Friday, May 01, 2020

The Unsuccessful Climb up the Summit at Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi [Thailand]

I have been looking forward to the climb up the summit at Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi and made a beeline for the harmless looking staircase at the base that's said to be the start of a tortuous journey for many! 

A total of 1,237 steps up the 278-meter high mountain and i think access, as indicated on the sign, is open from 5.00 am till 6.30 pm. Any Thai friends can translate the rest of the notice? 

We were given only 90 minutes to spend at this tiger cave temple; hence, the decision to get this climbing started earlier, especially after reading the experiences by other people on the web.

Wait, isn't that a statue of Ji Gong? He was a legendary yet crazy Buddhist monk who lived during the Song dynasty and renowned for not following the monastic rules like disallowing eating meat and drinking alcohol. Why was his statue here?!

Strangely, there's even a Singapore reference! 

Okay, i know we should proceed with the ascent but i was curious about this staircase that's going down instead of up? Maybe there's a secret cave inside?

Disappointing; i do think it's big enough to shelter a tiger at night or from the weather. I heard from the guide, however, that a tiger has not been seen in the area for a long time. 

Let's begin! 

The climb was pretty monotonous; surrounded by greenery, you do get the occasional "decoration" but it's nothing much to wow you. No point also when you have more than a thousand steps ahead of you. 

This kind of view worries me as i have a fear for height and memories (for example, here) told me that even though i might get to the summit; there's a possibility i could take a longer time to get to the base.

A not bad view at this point.

Some steps can be extremely steep with a narrow gap in between; this old staircase was actually closed as they built an easier one next to it.

By easy, it means you have to climb more steps! To be honest, the support for the staircases appeared to be insufficient and this added to my fear that they would topple! 

I was still going strong at this point.

A sign with faded words although i guess we can still make out what it seeks to say; no food and drinks, no feeding the monkey and no smoking! A bit hard now to allow drinks as we need to hydrate ourselves! 

Around a third of the journey and this would be the spot most people would take a rest and decide if it's worth to continue the way. If your legs are wobbly by then, it's best NOT to continue.

The gap in between the top and bottom railing is so wide; i can imagine myself tripping and falling from the gap! The dreadful thought (and my imagination) forced me to tighten my grip when i navigated up the stairway.

Nice view! 

Actually, you can keep track of the steps you have attained so far by looking at the numbers on the railing posts. Notice the one next to the blue tub which indicates 521. Good, we were about halfway through. 

A toilet was available for use but i wasn't keen to check it out as i am assuming the sanitary conditions might affect all my senses. It didn't help that i was feeling exhausted.

Without proper resting spots, some had taken to sitting on the stairs. 

My taurean spirit continued to drive me despite the sore thighs and the stars appearing in my eyes. I believe then that the stubbornness within me would allow me to reach the summit.

Until i saw large sweat droplets oozing out from my arms. It was worrying for Alex as he has never seen me in such a state. He was dead afraid i would collapse before i even reach the top of the mountain.

Therefore, i made the sad decision to cut short my ascent at the point of 783 steps which was about two-thirds of the climb. Well, it could only mean that i would return to Krabi again to re-attempt the climb! 

The next time, i shall make sure i would take it slow and easy so that my body wouldn't be overwhelmed by the rapid ascent. I had to admit i am no longer that young and hence, should take better care of my body.

Alex's consolation for me; by allowing me to take photos of the surrounding with him as a model. Frankly, i think he couldn't stand the treacherous climb as well and was rather happy i decided to cut short the journey. 

Photographs taken in my descent! 

Another picture showing the narrowness (see that the lady's sports shoe covered slightly more than half the depth) and height of the steps; some said certain sections could have steps as high as 30 centimetres! I didn't measure in my haste to climb up even though some steps required me to make use of the railings to ease the climb.

A feline wondering why the humans are torturing themselves.

Lastly, me literally knocked out by the unsuccessful climb. The tiger statue in the photo looked more like it was trying to comfort me. Yes, i will definitely be back again! 

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Location
Tiger Cave Temple,
Krabi, Thailand

Click here for the itinerary 

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