps to climb – 1,256 steps climbing 280 meters up a limestone hill – offering an absolutely stunning view at the top.
There is also a foothills area down to the left of the large Kwan Yin statue. You climb 90+ steps up, and another ~90 down and you are in a primary rainforest with gigantic palms and prehistoric looking plants. There are a group of monks who live here and meditate in the various caves located here. You can tour one of the shallow caves too – turn on the lights first, or bring a flashlight (torch).
Do’s and Don’ts for Tiger Cave Temple
1. Do bring some water. There is water at the top, but you will need some before you get there. You will also need your plastic bottle to drink from as you refill it at the top. There are cups there, they are dirty. The water is clean, it is filtered.
2. Don’t wear anything you wouldn’t wear to the Vatican in Rome. Do NOT wear a bikini. Do wear bras. This is a Buddhist temple, and though you’ll be sweating outside and it’s hot, swimwear is NOT acceptable.
3. Do wear: sandals, shorts, t-shirts, hats, glasses, etc. Do bring your camera.
4. Don’t feed the monkeys. Don’t get close to the monkeys. I have seen some horrible bites to visitors when the monkeys get angry. The monkeys have fangs and when they bite, it is a really bad bite. I’ve helped to carry a number of people down the stairs after bad monkey bites.
5. Don’t get between the adult monkeys and the babies. This can be the cause of a monkey bite – or full-blown attack by multiple monkeys.
6. Donate something.
Ride your car, motorbike, or take a taxi or tour to Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tum Sua / Wat Tham Seua). This is a large Theravada Buddhist temple located just outside Krabi town in Krabi Noi area (little Krabi). On highway 4 from town, traveling towards Koh Lanta and Trang you’d make a left at the stoplight at the first sign of a large hill. This is the Khao Phanom Bencha mountain chain. You go about 2km and you’ll see the temple on your left side. The road is marked with a sign for the temple.
Don’t miss Tiger Cave Temple – even if you don’t plan on climbing the big mountain, you can climb up into the foothills area and see where the monks live in the caves. There are turtles and 1,000 year old trees back in this area. There are some small caves to explore (look for the light-switch).
Want to see MORE PHOTOS?
Here is a page full of photos from the Wat Tham Suea Buddhist temple (CLICK)
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For Tours Info around Krabi Town and Beaches – Click HERE.