Hiking the 1272 Steps to Tiger Cave Temple

tiger cave temple krabi

Tiger Cave Temple, also known as Wat Tham Suea, is a Buddhist temple just northeast of Krabi Town in Thailand. It gets its name due to the apparent tiger paw prints in the cave, as well as the legend that tigers used to roam in the area. The temple complex was huge- it was basically a small village with lots of mini temple buildings, cafes and shops. It was really pretty and good to look around, but what the temple is most famous for, and what I was eager to do, is the climb. To visit the temple itself requires you to hike 1272 winding steps up and around a limestone mountain to reach it, which makes for a fairly incredible workout (particularly in the Thai humidity). Half way up, we saw a girl who had collapsed. We gave her water and some chocolate bread and she perked up a little- but then she carried on ascending the climb! I thought “this must be so worth it if she’s happy to push on after collapsing”- and it was. The summit offers stunning 360 views of the surrounding mountains and the temple itself is really beautiful. By the time we reached the top, the sky was dark and stormy, and I personally think this made the temple even better.

Unlike the name would suggest, there are obviously no tigers on this hike, but there are A LOT of monkeys. These monkeys are smart; they know people keep food in their backpacks- and they know how to unzip, snatch and run. They successfully pinched a whole pack of biscuits and given that I didn’t have my rabies jabs, I wasn’t prepared to fight for them. Fortunately, they didn’t bother to climb up further than the first few hundred steps so we were left alone after that. We did, much to my surprise, find two stray dogs at the summit. Why they bothered to climb the 1272 steps is beyond me, but they were very friendly and lazed around hoping for food.

I’ll leave you with some photos.

tiger cave temple krabi

Ellie and I at the summit

tiger cave temple krabi

tiger cave temple krabi

tiger cave temple krabi

tiger cave temple krabi

tiger cave temple krabi

tiger cave temple krabi

tiger cave temple krabi

tiger cave temple krabi

tiger cave temple krabi

A wat in the grounds of the temple complex

 

If you’re in Krabi, I really recommend you visit the temple if you’re physically fit enough to complete the climb as its one of my favourite activities we did while in the region. You can easily get there from Krabi or Ao Nang by taxi or tuk tuk, or you can go with an organised tour.

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tiger cave temple krabi

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