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Thailand: Wat Tham Suwannakuha

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Wat Tham Suwannakuha | Thailand | Asia

[Visited: October 2005]

From where the songthaew left us on the highway, it was a short walk to the entrance of Wat Tham Suwannakuha. We could already see the curiously shaped hill, but not yet its contents. When we reached the cave, we did not see the hordes of tourists we had expected. Instead, we were greeted by some monkeys, and when we stopped to watch them play, always more monkeys came jumping down the trees, running after each other, playing, and surprisingly sweet to us. Some even seemed to be flirting with us!

Picture of Wat Tham Suwannakuha (Thailand): Wat Tham Suwannakuha: praying figures kneeling for a golden Buddha

As we entered the cave and the darkness opened up before us, our eyes needed some time to adjust after the bright sunlight outside. Once they were adjusted, our gaze was drawn to a giant golden Buddha dominating one side of the cave. The golden statue, with the pitch black background, was like a bright light in this dark cave of Wat Tham Suwannakuha. After walking around the statue, we climbed the stairs behind it, where small shrines had been made, and we saw other Buddhas, much smaller than the main one lying quietly on the floor of the cave.

Picture of Wat Tham Suwannakuha (Thailand): Wat Tham Suwannakuha: golden Buddha wrapped in orange cloth

But there was more than this cave. Walking out of the cave on the other side, we entered a second cave. This one did not have any religious function, but was interesting mainly because of the stalagmites and stalagtites standing and hanging from the caves walls. The play of light and shadow made for a fine sight, even though we had to thread carefully because of the slippery steps. We walked back through the cave of Wat Tham Suwannakuha and when we came outside again, the monkeys were still playing, stealing bananas from one of the stalls in front of the entrance.

Picture of Wat Tham Suwannakuha (Thailand): Wat Tham Suwannakuha: head of the enormous reclining Buddha
Picture of Wat Tham Suwannakuha (Thailand): Wat Tham Suwannakuha: two smaller Buddha statues
Picture of Wat Tham Suwannakuha (Thailand): Wat Tham Suwannakuha: small shrine in the cave
Picture of Wat Tham Suwannakuha (Thailand): Wat Tham Suwannakuha: enormous golden statue near the exit of the cave
Picture of Wat Tham Suwannakuha (Thailand): Wat Tham Suwannakuha: Buddha wrapped in orange cloth, detail
Picture of Wat Tham Suwannakuha (Thailand): Wat Tham Suwannakuha: head of Buddha statue
Picture of Wat Tham Suwannakuha (Thailand): Wat Tham Suwannakuha: the enormous Buddha seen from its feet
Picture of Wat Tham Suwannakuha (Thailand): Wat Tham Suwannakuha: detail of the entrance to the cave
Picture of Wat Tham Suwannakuha (Thailand): Wat Tham Suwannakuha: stalagtites and stalagmites as natural decoration.
Picture of Wat Tham Suwannakuha (Thailand): Wat Tham Suwannakuha: monkey looking directly at the lens
Picture of Wat Tham Suwannakuha (Thailand): Wat Tham Suwannakuha: mother monkey carrying her young

Around the World in 80 Clicks

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