Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Sua) in Krabi
The famous Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi, in Thai also called Wat Tham Sua, is for sure one of the most adventurous tourist attractions in the region. Particularly, this sacred site is very well-known for its exceedingly steep and sweaty ascent with 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 things to do in Krabi, that should not be missed on any trip!
In this guide, you will find all the important information about the Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi and our experiences summarized. In addition, there are really stunning pictures and numerous tips for the ascent, about getting there, the right clothing and the best excursions.
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 steps are relatively small, but some of them are almost knee-high. The ascent is really sweaty and especially for visitors with vertigo, this 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 the amazing panorama.
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 the evening to enjoy the unique sunset.
Infos about the ascent to the Tiger Cave Temple:
- Bring enough drinking water with you! Even for athletes, the ascent is really exhausting and also the descent from the temple is not that easy.
- Do not feed the monkeys – they are not as nice as they seem to be.
- A short to change is certainly a great idea.
- If you are planning a descent after sunset, you should bring headlamps with you.
- Taking your sport shoes makes sense, but some visitors also do the hike with flip-flops.
- The best time to visit Tiger Cave Temple is 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 too hot. Especially, a visit at sunset is stunning. Then the sky above Krabi is colored pink, and a special silence takes place.
Ascent Time: Walking Time & 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 up 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 for having a break and to relax. 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. When you get to the top, plan to spend at least 10–30 minutes taking pictures and resting. Going down is a little shorter and takes 30–35 minutes.
All in all, for the visit to the Tiger Cave Temple, you should plan around 3 hours or even more. With that amount of time, you can enjoy the outstanding views and also explore the whole temple complex.
More Attractions at Tiger Cave Temple
In any case, you should also visit the cave temple, called the Tiger Cave. This temple complex was built in 1975 and according to history, it is said to bear the name of a giant tiger that lived here in the cave of the forest. A meditating monk had discovered it during his meditation and heard it roar. Today you will find various beautiful Buddha and tiger statues at this holy place and with a little luck, you can watch monks during their rituals and prayers. The entrance to the Tiger Cave Temple is free, but with a donation, you can support this unique temple.
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 wonderful attraction of the temple.
What to wear at Tiger Cave Temple
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 don’t have suitable clothing, you can rent sarongs. Cheap ones are available at the entrance for about 20 baht. At the top of the temple on the observation deck, you must take off your shoes before entering. Also, because of the sweat, you could bring with you some changing clothes.
Entrance fee & Opening hours
Entrance to the Tiger Cave Temple is free. When visiting the actual Tiger Cave you will be asked for a voluntary donation of 40 Baht. However, the tour of the area and the climb to the viewpoint is free for everyone.
The Tiger Cave Temple is open all day and can be visited at any time. There are also said to be visitors who spend the night on the terrace of the temple under the starry sky.
How to get to Tiger Cave Temple
Getting to Tiger Cave Temple can 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 2,500 Baht 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 2000 Baht (go and return). Like above, the driver waits until you’re done with the tour. If you want to go by scooter, you can rent one in Ao Nang Beach. The journey by scooter to the temple takes about 1 hour.
- Krabi Town: The private taxi from Krabi Town to the Tiger Cave costs around 700 baht. It’s cheaper to take a shared taxi (100 baht per person) or to drive with your own scooter.
Tours to Tiger Cave Temple
Furthermore, there is the possibility to join a guided tour. The advantage is that the most of these tours are offered in combination with Tiger Cave Temple – Hot Springs – Emerald Pools. The excursions start from Krabi, Ao Nang and Klong Muang, often including hotel pickup.
Tip: Many recommended tours can be found online on GetyourGuide!
Where to stay near Tiger Cave Temple
Many are wondering, where is the best place to stay for your trip to the Tiger Cave Temple. Here, we will show you our top picks of really fantastic and budget friendly 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.
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 at a good price is the Holiday Inn Resort. 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, a cozy ambience, comfortable beds and delicious breakfast.
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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