The temple above all else,
the temple on top of the mountain,
the temple you must take a small pilgrimage to see…
Nestled just outside Krabitown center is one of the must see highlights of Krabi province. Construction began over a decade ago (and for some areas of the temple grounds is still ongoing). Getting it’s name from tigers which once lived in the forests around the temple grounds numerous statues of these majestic beasts can be seen throughout the temple area. The temple was built by donations from locals, tourists and some government aid and is now open to the public for worship, prayer and take in the brilliance of this awesome structure.
The temple is set on a large open area with a main walkway taking you through some shops where you can buy trinkets made by the monks and locals. Necklaces with famous monks sitting in a lotus pose, or a small tapestry outlining some of the figures who made this temple what it is today, or even some more exotic items are for sale in these sidewalk shops.
Walking down the main strip you will be followed by a variety of dogs, orange ones, black ones, white ones and even red ones, but don’t worry, they live at the temple and will not bother you. The Monks feed these homeless dogs offering them a safe heaven to live and thrive in, it is one of the many good deeds these temples offer the community.
After entering the temple area you will notice a staircase leading off to your left with a sign next to the first step, 1,237 steps to the top! Can you make it?
For those that brave the many steps there is a reward unlike any other.
At the top of the temple you will be greeted by a massive 15 meter buddha statue again poised in the traditional lotus pose overlooking the town below. Dazing up at this amazing gold leaf plated statue ones begins to wonder how truly amazing it is that people could make this all happen without the assistance of the heavy machinery. Believe it or not most of the concrete used to build the statue and temple was brought up to the top of the temple by devoted monks and builders.
The steps going up to the top vary in size, both width and height so tired lightly the trek can be easy one second and have your knees aching the next. That being said all your pain and troubles will wash away once you take in the breathtaking views from the top.
Start your climb at 4:30 pm to catch the sun dropping behind a wall of limestone cliffs or being your climb at 5am to see it climb it’s way out from behind them. It’s up to you but we don’t recommend you trying this feat at midday, the sun in Thailand is well, strong! And during the heavy daylight hours of the day can be downright exhausting. At a normal pace you can usually read the top in 1 hour so plan accordingly.
Feeling a little spring in your feet, try your legs out on a run up to the top, thats right, go for it and see if you can make it, the current record stands at 15 minutes from base to top.
The Tiger Cave Temple is located about 15 minutes from Krabitown center, off of Phetkasem road towards the airport. Once you reach the traffic lights just before the Big C department store turn left and follow this road for another 3 kilometers until you see a sign on your left for Tiger Cave Temple. Or just look up to the mountain tops for the golden buddha and drive towards it!
Good luck and don’t forget to charge your camera batteries.
Open to the public all hours of the day.