Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Sua) in Krabi
The famous Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi, in thai also called Wat Tham Sua, is probably one of the most adventurous tourist attraction in the region. Particularly, this sacred site is very well-known for its exceedingly steep and sweaty ascent (1237 steps), which is rewarded with an outstanding view over Krabi’s limestone rocks. But also the main “Tiger Cave” and the “wonderland” rainforest, are very interesting and worth seeing. A visit to this sacred place is a unique experience and one of the top highlights of Krabi.
In this blog post you will find all information about the Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi, we will give you some useful tips about the transport and share with you our experiences:
1237 steps to the Tiger Cave Temple
The Tiger Cave Temple is 278 meter high and in order to reach the summit, it is necessary to manage some steep stairs with no less than 1237 steps. Some of the steps are relatively small, but some of them are almost knee-high. The ascent is really sweaty and for visitors with vertigo the hike can be a real thrill.
Nevertheless, during the hike you always have fantastic views of the valley and at some resting places you can stop and enjoy. Once at the top, you will be rewarded with the most gorgeous views over Krabi’s limestone cliffs and the rain forest. A huge golden Buddha sits on the large terrace and also several other statues adorn this viewing platform. The meditative silence makes summiteers calm and some of them rest a long time up there. Many visitors even stay until sunset.
For the ascent to the Tiger Cave Temple we can give you the following tips:
- Take enough drinking water with you! Even for athletes the ascent is really exhausting and also the descent from the temple is not that easy.
- Take breaks often – the walk should be the goal.
- Do not feed the monkeys – they are not as nice as they seem to be.
- A t-shirt to change can certainly not hurt.
- If you are planning a descent after sunset you should bring headlamps with you.
- Taking your sport shoes make sense, but some visitors also do the hike with flip-flops.
The best time to visit
The Tiger Cave Temple is certainly the early morning and the late afternoon. At this time of the day the sun is not that strong. Avoid a climb at lunchtime, it will definitely to hot. Especially a visit at sunset is really beautiful. Then the sky above Krabi is coloured pink and a special silence takes place.
Walking time and duration
The terrace of the Tiger Cave Temple with the large golden Buddha is located at a height of 270 meters. Like mentioned above, there are 1237 steps to get there. But how long does it take to get to the summit? The walking time up to the temple is, depending on your fitness level, 40 minutes to 1 hour or even more. On the way you will find several places to take a break. Every now and then you will find benches to sit and breathe. In any case, because the climb is really sweaty, you should take enough drinking water with you.
All in all, the visit to the Tiger Cave Temple will take you around 3 hours or even more. With that amount of time you can enjoy the awesome views and also explore the whole temple complex.
Around the Tiger Cave Temple
Before or after the hike you can also visit the cave temple, the actual Tiger Cave in Krabi. The temple complex was built in 1975 and history says that a giant tiger used to stroll around in the jungle and inside the cave (Tiger Cave). A monk who was meditating there always heard him roaring. Today, at this place, visitors can find various beautiful Buddha and tiger statues and can watch the monks doing their rituals and prayers. Admission is free, but if you like to support this unique temple you can donate some money.
Also recommended is a visit to the adjoining mystical forest. Perhaps because of the strains of the ascension, many tourists refrain from visiting this beautiful place. What a pity, the “wonderland” forest with its huge sacred trees is another highlight of the temple.
What to wear?
The Tiger Cave Temple is a Buddhist monastery. The place is considered sacred and therefore proper clothing should be a matter of course. Women have to keep knees and shoulders covered. For Men, in our experience, it is not quite so accurate. If you need something to cover up, you can buy cheap towels at the entrance (20 Baht). Also, because of the sweat, you could bring with you some changing clothes.
Entrance fee and opening hours
- There is no admission fee walking up to the Tiger Cave Temple. If you visit the actual Tiger Cave you will be asked for a voluntary donation of 40 Baht.
- The temples are open all the time. Actually, we heard about visitors who stay overnight at the summit.
How to get to Tiger Cave Temple
Getting to Tiger Cave Temple can easily be organized from Krabi Old town, Ao Nang and Klong Muang Beach. You can choose from different transport options:
- Klong Muang Beach: Going by private taxi you will pay about 1,500 Baht (2-ways) from Klong Muang Beach to Tiger Cave Temple. The driving time is around 45 minutes and the taxi driver will wait for you at the parking site.
- Ao Nang: The private taxi should not cost more than 1,200 Baht (go and return). Like above, the driver waits until you’re done with the tour. Scooters: If you want to go by scooter, you can rent one in Ao Nang. The journey by scooter to the temple takes about 1 hour.
- Krabi Town: The private taxi from Krabi to the Tiger Cave costs around 700 baht. It’s cheaper to take a shared taxis (100 baht per person) or to drive with your own scooter (about 20 minutes).
Tours to Tiger Cave Temple
Furthermore, there is the possibility to join a guided tour. Mostly these tours are offered in combination Tiger Cave Temple – Hot Springs – Emerald Pools from Krabi, Ao Nang and Klong Muang. Here are the best rated trips:
Best starting points and accomodations
Many are wondering, where is the best place to stay for a trip to the Tiger Cave Temple. Here, we will show you our top picks on accommodation, which are ideally suited as a starting point.
- Krabi Town: The city Krabi Town is the closest to the Tiger Cave Temple and therefore the best starting point for excursions to the temple complex. Here we can recommend the Family Tree Hotel – a super chic and stylish hotel located in the middle of the old town. As a budget alternative for backpackers check out the Sleep Well Hostel. It is one of the best backpacker hostels in Krabi Town.
- Ao Nang: A popular vacation spot and a good starting point for exploring the Krabi area. Here you will find a huge selection of accommodation and hotels. Especially nice and with a good price is the Holiday Inn Resort Krabi. This awesome hotel is located directly on the white sandy beach of Ao Nang. Backpackers on the other hand love the TAN Hostel x Cafe – cozy ambience, comfortable beds and delicious breakfast, what more could you ask for.
Check out where to stay in Krabi for more information about the best hotels and accommodations in Krabi Province.
Conclusion: The Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi is really amazing place to visit. Not for nothing the temple is one of the most famous sights in the region. Above all, the spectacular ascent, the fabulous views over Krabi and the tranquility on the temple terrace are unique. All in all, visiting the Tiger Cave Temple is an experience that should not be missed.
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