Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tiger cave Temple

I spent the morning researching and banging out some details for the next leg of my trip. I'm headed to Koh Lanta tomorrow to meet my friend Chris and go on an over night boat/camping trip. After running a few errands and eating a delicious $1 vegetarian lunch I took a Suranghat to Wat Tham Seua (Tiger Cave Temple). The Wat itself was under construction, but path off to one side offered a look into the unique huts built into a rock face where monks sleep and live. Plus a little green after a day on a bus is always welcome. Monkeys sit everywhere waiting for people to feed them, or to raid well covered garbage cans. The Wat is built on a historical sight where tigers once lived among the caves. A large Budah statue and several shrines sit at the top of a very tall set of cliffs. I dared to take the 1,200 steps to the top, stopping several times and finishing with the encouraging smiles of a middle age Thai man as my companion. I'm not sure if the hight and the physical strain is suppose to help you prepare for your prayers at the top, or is just a consequence of geography. Either way my calf muscles were tight and raging after the stair-o-than. I did make it to the top and the statue and views were rewarding.

A group of very young novist monks laughed and took pictures at the top. Virtually all Buddust men in Thailand spend some small amount of time as monks. These were laughing teenagers spending more time documenting each other at the top then saying prayers. They hid cellphones in the pockets amongst their robes and kept checking in to the outside world. These young men were probably not in it for the long hall, but I could be wrong. I saw a old motorbike taxi driver fall to his knees and bow to them in the parking lot. I guess their journey, like all the travelers and locals I observe, is unknown to me.

Amanda Mar
Krabi Town, Thailand

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