Wat Tham Khao PunCurrently Closed
- Address: Nong Ya, Mueang Kanchanaburi District, Kanchanaburi 71000, Thailand
- Timings: 09:00 am - 05:30 pm Details
- Ticket Price: Free
- Tags: Religious Site, Temple, Family And Kids
The Wat Tham Khao Pun overlooking the Khwae Noi River is a Buddhist temple with nine rooms nestled inside a cave. The cave can be reached by hiking along the marked trail and as you enter, the labyrinthine stone passageways will leave you dumbstruck with the limestone stalactites. Only the fluttering of the bats in their colonies penetrates the silence inside the subterranean shrine. The Buddha statues inside the temple look magical in the light and shadowy ambience. After exploring the Wat Tham Khao Pun, as you lead towards the exit, you will notice the former Japanese Wartime Hospital chamber and the replica of the bamboo barracks where some informative display of the Prisoners-of-war are displayed.
- Train 485, 486 to stop - Khao Pun
Another cave temple but here the caves go white deeper and deeper. Some of the rooms in the cave are too hot to bear even though it is a shady area around the temple. We quite didn't understand that but it is a rustic and well preserved cave. Though it seemed a little hard to get into for senior citizens. They also have a mini history room full of old pictures from Death railway construction time. A mini zoo around with peacocks, hens, cocks and rabbits make it fun for kids as well
The walk through the cave is safe and brightly lid. However several sections of the path can be narrow. Worth the visit for a 30 baht entrance fee.
Firstly, recommend renting a bicycle to get here. Definitely worth the outdoor trip, but go in the morning while it's still cool(ish). Interesting cave, not expensive at all. Read the short history description at the entrance to better understand the significance of the site. Fantastic experience once inside, some ducking for low hanging ceilings will be required. Some of the items do require maintenance unfortunately, but overall a great trip. And uhm, mind the bats... one flew into my friends hair and she ran outside screaming. :)
The first shrine that you will see is the Phra Mae Guan Im Pho Thi Sat Chao, a large Buddha sat on the top of the hill overlooking a spectacular river view. Many Thais offer prayers at this shrine and usually buy a bottle of water here to quench their thirst after the strenuous climb. A lorry equipped with seats in the rear can take you to the Koapoon Cave Temple about 2000 metres farther up the dirt track for 50 Baht per person. Yes, you can walk but after that climb up the hill not many want to. Arriving at Koapoon Cave Temple you will find a number of smaller temple buildings surrounding the site. The entrance to the caves are on the right coming from the river or on the left coming from the road entrance. Again a number of Buddha images are lined up before the entrance on the right hand side. This temple is very old not much has been recorded about it, but it is said that in 1870 King Rama V or King Churalongorn the Great visited here by waterway to worship here. Koapoon means limestone mountains. The stairs down to the caves are not too many but are steep. The main flight takes you down into the first one of nine chambers. This chamber holds a reclining Buddha image and this chamber is called the Phra Buddha Salyas room. Chamber 2 is called Ja Ae room. It means to meet, because this room does not connect to the others. You will find a number of images and smaller Buddhas in here. Moving onto Chamber 3 called Mai Toa Rom meaning walking stick. It’s so called because the limestone Crystallized post in this room looks almost like a walking stick that is supporting the ceiling of the room. Chamber 4, Sai Yoi room, meaning weeping fig tree. The name derives from the roots of a weeping fig tree that penetrate the ceiling of this room. Chamber 5 Jor Ra Kha room, which has the name of crocodile room. A rock in the shape of a crocodile was found in this room in a basin shaped piece of rock, but this was stolen during the passage of time. Chamber 6, Por Poo Rui See room. The ascetic room. Chamber 7 Thape Ni Mitra room or God vision room, there is an image of a Buddha placed here. Chamber 8 Kaew room or crystal room on the way from the last room you will see plenty of wonderful Crystallized limestone which makes this a famous landmark. Chamber 9 Thape Prasittisopol room, in this room you will find more crystallized limestone with a shape of an Elephant’s head with a long trunk. During the war the Japanese used this part, at the rear near the river, as a nursing camp called Koapoon hospital. More information can be seen about this in the Jeath Museum, Kanchanaburi. The day I visited this Temple it was very hot and sunny and you would think the depths of the cave would be cool. It was not, it was hot , humid and no air movement. Many of the places you almost had to crawl as the ceiling was so low. I really did not imagine me going any farther than halfway after having had heart surgery only a few months before. On appearing at the entrance again, the man who drove the bus asked me why I had not gone all the way round and come out at the other opening and that I was the first one he had seen who had not done that !!!!
Just marvelous... Take time do have a massage...