Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi: Paw Prints of a Mythical Tiger
The Tiger Cave Temple, also known as Wat Tham Suea, is a sacred Buddhist temple located northeast of Krabi, Thailand. It is known for its stunning Buddha statues, natural caves, and the challenging climb up the limestone mountain. The temple is a significant religious site and attracts visitors from all over the world.
One of the most unique features of the Tiger Cave Temple is the tiger paw prints found in the cave. According to legend, a tiger once lived in the cave and left its paw prints to symbolize its presence. The temple is also known for its tall Buddha statues, including a 9-meter-tall golden statue atop the mountain. Visitors can climb the 1,260 steps to the summit to enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
Despite the strenuous climb, the Tiger Cave Temple is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. It offers a unique cultural experience and a chance to explore the area’s natural beauty. Visitors are advised to dress modestly and respectfully, as the temple is a place of worship for the local community.
History of Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple, or Wat Tham Suea, is a sacred Buddhist temple in Krabi, Thailand. The temple’s history dates back to 1975 when a Vipassana monk named Jumnean Seelasettho (Ajahn Jumnean) meditated in the cave. During his meditation, he witnessed tigers roaming around the cave, which led to the discovery of the temple and naming it Wat Tham Suea.
Legend has it that the cave was once home to tigers, and their paw prints can still be seen on the cave walls. The temple is at the beginning of the Khao Phanom mountain chain, just outside Krabi Town in the south-central Krabi province. The temple is known for its steep stair climb to the top of the mountain, where visitors can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area.
The Tiger Cave Temple is a significant hilltop Buddhist temple and a popular tourist destination, attracting locals and foreigners alike. It is also an important archaeological site, with evidence of human habitation dating back to prehistoric times. The temple has undergone several renovations and expansions over the years, the most recent being in 2018.
Today, the temple is home to several monks who continue to practice and teach the teachings of Buddha. Visitors can participate in meditation sessions, receive blessings from the monks, and explore the temple’s many shrines and statues. The Tiger Cave Temple is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history and culture of Thailand.
Tiger Cave Temple, also known as Wat Tham Suea, is situated in the foothills area northeast of Krabi Town. The temple is about 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from Krabi Town Bus Terminal and 21 kilometers (13 miles) from Ao Nang Beach.
The temple is situated in the Kiriwong Valley, surrounded by lush green forests and limestone cliffs. The area boasts stunning natural beauty and is a popular destination for tourists visiting Thailand. The temple is built on a hill, and visitors must climb 1,260 steps to reach the summit. The climb is strenuous, but the stunning views from the top are worth the effort.
Krabi Town is the capital of Krabi Province and is located on the mainland of Southern Thailand. The town is a popular tourist destination and serves as a gateway to many of the attractions in the province. Ao Nang is a beach resort town about 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of Krabi Town. It is a popular tourist destination with many hotels, restaurants, and bars.
The Krabi Province is known for its stunning natural beauty, with many limestone cliffs, caves, and beaches. The province is located on the Andaman Sea and is home to many islands, including Phi Phi Islands, a popular tourist destination. The province is known for its hot springs, waterfalls, and national parks.
The Climb to the Summit
The Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi is famous for its challenging climb to the summit. The climb requires visitors to hike 1260 winding steps up and around a limestone mountain to reach the summit. The steps are an average of 220mm large, but some are over 300mm and quite steep. Visitors must be prepared for a strenuous workout and should consider their fitness level before attempting the climb.
The climb to the summit of the Tiger Cave Temple is not for the faint of heart. Visitors must be in good physical condition and have a reasonable level of fitness. The climb can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the individual’s fitness level and pace. The steps are well-maintained, but visitors should still exercise caution and take breaks when necessary.
The Tiger Cave Temple is a challenge worth taking on, with the reward of magnificent views from the summit. Not only can visitors enjoy the stunning scenery, but they can also explore the temple and its awe-inspiring Buddha statues. The temple is also renowned for the mysterious tiger paw prints in the cave, an intriguing discovery that will surely excite any explorer.
Wildlife at Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple is not only a sacred Buddhist site but also home to a variety of wildlife. Visitors should be aware that some animals can be dangerous and should be approached with caution.
