Day Off and trip to Wat Tham Seua

Krabi Travel Blog

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Arrival at the top and the stupa with flashing lights

Wat Tham Seua (also known as Tiger Temple Cave) is an active Buddhist monastery just to the north of Krabi.  Located at the base of one of the karst formations, the temple welcomes visitors to the grounds, and especially to the stupa and buddha located at the top of the large karst formation.  Lee, Matt, Andrea, and I decided to make the trip over there today on our day off.  Of course the best way to experience the temple is by watching the sunrise from the top, which makes for a very early day indeed.

Our morning started around 4:30 AM.  At 4:45 or so, we left by motorbike for the temple.  The trip over took about 25 minutes via mostly empty roads at this ridiculous hour of the morning.

Buddha statue
  We parked the two bikes and wandered over to the path.  If you want to call it a path that is.  The journey to the top, truly requires a Buddhists meditation to climb the 1237 steps from ground level to the top 600m above.  The steps start off gradual but soon could have been replaced by ladders as many steps were easily 1.5-2ft high between steps.  And we were doing this in the dark with the benefit of two torches (that's flashlight for those who haven't learned some UK English).  We tried to keep a slow steady pace taking a few breaks along the way and reached the top around 30 minutes later.

It was still pitch black and absolutely peaceful at the top around 6 AM or so.  We sipped some water, rested and recovered from the endeavour.

600m - 1237 steps
  We had time to kill before sunrise so wandered around the top for a while or sat as the mood took us.  Amazingly we were the only people around and would remain so for the entire morning.  The eastern sky finally started to slowly brighten, with the different hues of color forming on the horizon.  It took a while for the sun to finally make an appearance, but it was fabulous when it did.  We enjoyed the peace and quiet for a bit longer before retracing our steps down the stairs this time (not sure which was worse, going up or down).  Since it was light I could get some pictures on the way down.

Back at ground level, we walked over to the Tiger Cave itself where the monks were meeting.  There were some people wandering inside so we did as well, to the sounds of the monks chanting in prayer.  Nobody came to remove us so we lingered for a bit before heading back to the bikes to go down to Krabi for breakfast.  We found a good place in town to get some fried eggs, bacon, toast, muffins, and a Thai speciality, the fruit smoothie.  Breakfast devoured we returned to the house.

Not much happened the rest of the day.  But by the end of the day I had joined a growing cadre of people feeling nauseous, feverish, and downright ill.  I crashed at 7:00 PM unsure whether I'd be joining the diving trip on the next day.

yarasil says:
Looks like that was quite a climb up to the top but very much worth it.
Posted on: Jun 23, 2009
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Arrival at the top and the stupa w…
Arrival at the top and the stupa …
Buddha statue
Buddha statue
600m - 1237 steps
600m - 1237 steps
Colors on the horizon
Colors on the horizon
The sky begins to brighten
The sky begins to brighten
Looking down on another building b…
Looking down on another building …
A small statue at the top
A small statue at the top
Sunrise.
Sunrise.
The sun rising from between the st…
The sun rising from between the s…
Sunrise
Sunrise
Me and Buddha
Me and Buddha
Looking out over the Thailand coun…
Looking out over the Thailand cou…
Other karst mountains, backlit by …
Other karst mountains, backlit by…
Starting our descent
Starting our descent
Continuing down from the top
Continuing down from the top
This old wise man stopped on his w…
This old wise man stopped on his …
Down, down, down, but dont fall d…
Down, down, down, but don't fall …
1237 steps to the top
1237 steps to the top
Monkeys at Wat Tham Seua
Monkeys at Wat Tham Seua
Krabi
photo by: forevert2