Wat Tham Suea, Kanchanaburi


If you want to see a spectacular Thai Buddhist temple in Kanchanaburi, you might consider Wat Tham Suea (วัดถ้ำเสือ, จังหวัดกาญจนบุรี - literally translated "Tiger Cave Temple, Kanchanaburi.") Eight miles south-east of Kanchanaburi town, the temple is built on a natural rock plinth that rises spectacularly above the surrounding rice paddies. The views from the temple itself are superb. It is the largest temple in the province, with an eighteen metre high gold coloured Buddha statue.

Outside of "The Situation" expect this car park to be packed.

Next to the car park is a shrine to the temple's founder, Luang Por Chuen. The story is that in years gone by, the cave underneath the temple housed a family of tigers. These days though the cave is shut, there is a small temple to pay your respects. The wild tigers have long gone.

To get to the main temple above, visitors at the main entrance have a choice of a 157 step staircase or an electric funicular. The latter costs 15 Thai Baht. At the top of the ride, exit to negotiate some steep and narrow steps and you are brought into the outdoor area in front of the Phra Chinprathan Pron Buddha.

The heat after 10am is as vivid as the view so you might want to remember your dark glasses, suncream, and a bottle of water. There is a terrace that overlooks the rice fields behind the temple. You will find it to the right of the big Buddha statue. It's worth seeing. While taking in the vast panorama a cool breeze soothes the intrepid traveller.

If you are feeling energetic - and have a clean shirt to don afterwards - the climb up nine levels of the Phra Chedi Ket Kaew rewards with a view of the Mae Klong river to the east, of the Buddha statue below, and of rice fields that stretch in every direction. Be prepared to sweat.

You know when you stood on the terrace and looked over the glorious view? There were some buildings in the middle distance. They are coffee houses with food and innovative Thai design. After your exertion, you deserve a cool drink.

Try MEENA Cafe for more photo-opportunities and innovative coffees
Try MEENA Cafe for more photo-opportunities, coffee, and food. Very popular, get there early.

MEENA Cafe has been crafted to be "Insta" famous. A couple of raised footpaths wind across the rice fields to culminate in photo-op scenes. Open-air covered huts with big comfortable chairs, sofas and tables provide shade and space to sip coffee and enjoy the menu. To get there follow the road left out of Wat Tham Suea to the main road. Just before the junction, there is a dusty dirt road, again on the left. It leads to the coffee houses that fan across the rice fields behind Wat Tham Suea.

Google Maps: https://t.co/mXg449vhzc?amp=1

Google co-ords: 13.954054661189238, 99.60513871575827 or 13°57'14.6"N 99°36'19.2"E or XJ34+J48 Muang Chum, Tha Muang District, Kanchanaburi.

One last thing; don't confuse this temple with the other "Wat Tham Suea" in Krabi province. That one has more stairs.