Despite its name, there are no tigers at Tiger Cave Temple anymore. However, the temple is known for the tiger paw prints in the cave, which are believed to be over a thousand years old. The paw prints are a popular attraction for visitors and are located near the entrance of the temple.
One of the most common animals found at Tiger Cave Temple are the monkeys. These playful creatures can be seen climbing trees and playing with each other. However, visitors should be cautious as the monkeys can be aggressive and have been known to steal food and belongings from unsuspecting tourists.
It is important to note that feeding the monkeys is strictly prohibited as it can lead to aggressive behavior and dependency on humans for food. Visitors should also avoid making direct eye contact with the monkeys as it can be perceived as a threat.
Views from the Temple
The Tiger Cave Temple is renowned for its stunning views of Krabi and beyond. Visitors who make the challenging climb up the 1,237 steps to the temple’s summit are rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding tropical rainforest and limestone cliffs.
Perched atop a hill, the temple offers a stunning view of the area’s natural splendor. From this elevated vantage point, one can take in the lush rainforest, the majestic limestone cliffs, and the glistening Andaman Sea stretching out before them.
The views from the temple are exceptionally breathtaking at sunrise and sunset when the sky is painted in vibrant hues of pink, orange, and purple. The temple’s peaceful atmosphere and serene surroundings make it a perfect spot for meditation and contemplation.
The Temple Complex
The Tiger Cave Temple complex is a sacred site known for its tall Buddha statues, the tiger paw prints in the cave, and the strenuous flight of stairs to reach the summit.
The temple complex is surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, and visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the serene grounds. The main attraction of the temple complex is the cave, which is said to have been the home of tigers in the past. The cave has been turned into a shrine adorned with golden Buddha statues, offering visitors a unique spiritual experience.
One of the most impressive features of the temple complex is the 278-meter-high limestone cliff that towers above the temple. Visitors can climb the steep stairs to reach the summit and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area. The climb is challenging, with 1237 steps to reach the top, but it is well worth the effort.
The temple complex also features a golden Buddha statue, one of the largest in the world, standing 18 meters tall. The statue is located on the top of the hill and is visible from miles away. It is a popular spot for tourists and locals, who come to pay their respects and offer prayers.
In addition to the cave and the Buddha statues, the temple complex features several other buildings, including a meditation center, a pagoda, and a museum. Visitors can learn about the history and culture of the temple complex and the surrounding area, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Buddhist temples and sacred sites.
The temple is located north-northeast of Krabi and is known for its religious significance among the locals. The temple is believed to be over 1,000 years old and was founded by a monk named Jumnean Seelasettho.
The temple is home to several monks who live on the temple grounds and practice Buddhist meditation. Buddhist meditation is an essential part of the temple’s religious practices, and visitors are welcome to participate in meditation sessions led by the monks. The temple also offers meditation retreats for those seeking a more in-depth experience.
The Tiger Cave Temple is also home to several Buddha statues, including a 9-meter tall Buddha statue at the temple’s entrance. The temple’s main attraction is the cave that houses the tiger paw prints, which are believed to be over a thousand years old. The cave is located at the top of a steep flight of stairs, which visitors must climb to reach the cave.
The temple’s religious significance draws thousands of visitors annually, and it is a popular destination for tourists and locals. The temple’s serene atmosphere and beautiful surroundings make it ideal for spiritual reflection and meditation.
Visiting the Temple
Visitors can expect a steep climb up 1,260 steps to reach the temple’s summit. The climb can be pretty strenuous, so wearing comfortable shoes and clothing is important.
The best time to visit the temple is in the morning or late afternoon when the temperatures are more relaxed. For those who want to catch the sunrise or sunset, arriving early or staying late is recommended to avoid the crowds.
There is an entrance fee to visit the temple, which is used to maintain the site and its facilities. The fee is reasonable and affordable for most visitors.
Visitors should dress modestly and respectfully when visiting the temple. This means covering the shoulders and knees and avoiding revealing clothing. It is also important to remove shoes before entering temple buildings.
Travel to Tiger Cave Temple
Getting to the temple can be done by various means of transportation, and this section will cover some of the options available.
