The Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi, also referred to as Wat Tham Suea, is among Thailand’s most revered Buddhist temples. It is known for its tiger paw prints in the Tiger Cave, large gold statues (one of them being a Buddha), and its challenging climb up the mountain to Tiger Cave Temple overlooking limestone cliffs and lush rainforest.
Discover all there is to know about the Tiger Cave Temple, including what to expect, helpful tips for the best time to visit, and what essentials to bring with you, in the following blog post.
Hiring a scooter will be your cheapest and easiest option. You can rent a scooter for around 200 Baht a day.
If you prefer a guided experience, there are organized tours available to the Tiger Cave Temple that often include visits to other popular attractions in Krabi, such as the Emerald Pool and Krabi Hot Springs. These tours typically depart from Krabi, Ao Nang, and Klong Muang, and may also offer hotel pick-up services.
You can also hire a driver for the day or take a private taxi but this will be a more expensive option.
Visiting the Tiger Cave Temple doesn’t require an entrance fee. However, they appreciate any donation to support their ongoing work.
The Tiger Cave Temple is open from 8 am until 5 pm. It’s important to note that the last entry for the climb is before 5 pm, after which visitors won’t be allowed to start the ascent. If you happen to be on the trail or at the summit at this time, you can stay up there for as long as you like. However, since the descent might be in the dark, it’s recommended to bring a headlamp for convenience and safety.
When visiting the Tiger Cave Temple, it’s important to dress modestly as with all temples in Asia. For women, this means covering shoulders and knees.
However, there is no dress code for the open-air temple at the top of the mountain. Make sure to bring some comfortable cool clothes for the hike.
Yes, the Tiger Cave Temple is on top of a mountain which unfortunately means lots and lots of stairs, 1260 vertical steps to be exact! Be prepared for a 309-meter vertical ascent along a 600-meter path, but don’t worry I can assure you the views are totally worth the sweat and struggle.
Though the views are breathtaking, this climb is not for those that are scared of heights or unfit. Many of the steps are almost knee-high and completely vertical, making the hike challenging even for those in shape.
There are many places to stop, rest and enjoy the surrounding views of the valley and beautiful panorama and I suggest you do so. The trek takes approximately 40 minutes, depending on the frequency and length of your stops.
You’ll notice numbered poles along the stairs, indicating the number of steps you’ve climbed. I don’t know whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.
After reaching the top of the mountain, you will need to remove your shoes and place them on the shoe rack before entering the temple area. A drinking water tap is available at the top for refilling your water bottle.
You will be rewarded with the most stunning views of limestone cliffs and the surrounding rainforest. In addition to the stunning vistas, you will find a magnificent golden Buddha and other statues. Plan to spend at least 3 hours exploring the Tiger Cave Temple, allowing ample time to climb up the mountain, admire the views from the top, and make the challenging descent back down.
Make sure to visit the Tiger Cave while you are here. I stumbled upon this gem myself, as I initially thought it was the way to the mountaintop temple. From the parking lot take the first left where there is a sign that says “Tiger Temple”. If you go past the first left and continue on you will soon arrive at the bottom of the stairs on the left to get up to the mountain-top temple.
The Tiger Cave Temple got its name from the discovery of tiger paw prints on the walls of the cave. According to legend, a monk discovered a tiger living in the forest cave during his meditation. The Tiger Cave houses several Buddha and tiger statues and you may even witness monks performing their rituals.
The Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Suea) is nothing short of impressive and a must-visit if you’re in Krabi!
To make the most out of your visit to Krabi, be sure to check out my comprehensive blog posts on 10 things to do in Krabi and 5 Must-See Destinations from Krabi. It’s packed with exciting ideas, from beach escapades to temple explorations and island hopping.