I like to hunt around for little places that tourists don’t usually find. Since we live in Krabi I have had a lot of time to go on these expeditions and I’ve found a few cool places to share with you. This is one of them. I found a really cool little Buddhist temple on the way to Huay Toh Waterfall in Krabi called Wat Tum Sang Phet, or “Diamond Cave Temple”. It’s about 7 km out toward the waterfall from the main highway #4, and on your left side. They’ve recently cleared some trees so it’s easier to find.
I’ve stopped there a number of times to look for snakes and to explore the temple grounds. Like Wat Tum Sua this temple is built around some caves and there are many to go explore if you have a flashlight – so bring one.
You can park your motorbike on the left side in the stone gravel parking lot under the small Bodhi tree. The bodhi tree is supposedly what Buddha sat under when he became enlightened. Most Buddhist temples have a couple of them around for obvious reasons.
You can feel free to explore the whole area. Though I am always very quiet and try to appear inconsequential when I do so. I’ve only had one experience when someone was angry I was walking around the temple grounds and it was a lady across the street from an old temple in the countryside of Sisaket (Isaan region). I don’t know what she was all worked up about, but maybe there was some special thing going on at the temple and nobody was supposed to be on the grounds. Not sure, but she was pretty furious and speaking Isaan or Khmer dialect that I couldn’t follow at all!!
Anyway, nobody will yell at you at this temple, I’ve even lifted up logs, garbage cans, building materials and everything else looking for snakes and nobody has said anything but kind words to me. Recently, about 4 days ago I stopped at sunset. I walked around looking for snakes for 40 minutes then some monks asked me if I wanted to see the cave. I thought I already had, but I said, sure… all in Thai of course because they don’t speak English.
I followed the monk. He was about 65 years old. He was very thin and he loved to walk apparently. He took me into the right side of the temple and past all the monk’s quarters that are built into the cave side… we walked back to some caves I hadn’t seen. We went inside and saw the diamond material in one of the large brown stalactites that were pretty cool – and the reason for the name of this cave “Diamond Rays Cave Temple”.
I took some photos and then we came out and kept going around the mountain. He took me the WHOLE way around the mountain and told me about his plans to build a road the whole way around the mountain so more people can come and see it. He planted mango trees all over where the road will be and it should be a nice shady place for a walk someday when it’s all finished. All the clearing of trees is finished.
We walked around to more buildings on the opposite side of the wat that we started at and we must have passed 5 good caves that are begging to be explored. I didn’t have a flashlight, and I was kind of following him out of courtesy since he was excited to show me the whole place.
At the end of it, he pointed up on the limestone hill and said that a Swedish man built the meditation platform up there on the hill. I had seen it before and it’s quite dramatic. It is above the tree top level and a great place for meditation – though the mosquitoes still get up that high. There is a citronella candle and if you go to meditate you should wear lotion too I think.
There is a very cool stream running through the wat (left side of photo above) and the wat borders a coconut palm tree plantation. It’s just a really cool setting and something fun to do in Krabi if you like to explore temples and caves. There weren’t any Buddha amulets at this temple or anything else like sometimes are found. Wat Tham Seua is a better place for buying Buddhist items like those found here.
This is around the temple to the right. Follow the walkway right through what appears to be monk living quarters – they don’t mind at all. Keep going as the cement walkway turns into a raised wooden platform over the jungle and bordering the limestone caves. Eventually, you reach a spot you can walk up slippery limestone and dirt to reach this small Buddhist shrine. There is a light switch on the left before you get into the dark – find it. This cave showcases the reason this temple is called, “Wat Tum Sang Phet” – it means, Diamond Cave Temple. There is limestone here that sparkles faintly like a diamond I guess you could say. Bring a tripod and flash if you want good photos.
Needless to say, I did not crawl through here to see what was on the other end. I had no flashlight and only used my flash to see what was in there. Very dark.
These are special balls that are blessed and provide the foundation for building temples. They are often buried under a temple, maybe ALWAYS. Not sure of full meaning of them.
I’m always snake hunting. The abbot – an older monk took me around the entire mountain on a walk (tour) and I was going slowly looking for snakes. I was very lucky to find this orange-tinted snake. The abbot was quite surprised I’d found it.
This is part of the cave stalactite that sparkled.
In 2005? A Hungarian man built this metal and wooden structure as a meditation place above the trees on the hillside. His name is inscribed in the concrete on the steps, I think it was “Swarmai” – but I could be mistaken – will need to look again to verify.
The mosquitoes are many, and annoying. I sat here a couple of times for short meditations – always forgetting my lotion or candle to keep them away.
The other very beautiful Buddhist temple is called, “Wat Tum Sua” and is located on the other side of the mountain from Wat Tum Sang Phet. Look for signs for “Tiger Cave Temple” – same thing.
For Tours Info around Krabi Town and Beaches – Click HERE.
To see “Wat Tham Seua” – Tiger Cave Temple – Click HERE.