Renting a motorbike is a popular and cheap way to get to Tiger Cave Temple. The trip will take around 30 to 45 minutes one way from Ao Nang, and the rental price is usually around 250THB ($6) for the day. However, it is important to note that the roads leading to the temple can be steep and winding, so only experienced riders should attempt this option.
Songthaews are shared taxis that are a common mode of transportation in Thailand. They are usually red or blue pickup trucks with covered seating in the back. A ride to Tiger Cave Temple from Krabi Town costs around 100THB ($3) and takes about 20 minutes.
By Private Taxi
For a more comfortable and convenient option, travelers can hire a private taxi to take them to Tiger Cave Temple. A one-way trip from Krabi Town costs around 500THB ($15), and the journey takes about 15 minutes.
Many tours are available for those who prefer a guided experience, including a visit to Tiger Cave Temple. These tours often include other attractions in the Krabi Province, such as the Emerald Pool and hot springs. Prices for full-day tours start at around 1,000THB ($30) per person.
Before traveling to Tiger Cave Temple, remember a few things. It is recommended to wear comfortable clothing and footwear suitable for hiking, as there are over 1,260 steps to climb to reach the temple. Bringing a flashlight is also advised, as some parts of the temple can be dark. Also, travelers should stay hydrated and bring water, as no vendors sell drinks on the temple grounds.
Several hotels and hostels are available in the surrounding area for those who wish to stay near Tiger Cave Temple. However, most tourists stay in Krabi Town or the nearby beach areas, such as Ao Nang or Railay Beach. There are a variety of accommodations available in these areas, ranging from budget backpacker hostels to luxury resorts.
Tips for Visitors
Visiting Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi can be an unforgettable experience. To make the most of your visit, here are some useful tips to keep in mind:
- Dress appropriately: Visitors should dress modestly and cover their shoulders and knees when visiting the temple. Wearing comfortable clothing and footwear is also recommended, especially for the hike to the summit.
- Stay hydrated: The climb up to the summit of the Tiger Cave Temple can be physically demanding, especially in the heat. It is important to bring enough water to stay hydrated during the hike.
- Take breaks: Climbing the 1,237 steps to the summit can be challenging, so it’s important to take breaks and rest when needed. Visitors should also take the time to enjoy the stunning views along the way.
- Respect the temple: Tiger Cave Temple is a sacred site, and visitors should be respectful of the temple and its surroundings. Visitors should not feed the monkeys or litter in the area.
- Donate if possible: Donations are an essential part of the temple’s upkeep. Visitors are encouraged to donate to support the temple’s maintenance and conservation efforts.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the dress code for visiting Tiger Cave Temple?
There is no strict dress code for visiting Tiger Cave Temple, but it is recommended to dress modestly out of respect for the religious site. Visitors should cover their shoulders and knees and avoid wearing revealing clothing.
How long does it take to hike to the top of Tiger Cave Temple?
The hike to the top of Tiger Cave Temple takes approximately 1-2 hours, depending on your fitness level. The climb consists of over 1,260 steps and can be pretty strenuous. However, the stunning views from the top are worth the effort.
Are there good photo opportunities at Tiger Cave Temple?
Yes, there are plenty of photo opportunities at Tiger Cave Temple. The temple is surrounded by beautiful scenery and many statues and structures to photograph. However, visitors should be respectful and avoid taking photos in areas where it is not permitted.
What is the height of Tiger Cave Temple?
Tiger Cave Temple is approximately 278 meters (912 feet) tall. The temple is on a hill, and visitors must climb 1,260 steps to reach the top.
Is Tiger Cave Temple worth visiting?
Yes, Tiger Cave Temple is definitely worth visiting. The temple is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in Thailand and is known for its stunning views and unique features, such as the tiger paw prints in the cave. The climb to the top can be challenging, but the experience is rewarding.
What is the story behind the creation of Tiger Cave Temple?
According to legend, a tiger once lived in the cave where the temple is located. One day, a monk visited the cave and saw the tiger, who appeared to be meditating. The monk took this as a sign of the tiger’s enlightenment and decided to build a temple at the site. Today, the temple is a popular destination for Buddhist pilgrims and tourists alike.
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