Friday, January 29, 2010

Tiger Cave and Temple:

Welcoming Buddha at the entrance to the compound.

Friday afternoon, we visited an amazing wat in Krabi. It is located at the base of a steep mountain and on the top of the mountain sits another wat with a huge golden Buddha. Monkeys ran wild through the compound, nuns in white robes accepted offerings from tourists and monks in orange robes meditated or strolled the grounds.

It was a most exotic place. More than one thousand steps lead up to the golden buddha. The afternoon was sweltering hot so some of us opted not to climb to the top. There was so much to see at the base of the mountain that I decided to let the younger ones climb all of those steps. (Every once in awhile, I do manage to be sensible, especially when it's 95 plus degrees, or feels like it.)

Tinu promised to share her photos of the golden Buddha at the top so you do get to see it. You also get to see all the ones I took below. Those who climbed to the top had no time to explore the treasures below so it all worked out. We were all in awe of the place. A Buddhist nun blessed me and tied a good luck bracelet she had made of string around my wrist. When I tried to make an offering of thanks, she then produced an amulet for me as well.

Both the monks and the nuns live severely spartan lives. Yet they look happy and serene, possessing great dignity and calm. This wat was once the home of the most famous, revered and holy monk in all of Southern Thailand.The people really seem to treasure these holy men--though nuns do not seem to have quite the same status. If not for their white robes, they would be hard to tell apart from the monks. They shave their heads as monks do--and have the same air of detachment from the concerns of this life.

Top of the mountain you see here is where the Golden Buddha is located.

Magnificent new wat being built on the site. Will have stairs going up to the top.

Flying Buddha in front of the new wat.

Wat guard.

I think this shows funds raised for the new wat.

1,237 steps worth of merit. (You can gain merit by climbing them.)

Beginning of the stairs up the mountain.

The Buddhist nun who gave me the amulet.

Fantastic images and Buddhas could be found all throughout the compound.

Another set of steps heading up the mountain.

In many buildings on the compound, the Chinese influence has been integrated into the Buddhist culture.

Not sure who/what this buddha signifies but it took up an entire tall building of several stories.

Buddha of The Thousand Hands. This one appeared to be a female deity. She didn't really have 1,000 hands but each hand was filled with something symbolic.

Incense offerings.

More evidence of the Chinese influence.

These accomplished little thieves were everywhere, stealing everything they could.

This monkey was sitting in front of a fenced-in garbage can and wasn't too happy about being denied its contents.

Marvelous carvings like this one were everywhere throughout the compound.

The Happy Buddha.

Everyone has a "guardian Buddha." You know which one is yours by the day of the week on which you were born. Here, you can make an offering of gold leaf to your special Buddha. The gold leaf with your name and date of birth engraved on it will then be incorporated into the magnificent new wat being built.

This exquisite little temple was set off to one side and we almost overlooked it.

Front of the temple features a man shearing his hair to become a monk.

Shutters of the temple.

Warriors guarding the door to the temple. (Except they looked like more buddhas to me.)

Shining floors reflect back the light.

The beautiful Buddha in this temple sits beneath a rendition of the Tree of Life. The real Buddha is said to have sat beneath the Tree of Life for a very long time. When he finally arose, he had learned all of his wisdom, passed down today in many Buddhist sayings.

Photos from the Top of the Mountain (Thanks to Tinu)

Wheel of Life


  1. Great pictures! I am learning much about Thailand. If the weather was cooler I'd be there already. Thanks for doing this blog, It makes my day. Judy

  2. Wow! Thank you for a glimpse into this beautiful and interesting place! Thanks to Tinu for her photos as well.

  3. What a beautiful and mysterious place !! Did you get to go back to Dunkin Donuts on the way back? jan

  4. Such ornate architecture. Nice pics.


  5. im fascinated by Buddhist statues and sculptures, i wish i had one! what a beautiful place:)

  6. Aloha Pam,
    It has even been chilly here! And lots of voggy/kona days. Thank goodness for the rain, like tonight. :-)

    I love reading about your adventures and seeing all the gorgeous photo!

    In the tall temple bldg - it looks like it could be Kuan Yin.
    She is chinese/asia goddess and bodhisattva "enlightened being" of mercy, compassion & protection. Her name means "she who hears prayers." Also known as Kwan yin, Quan Yin, Guanyin, Quan'Am, Kannon, Kanin, Kwannon

    Me ke aloha pumehana, Susan

  7. To Erin: Buddhas are not allowed to be taken out of the country. They are confiscated at customs--at least the ones of any noticeable size.

    To Jan: No Dunkin Donuts on the return home--alas!

    To Susan: Should have known you would know who she is! I think you're right. Large Chinese population in this area, so it would be likely. Thanks for the info! Stay warm.