Krabi is a beautiful destination in Thailand. With its stunning beaches and lush forests, it’s the perfect place to relax and see some amazing sights. From taking a boat tour of the nearby islands to exploring nature trails on land, there are plenty of activities that will make your stay memorable.
If you’re feeling adventurous, climb up limestone cliffs or take a kayak out onto the turquoise water for an unforgettable experience! The food here is delicious too – try traditional dishes like Pad Thai or explore local restaurants for something new. No matter what type of holiday you’re looking for, Krabi has something special that’ll make your trip truly unique!
However, it offers so much more when it comes to amazing things to do and see. The Tiger Cave Temple is one of them. Immerse yourself in spirituality, fight your way through armies of cheeky monkeys and climb the 1237 steps to the heavenly views of its viewpoint.
We settled down in Krabi Town for a couple of days as in our third destination in Thailand after Phuket and Koh Lanta. For the first time staying not on an island, but on mainland Thailand, we were looking for something different than just laying on the beaches and enjoying the Sun. After some research and eliminating the Mangrove Kayak Trip and the Tree Top Park, we decided to rent a scooter (200 Baht/day) and head out of the town. Our plan was simple, head North to the Tiger Cave Temple and then further South East to the Emerald Pool.
Mysterious history of the Tiger Cave Temple
The Tiger Cave Temple is a Buddhist temple located around 10 minutes drive from the center of Krabi Town. It offers a mystical experience surrounded by the beauties of nature and probably the best views in the whole area. The temple itself is situated in a natural cave and it serves as home for local monks.
Sorry to disappoint you, but besides few statues, there are no tigers to be found in the temple. Just a lot of monkeys. The temple got its name from a legend about a tiger which used to reside in the cave. Arguably real tiger footprints have been found in the cave, so the legend might be actually based on true fundaments after all. But not that it would really matter, as the actual cave nowadays rather resembles a luna park thanks to its obscure decorations.
The cave itself is located on a foot of a mountain and it is surrounded by several temple structures and souvenir shops. Some of them are really beautiful, some really cheesy and just there for the tourists. However, the real reason why you should visit the Tiger Cave Temple sits on the top of the mountain.
1237 steps to heaven
The real reason why you should visit the temple is the beautiful viewpoint on the summit of the mountain. A small platform with a beautiful Tree Top Park, a small shrine and most importantly, a breathtaking view all around the area. From the respectable height of 278 meters, you really feel like sitting in the clouds and looking down from the sky as far as to the Andaman sea.
Nevertheless, these heavenly views come with an obvious cost and the price tag says 1237.
1237 pretty steep steps you need to climb to the top, some of them up to 30 cm high! Which in the warm and humid Thai weather is not much fun. Oh, and I should not forget about all the cheeky monkey gangs sitting all around the route, ready to jump on your back and steal anything which is not safely hidden in your backpack. The baby monkey which got on my back is probably still playing with my bottle of water which she stole from me. But be careful, it is prohibited to feed the monkeys with your own food. But you can always buy them some bananas in some of the shops downstairs.
Katie’s tip: Come early to avoid the crowds and enjoy the Sunrise on the top. Also, there are almost no monkeys early in the morning, which changes drastically later in the day.
Why you should definitely go
Not the demanding climb, nor the rogue monkey hordes should discourage you from making your way to the top. Visiting the temple was one of the highlights of our stay in Krabi and the only regret we have is that we did not bring our drone up with us. Some of the other tourists did and we were silently and jealously observing the buzzing quadrocopter flying over our heads and taking the amazing shots of Buddha proudly sitting on the mountaintop. And after all, even observing the monkeys surfing down the railings along the route are a unique and funny thing to watch.
How do you like the temple and what is your favorite place in Krabi besides beaches and the sea? I will be looking forward to reading your suggestions in the comments section.
How to get there
The easiest way to get to Tiger Cave Temple is renting a scooter. The scooter ride takes about 10 minutes from Krabi Town and 30 minutes from Ao Nang. However, if you are not able to drive yourself or you are afraid of the crazy Thai traffic (I was so much, but we made it!), do not worry. You can also take a Songthaew bus, also called the Red Car, in front of the 7-Eleven by the Krabi Town Night Market. If you have the money and prefer convenience, Tuk Tuk (tricycle taxi) is always an option.
The admission to the temple is free of charge, but you can, of course, donate your money based on your own feeling of generosity. If you rent a scooter as we did, it will cost you 200 Baht/day plus the gasoline. A Songthew bus will cost you 100 Baht from Krabi Town, add extra 50 if you need to take one from Ao Nang to Krabi Town first. The cost of a Tuk Tuk depends on your negotiation skills:).
Name: Wat Tham Suea – Tiger Cave Temple
Address: Krabi Noi, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi 81000, Thailand
Access: Drive 10 minutes from the center of Krabi Town or 30 minutes from Ao Nang. You can also use Tuk Tuk or a Songthaew
Time: 2-3 hours
Hours: All day long