How To Climb Tiger Cave Temple Guide
Tiger Cave Temple, also known as Wat Tham Suea, is a temple complex in the Krabi region of southern Thailand. It is within driving distance of Ao Nang which is where most people will stay during their time in the region (I can recommend Surf Hostel).
The temple grounds consist of so much more than just the Buddha statue, but this post is going to concentrate on how to climb tiger cave temple to see that Buddha statue. Make sure to check out the rest of the grounds after your climb.
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How To Climb Tiger Cave Temple Common Questions
In this section I will attempt to answer the most common questions about how to climb Tiger Cave Temple, and shine a light quickly on what you can expect.
What is Tiger Cave Temple?
Tiger Cave Temple is a bunch of different buildings and temples that surround a limestone cave which is said to have once been the home of a tiger.
The area was founded in the mid 1970’s by monks, back then tigers roamed the area, and one was said to live in the cave that now houses a tribute display at the point of the cave where tiger paw prints can be seen.
Sitting atop the 278 metre lime stone cliff is a large golden statue of Buddha, with incredible 360° views of the tropical jungle surrounds from the top.
The temple grounds are a religious location, so it is important that respect is shown throughout your visit.
Is it Hard to Climb Tiger Cave Temple?
It is not too difficult to climb Tiger Cave Temple, but you need to be of reasonable fitness and mobility.
To get to the top you will have to climb in elevation of 278 metres, with 1,260 steps to manage (average of 22omm large steps), some of the steps are over 300mm and quite steep.
The only real difficulty comes from the humidity of the jungle, with no breeze really kicking in until about step 800.
It could be done in thongs, but would be more comfortable in shoes.
Where is Tiger Cave Temple?
Tiger Cave Temple is located 15km directly north east of Ao Nang beach, and about 5km north east from Krabi town centre.
See the location below in relation to some of the other highlights of the region.
How Do I Get to Tiger Cave Temple?
To get to Tiger Cave Temple is a pretty easy thing to do, just rent a scooter. The distance by road is about 20km from Ao Nang and will take you approximately 30 minutes.
The alternative to this is a Grab or a taxi, but it’s not nearly as fun, nor as cost effective.
How Long Does it Take to Climb Tiger Cave Temple?
It takes about 25 minutes to climb Tiger Cave Temple.
This is how long it took me on the way up, albeit with some photo stops along the way. It is a steady pace but nothing outrageous and could be done quicker.
On the way down it is only 15 minutes.
When Should I Climb Tiger Cave Temple?
The stairs to ge to the top of Tiger Cave Temple are on the eastern side of the mountain, so they face the rising sun.
I recommend going at sunrise to avoid the heat. It will mean waking up early, but you will get the place at its least crowded moments, avoid the heat, and have be down before you know it.
Failing this, if you went late afternoon the sun would be on the far side, so the stairs would be in the shade. However there will be larger crowds.
How to Climb Tiger Cave Temple?
All you need to climb Tiger Cave Temple is basic fitness and a small bottle of water. Make your way into the grounds and head for the stairs.
That’s it, no fees, no gates, just climb.
Tiger Cave Temple Video
See some of the views available from the top with this quick video.
What Do I Need to Climb Tiger Cave Temple?
If you plan on spending the day there, then take snacks. Outside of that, you will need water because the area is humid and when you start climbing the stairs you’ll be sweating a bit.
Water can be refilled at the top.
I recommend having shoes on as it will be more comfortable, but it can be done in thongs.
Also, as it is a religious site, cover up with a t-shirt that covers your shoulders and preferably knee length shorts or pants if you travel with them,
How Much Does it Cost to Climb Tiger Cave Temple?
Climbing to the top of Tiger Cave Temple is completely free. There are donation boxes around the temple grounds and as you climb the stairs.
These donations help keep the area clean and also provide the fresh water that can be refilled at the top of the climb so it is worth giving a bit to help out.
How to Climb Tiger Cave Temple – Secondary Questions
Some less common questions about how to climb Tiger Cave Temple.
Can You Fly a Drone Around Tiger Cave Temple?
You can not fly a drone over people or crowds, so there is no flying through the grounds at ground level.
When you get to the top of the climb though, it is safe to launch your drone. Just keep in mind that to fly your drone in Thailand you must have a registration!
Also be respectful of others. When I got there for sunrise there were people meditating and praying, so I did not fly my drone. Once the sun had risen people started to depart, the crowd went from about 8 people down to myself and 1 other tourist.
Only then did I feel it was appropriate to launch the drone. Although the drone can’t be heard once it’s 50m away, it does make a bit of noise during take off so be mindful of others as this is a religious site.
Is There Anything To Be Aware of When Climbing Tiger Cave Temple?
There are monkeys on the steps that will steal food if you’re eating it or carrying it in plastic bags. They really aren’t much bother if you ignore them, keep food in the backpack.
The monkeys are only on the lower levels, the first 300 steps or so, they won’t bother you much if you’re not an idiot.
There are also dogs up the top, if you are afraid of dogs then it is something to be wary of but all of them were well behaved when I was there. There was a small fight between the dogs, but they weren’t interested in the people.
Don’t feed either the dogs or the monkeys!
Now you know how to climb Tiger Cave Temple!
It is really simple, all you need is a basic level of fitness, some water, and a mode of transport to get there. It is incredible there at sunrise and that’s definitely my recommended time to visit.
After sunrise I had the place to myself, it was peaceful, the weather at the top was cool, and I got some coole drone shots, it was a great way to start the day.
Just go and do it already!