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The Magnificent Tiger Cave Temple - Krabi's Most Sacred Place

Spectacularly situated amid limestone cliffs within a tropical forest, Wat Tham Seua or Tiger Cave Temple is a famous meditation sanctuary with caves, wooded trails and panoramic views. This temple is considered by Krabi's Bhuddists to be one of the most sacred site in Krabi province.

In the past before Wat Tham Seua was established, the entrance courtyard was once a refuge to a very large tiger. The tiger will roar ferociously and this frightens those villagers who came nearby to this cave perimeter to collect their daily sustenance e.g. woods, hunting, etc.  It's a much feared place to be and the people then called this place Tiger's Cave.

Later in B.E.2518 (1975AD), the venerable Luang Phor Jumnien Seela Settho came to this cave with a group of Buddhist monks and nuns to practice the Dharma. The resident tiger make way for monks to settle down and live in this cave.  As tribute to the generosity of this tiger, there are many tiger images and figurines at Tiger Cave Temple today.

Temple's Grand Entrance

This temple is one of the more interesting temple in southern Thailand as Buddhist monks here lived and practice Vipassana meditation within a maze of natural caves in an overgrown jungle valley. Despite many visitors flocking to this temple every day, monks can still live in seclusion here.

Newly built Chedi

The Guardian Tigers of Wat Tham Suea

Jatukam Ramathep talismans

The main cave and other building structures in this temple compound is interesting without being particularly special. But beyond the compound are two staircases that lead visitors to the star attraction - a shrine at the top with a stunning 360 degree view of Krabi landscape.

The staircase closest to the large Kuan Yin statue, the Chinese goddess of mercy is by far a lesser arduous climb. The other staircase has 1,237 steps and it's a climb that should not be attempted by the faint-hearted.

This is an arduous journey dragging your feet to start climbing up those steps when you think about it. But your effort is worth it when you reach the top of the summit. Don't think twice. Just get climbing up with a light-minded heart and be spiritually rewarded.

The start of the climb.

Monkeys are frequently sighted on the way uphill. They won't bother with you as long as you don't entice them with food stuff. Surprisingly they are very docile and behaved very friendly to visitors. From 500 steps onward, these monkeys are rarely seen as there're no food source at the top of the hill.

A group of monkey family nestling under the tree shades.

At 858 steps most people are panting and feeling lethargic as oxygen gets thinner. 1237 - 858 = 379 more steps to go. In this situation take frequent rests if needed before reaching the summit.   

Phra Lersi

Met a group of Swiss tourists along the way uphill. Encouraged them to climb the final 100 steps. You can almost taste victory despite all the bodily pains.

Reaching The Top

A rewarding cold water dispenser greets your arrival. A real treat to quench your thirst. 

Descending downhill is no easy task and it can be challenging as well. The leg muscles will be used entirely to put the correct footing on each step. Well, nobody want to slip and roll down the stairs like a potato right?  Muscle fatigue is what you may experience although the time taken to descend is quicker than going uphill. The distorted mind will unconsciously think "When am I going to reach the bottom of this hill". Panting and gasping for air as oxygen is much needed to supplement the working muscles, gradually you will see the objects at ground level becomes more visible. Immediately upon reaching the ground the heart was relief and automatically rejoice with happiness for the great opportune to pay respect to the great sitting Buddha in one of Krabi's most sacred site.   

Ajahn Jumnian's Amulets and Talismans

Of the many amulet counters found in the vicinity, it is advisable to search inside the main original cave. This is the Tiger's dwelling place in the past. Here you would find nicely decorated Buddha images and monks blessing services (see photos below).

Ajahn Jumnian's Phra Pidta herb powder amulet 

Tiger's Sacred Incantation Scrolls - Takrut Ajahn Jumnian 

Getting There

Going to Wat Tham Seua is to fist look for map and search Krabi which is located at the Southern coastal part of Thailand. By all means direct flight is the best alternative if you do not want to waste time on land travel. For the adventure seekers who love taking picturesque photos along the way may want to take overland transport.

Folks travelling from Malaysia or Singapore by land must firstly reach Hadyai which is the center point of connection to Krabi. You may take any regular bus or train services to reach Hadyai. At Hadyai town, proceed to the main bus terminal where you can practically choose any bus or van services to take you direct to Krabi town. Just remember there is no train service to Krabi. 

You may also purchase an interconnect bus ticket to take you direct to Krabi from Butterworth or Penang. There are some bus operators offering this service at the bus terminals. This may cut down on your travel duration instead of wasting time finding a connecting bus service to Krabi at the Hadyai bus terminal.  Cost is almost the same and not much difference.

Please bear in mind the overall interconnect journey direct from Butterworth/Penang to Krabi will take a whopping 9 hours. No joke when we specially travel by land to bring you this magnificent story about Wat Tham Seua. 

Hope you have enjoyed reading the above article story. May you too be able to find your way to this sacred place at Krabi in your next holiday destination should you decide to give it a try in climbing 1,237 steps to reach the star attraction at Tiger's Cave.   

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