Sunday, May 03, 2020

Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Seua) @ Krabi [Thailand] #tigercavetemple

The tiger cave temple in Krabi is not famous due to the temple or even the cave that wild tigers used to reside in; instead most people like Alex and me, would proceed directly to the stairway that brings us up to the hilltop for a scenic view of Krabi town and its surrounding.

There's one key thing that all tourists must keep in mind of; the troop of monkeys that basically runs the place. Given that they have been accustomed to be fed, they will attempt to snatch anything that appears to be food. So do keep your belongings tight!

I am not too sure if the tyres hanging from the trees are for kids or for the monkeys. The latter seemed to be the long tailed macaques that are also common in Singapore. We used to have the monkey problem too until the authorities impose a fine for people who were found to feed the monkeys.

Clear enough sign.

Please also remember to dress appropriately although i don't think the rule was stringently followed. At the very least, just keep in mind you have the option to rent clothes to cover up.

Entry to another section; did i mention that you don't have to pay any entrance / admission fee to explore the tiger cave temple? That's nice given that most places would want to bank on the tourist dollars.

You are of course welcome to donate money directly to the temple or in the case above, buy coffins to giveaway as the poor sometimes do not have the financial means to even pay for a coffin to bury their loved ones. In Buddhism, this is one way to gain merit although i have always believed that we should gain merits in our daily lives and not as a mean to trade off with any bad thing we did.

Before attempting the climb, good to take a piss first. This is just in case there's no washroom along the way and that can be torturing with a bladder that's about to burst!

Wow, a towering pavilion that housed the Guanyin Bodhisattva; according to the Chinese words, the statue is supposed to be a white coated Guanyin but it's obviously golden.

I was more interested to know if i could climb up even though the benefit isn't there with windows that appeared to be either sealed up or non-existent.

A statue of Ji Gong, a popular monk who hailed from the Song dynasty, near the stairway. Surprising to find him here as his legends were known more to the Chinese community and you don't really find him in Buddhist temples outside of China.

If you have been following my blog, you would be aware that i didn't manage to reach the summit. It was a major disappointment for me since i am not exactly weak but for the sake of being alive, i decided to cut short. You may read more about my experience here!

Even this tiger statue felt sorry for me! Oh well, there's always a next time to re-attempt the climb and my recent visit to Krabi was enjoyable; which means i should be back soon.

Had to get a cold drink to cool down! There's a mini mart right across from the stairway and you wouldn't miss it as many customers would almost make a beeline for it after their climb up the hill.

Monkey again! See the other sign in blue on the right; "beware of monkeys snatching your purse"! That's how brazen the monkeys are. The other time i faced such bold monkeys was at uluwatu temple in Bali.

Less than five minutes after i came down from the hill, it started raining!

So, it's a good thing i cut short my climb as we would definitely be drenched if we were to continue our ascent. I actually thanked Alex as he was the one who insisted we should discontinue. A few of our tour mates were in fact soaked to the skin!

The monkey was waiting for the rain to stop, just like me.

Sky cleared up after about 15 minutes. Phew, i thought it's going to be much longer and i still needed to check out the tiger cave, which gives the temple its name.

Got a Magnum ice cream! I cannot fathom how come Magnum ice cream is so expensive in Singapore as the pricing in our neighbouring countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand is almost half the price we are charged for in our little red dot.

I stepped out of the convenience store with our Magnum ice cream and actually had to retreat back to the store as this menacing monkey was charging towards me when he saw me holding on to the ice cream!

So please be mindful of your surroundings too as they could just jump out from nowhere and have the tendency to catch you by surprise. Alex had a great laugh as he never imagined i would be scared of a monkey. To be fair, i am more worried he will snatch away my precious ice cream.

On our way to the tiger cave.

Random photos; of a whale skull bone (i think), a statue of Phra Mae Thorani and a boulder painted to look like a tiger, in fact, a very well fed one.

Oh my god, a dog was prostrating obediently outside the hall. I am anthropomorphising here; is the dog praying for something or he was hoping for food?

The hall was long and bordered the perimeter of a cliff. I am impressed with the structure as it's built so well; you wouldn't really know it's a natural backing. Furthermore, the place was spick and span!

Where's the tiger cave? Well, the modern society has decided to build a proper staircase leading to the cave. I was rolling my eyes when i realized where the cave was.

With luxurious marble flooring that required a sign to tell visitors to beware of slipping, i am thinking a tiger would find it hard to navigate to the cave it used to call home.

Tiger statues and artifacts at one corner. Wait, there's a lion. A lion is not a tiger although they can mate and have kits! The offspring of a male lion with a female tiger is called a liger whereas the male tiger with a lioness will produce a tigon!

There's even a gate for the cave! How thoughtful is that?! Anyway, there were a few stories pertaining to the temple's origins and once of them told of a tiger that used to take refuge in the cave at night but that was more than fifty years ago. After the monks came to use the cave for meditation, tigers were no longer seen in that area anymore.

The cave; aside from this tiger cave, there were other nearby caves as well and some were actually used by the monks as accommodation. In addition to the stairway to the summit, there's another nearby stairway, which i didn't realize, that leads to the other 'domesticated' caves.

An additional gate within the cave; i was betting on a life-sized tiger statue.

Nope, there's a platform but nothing on it. Regardless, devotees were happy to throw notes and coins in the hope that the imaginary tiger would grant their wishes.

Don't bother attempting to take the notes / coins (if you are that hard up and wouldn't even mind stealing a religious abode) as there's a CCTV pointing towards the area!

Stepping out of the tiger cave.

A tower in the works; would it be similar to the Grand Pagoda (Phra Mahathat Chedi) at Wat Chalong in Phuket? Would love to check it out when it's ready!

Instead of lions, they have two tiger statues gracing the entrance. Pity i didn't have enough time to check out the rest of the building as it's about time for us to depart.

I did note, however, that one of the tigers was missing a canine!


Tiger Cave Temple,
Krabi, Thailand


As above.

Click here for the itinerary 

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