Suwankuha Temple (Golden Cave Temple/Monkey Cave) | Thailand
known as the Wat Tam, meaning cave temple, located in Phang Nga province, North of Phuket.
The Buddhist temple is located inside a cave called Tam Yai in a limestone mountain.
A large number of connecting caves can be found in the mountain, Tam Yai being the largest of them, measuring some 40 meters long and 20 meters wide.
The main attraction of the temple is a very impressive 15 meters long golden colored reclining Buddha image.
The reclining Buddha symbolizes the passing into Nirvana, a state of mind of peace free from anger and suffering.
You will also find a number of smaller enshrined Buddha images as well as a large white chedi.
Because of the large number of monkeys hanging around in front of the temple, this place is also called monkey caves, although the monkeys do not go inside.
The monkeys are pretty cheeky and always on the lookout for food, if they think you have any, they might go after it, so take care of your stuff
Outside the temple are some stalls where you can buy drinks and food. If you like to feed the monkeys, food for them can be bought here.
Inside the main cave, the dominant figure is the large reclining Buddha. There are a number of other Buddha images too and a big Chedi which contains bones of the Na Takuathung family who were the local governors about 160 years ago and who arranged for the construction of a shrine in the cave.
The cave leads out into the forest. On one visit it started to rain and the wind blew the rain through the cave. After the brief downpour the light filtering through the trees was quite other-worldly. If you like caves or temples, you'll like Wat Suwan Kuha!
The entire cave temple can be explored in 10 minutes – do watch out for the rather slippery steps in the innermost caves where you can get a spectacular view of the limestone structures. Unfortunately, the cave, as with other tourist attractions suffer from vandalism – the sign of “No writing” remains unheeded.
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