Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tiger Cave Temple near Krabi, Thailand

No surprises here. As the name suggests, the Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Seua) is: (1) a temple, (2) located in a cave, (3) has association with tigers by virtue of formerly being inhabited by the tigers and currently being filled with full-size tiger statues.

The temple is interesting to see, as it's very different than traditional Buddhists temples. However, it's not special enough to make a trip just to see the temple. It makes sense though to stop there on the way from other places nearby (e.g., Khao Phanom Bencha National Park, as we did).

Near the temple there are also two staircases, one with over 1200 steps, which lead visitors through a forest and limestone cliffs to several caves, big trees, and up to the viewpoint offering 360-degree views of the nearby villages, the Andaman Sea and some islands. Apparently, the views are worth the challenging climb, and I regret that we didn't have that knowledge when we were there.

The central Buddha statue and female monks in the temple-cave.

Another Buddha statue that I liked.

One of many tiger statues found throughout the temple's premises.

Another tiger, protecting the entrance to the nearby pagoda.

The second entrance to the pagoda is protected by dragons.

Within the complex there's also a temple dedicated to Chinese goddess of fertility.

A glimpse at Thai tradition. Locals pray to the god assigned to their day of birth and should wear clothes of the color associated with that day of the week. (More on that subject here, here, and here.)

Buddhist tradition also calls for being nice to other animals and feeding them. On the photo below a local woman hand-feeds rambutans to a monkey.