Buddha Cave in Phang Nga – Wat Tham Suwan Khuha

Buddha Cave in Phang Nga – Wat Tham Suwan Khuha
Buddha Cave in Phang Nga – Wat Tham Suwan Khuha
3.29 (14 votes)

Buddha Cave in Phang Nga – Wat Tham Suwan Khuha

Wat Tham Suwan Khuha – Feel like a little drive outside the island? Explore another face of Phang Nga! This site is not only famous for its incredible limestone cliffs plunging right down in to the sea, but also for some little jewels on land. Driving along these majestic cliffs is equally impressive if you happen to rent a car, visit the caves around town and surprising Wat Tham Suwan Khuha cave and its reclining Buddha.

Phang Nga town itself hasn’t been strongly affected by tourism. Long ago, there were obviously a lot of expectation following the popularity of this silly James Bond movie that made ‘Koh Tapu’ (James Bond Island or the ‘Nail rock’) so famous and the whole area became an tourist trap. (It still is). One of the highlight is the park at the entrance of Phang Nga town. When you are about to reach town, turn right to Krabi but stop only few meters on your left.

What you see looks like a large parking but the road continues through a hole in the cliff. Passed this impressive ‘gate’ you will reach a large well maintained park surrounded by many caves and tunnels easy to explore and walk through. This park is obviously a popular attraction for locals, you can tell by from the amount of food vendors standing by every where. It’s a fun stop and you get to see quite a lot of monkeys.

10 km before reaching Phang Nga Town, the famous Wat Tham Suwan Khuha cave, (or Wat Tham), is indicated by the usual large temple gate. This small road leads to a parking in front of the cave, but remember not to park too close to the cave entrance: Monkeys are notorious for pulling cars antennas, wipers or whatever they can strip out of your vehicle. Nasty surprise when you come out!

A faded decorated gate opens at the feet of a cliff onto a large cavern with high ceilings, about forty meters long and twenty meters wide. This natural temple shelters an impressive fifteen meters long golden reclining Buddha and several other large standing Buddha images… definitely worth a visit. The whole place is also decorated with numerous religious items. A monk is often meditating in front the Buddha, surrounded by some lazy cats who seems to find the place spiritual enough to have a nap.

At the entrance of the cave, a Chedi structure reminds of the famous Wat Arun in Bangkok (temple of dawn) and some stairs next to the reclining Buddha take you up to another small grotto with another golden stupa. At the very end of the cave, a fly of wide stairs opens to the forest outside and from there to smaller but less interesting caves. Don’t forget to make a small donation while visiting, it is good for you too 🙂

From there, you can choose to go to James Bond Island, but I wouldn’t really recommend it. If you feel like riding longtail boat to see something even more unusual go to Koh Panyee instead, it has a bit more to offer. Alternatively, if you like temples you can continue on the way to Krabi to admire the beautiful giant sitting Buddha of Wat Bang Rieng (photos) or have a great seafood lunch in one of the local restaurant but the Mangrove. A great way to spend a day driving out of the island!

 

Nearby River Restaurant
Try Mang Da Talay!
Wat Bang Rieng
Wat Bang Rieng
Wat Bang Rieng
Wat Bang Rieng

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Born in France a long long time ago, I started to travel the world in my 20s and never stopped until I finally settled in Thailand in 1994. Then for the past 23 years, my passion for photography and my natural curiosity has taken me to every corner of Thailand, jumping frequently between Bangkok and Phuket and basically everywhere I could go. I run 2 blogs: Phuket101.net and BangkokUndercover.com, I also manage 30 online travel guides in Asia and beyond, including Phuket.com, Bangkok.com and Bali-Indonesia.com