Thursday, 18 February 2016

Exploring Krabi Province - 1. Tiger Cave Temple

Having rested after the long night bus ride and having seen much of the immediate neighbourhood, on our second day in Ao Nang, we were ready to explore some more. We had a plan to visit three places. Three very special places. And although it was all included in one trip, these were three unique places.

My goal was to see one of those places. Ever since I saw the pictures on the Internet, which wasn't long ago, as we started planning the trip a month before it happened, I knew I wanted to go there. Before we got to Ao Nang, I didn't expect it was that easily possible. But hope never dies :)

Curious where I wanted to go? Sorry, you'll have to wait for the second post on this particular day.

No, you won't see any islands (yet). Yes, there will be jungle. Yes, there will be water (and in many different colours!). Yes, there's going to be monkeys. Yes, there's going to be temples. Do you already know what kind of trip we signed for? No?

We got picked up from our hostel at around 8 am. Drove for about a quarter around Ao Nang to pick up others and off we were.

Our first stop.

Tiger Cave Temple.

The place is most famous for (what is supposed to be) a great viewpoint. Viewpoint, you say? I have to get there! If you've been reading my blog for some time now, you know that I have a thing for viewpoints. Any and all of them. So I had to get to the top. This particular viewpoint is situated on top of a mountain. The sign at the foot of it says 1,237 steps to the top. In fact, it's a bit more. Some of the steps are in poor condition, so they had to make detours. Detours meant more steps. Lower, though, which make them a bit easier to climb. Cause the steps leading to the top are of various height. Some were ok. Some were way too high (almost knee high for me). Majority of them was pretty much ok.

We started climbing. 10, 20, 50 steps behind us. 100, 150. We're doing fine. So we keep going. We can't be too slow, cause we only have roughly an hour to spend here. 200, 250, 300. We keep going. Somewhere on the way we get a chance to sneak a peek around, cause there's a hole in the branches surrounding us. Not too much of a view. Even though there is some sun shining, the smog from Indonesia is still spoiling the view for us. But we keep going. 400, 450. Maaan, it's getting harder and harder. It's hot and humidity doesn't make it easier. 500, 550, 600....

Somewhere between 600-650 we come across a monkey family. Or a monkey mafia as I like to call them. It's our first meeting. But not the last time. We stop for a few minutes, take pictures, observe them. They don't seem to care that we are intruding their privacy. Some run around, some sleep. A mother is carrying its baby. A few toddlers run across the stairs and climb up a platform that others sit on. Back then we still thoought they were cute.

We kept going. But not for too much longer. We didn't get to 700, sorry. We stopped, looked around. There was hardly any view. We were already all soaking wet. And that was just the first stop on our way. We still wanted to see the temple (I love the colours and ornaments of the temples!). And the clock was ticking. Over half of our time was gone.

We wanted to get to the top real much. But we had to give in. There was no chance we could do it. So we started getting back down. Past the monkeys again. And that was when they showed their true temper.

One of the monkeys started following us. When we were watching them on our way up, I spotted their teeth. Not too enhancing to make closer friends with them. So when one of them started following them, I got scared. I have to admit that. That (not so) little devil attacked my husband. It wanted to take his backpack. They got into a fight, blood was splashing all around, nasty picture. No, it wasn't that bad. I'm kidding now. But it is true that the monkey tried to steal his backpack. And it's true that they got into a fight. One hit another, no harm done, luckily. As in every such situation, you get a choice: fight or flight. We are a couple that comprehend each other. Me - flight, Chris - fight. And he's the calm one in everyday life ;) People who witnessed the fight we scared to keep going. Can't blame them ;)

Anyway, we managed get back down. Safely. And we looked around. First, we went to the left. To see something that reminded me more of China than of Thailand. It doesn't mean that's not Thai, though. That was just my impression. Then we started walking back towards the entrance. We passed by the stairs, Buddha's footprint and statues of cobra and of a tiger (there's more than one tiger statue in the complex, but don't count on seeing a real one. And no, we didn't count on that). Then we got inside the temple, towards the cave where the tiger used to hide before the monks took the place over. Finally, we got closer to the new temple (still in construction). The tall building. And the plain replica right next to it. And that was basically it.

We got back to our bus/van. Waited 5 more minutes until the guys who did make it to the top got back. They were all totally and absolutely wet. Both of them (yes, just two fit, tall men made it to the top, in my defense).

And we could go to our next stop. Stop that I was waiting for the most. That I most wanted to get to. And little did I expect that the thing I was waiting for the most would not be the one that stole my heart...

View from the stairs somewhere...

The monkey platform
And the most unbothered monkey of the whole bunch
Right after the fight. The defeated one...
...and the winner (angry as hell. At least this one time, not at me ;))
Exploring the area
The Chinese-like part.
The cobra, the tiger and Buddha's footprint
The tiger cave
And the new temple

Do you enjoy viewpoint? Would you even try to get to this particular one?
Monkeys - cute or cruel? ;)

Travel Tuesday


  1. Cool post! Love the suspense at the beginning! ;) Amazing photos, what an awesome experience!

    1. Thanks :) That place turned out to be a little bit of a surprise for us.

  2. Monkeys are cute... from a distance! I don't really like them. So did you not bring the kids to Thailand?

    1. No, we didn't. For two reasons. That was still the beginning of school year. First year for Artur, when socialising takes place. We didn't want him to miss on that. And we didn't want to take just one of them, so that the one left home wouldn't feel bad. But our next travel plans include kids as well. Though Artur will be travelling a lot without us this year.

    2. And it's good to have some time as a couple without the kids, too! What places are you going to see this year? We had our first sightseeing day trip with Lissi yesterday, and it went really well. She is a very easy baby, so I'm hoping we can do more trips soon!

  3. Beautiful photos! I love a good viewpoint as well- but that does sound a bit extreme to get to! Your photos of the monkeys are great! Though I've only seen monkeys behind bars at a zoo - I think I would be with you and fall into the "flight" category if I had a show-down with one.

    1. Thank you. I have heard before that despite looking lovely, most monkeys might be dangerous. But I never thought I'd have such an experience with them. Since then, every time we met monkeys in the open, I was terrified.