While researching what to do in Krabi, I saw many suggestions about Tiger Cave. Some people loved it, some hated it. But the pictures looked nice. In the end, as we had a few hours on our last day, I decided to give it a shot and I am happy we did, as the views from up there were truly incredible, which photos can’t really show well.
How to Get There
There are no public transport options to get to the Temple. We enquired at a number of travel agencies in Ao Nang. Most were offering joint tours at certain hours for 350 baht per person (I believe it was at 12.30 and then at 3.30pm). Those hours were not convenient for us, so we asked about the private driver prices for return trip. We were quoted 1500, 1000 and 900 in the end. Obviously, we went for the last one 😊 You might be able to find even cheaper option, if you haggle better. The car was air-conditioned and convenient. If you are 3 people, it would end up cheaper, than the tour with other people, so it is worth exploring your options.
The drive took about 35-40 minutes from Ao Nang with traffic. It is a scenic drive, so keep an eye out 😊
The Temple Complex
When you arrive, you will find a big Temple complex, with tiger statues at the gates and in front of the temples. The legend has it, that a monk, who founded the wat, saw tigers at this place and called it tiger cave.
As at any wat, they ask you to cover your shoulders and knees. They are not strict about the dress code, but still bring a scarf with you, if you are wearing shorts or open top. I put a scarf around, but took it off during the climb, as it was really inconvenient and hot to climb with it.
There are a number of monkeys around the temple complex. we saw many downstairs, but none on the stairs. Many people say that they snatch food and other items. We didn’t find them aggressive or at all interested in people, they were just minding their business 😊
1237 (or 1260) Stairs
So, the main point, stairs themselves! The signpost says that there are 1237 steps and gives this strange warning for women.
In reality, there are 1260 steps, which I was told is because they renovated recently. You will find signs of how many steps you already climbed on the handrails. That makes it easier for you to understand, how much more you need to climb.
Most people find the stairs challenging and take many breaks. We don’t consider ourselves out of shape and love to climb, but it really was one of the tiring climbs. Some stairs are the usual height, but some are very steep, so more challenging 😊 With breaks to catch our breathe, we made it to the top in about 40 mins, while going slowly down taking in the views took about 20 mins. So I suggest, you allocate at least 1.5 hours to spend here, if not more.
On the way up, we had been meeting the people going down, encouraging us and telling, how much more we had left 😊 We did the same on our way down. This is really a nice way to talk to strangers. On our way down, we also encountered an elderly monk, who looked at me and showed the mountain top and his legs with a very cute expression. It must have been a really strenuous climb for him.
On the day we climbed, it was cloudy, which made it easier for us. If it’s sunny, the direct sun can create more challenges for the climb. Do bring a lot of water. You will find the water refill station upstairs, once you make it.
Keep in mind, that you will have to take off your shoes, when you reach the top. The area is obviously not very clean, so I was glad I had my thick socks with.
At the top, you will find a golden Buddha statue, as well as the 7 Buddha statues, which depict each day. Wednesday is the reclining buddha.
Tiring as it was, the views we mainly came for were totally worth it. You have a 360-degree birds eye view over the fields, mountains and to the Krabi town, as well as all the way to the sea.