Okay so the sign at Wat Tham Sua did tell us that there were 1237 steps to the top and we thought it can’t be that bad a trek as whilst not keep fit fanatics we do lots of very long walks. What you don’t appreciate is that all the steps vary in size. Some were normal stone steps and some flights of steps were a foot high each and very narrow!! Luckily enough, there were some hand rails all the way up and a few places to stop and catch your breath. We came prepared with a bottle of water each and believe me you do need them!!!! You can also refill them at the drinking water machine at the top for free. There are a lot of monkeys around; old/young, big/small and if you ignore them as you walk by they will leave you be. One tip is to go to the rest rooms before you head up the steps (and as always take some tissues with you as not all toilets have toilet paper in them!!) – there is only one rest room on the way (around the 800/900 step mark) and it is fairly basic and there are no rest rooms at the top. One of the fun parts of the ‘stepathon’ is the camaraderie between all the tourists of every nationality both going up and down – everyone had a friendly smile and words of encouragement to help you get to the top!!
At the top there is a bit of rebuilding going on but the the views from the top and the giant gold Buddha are magnificent and are worth the climb. We ventured up on a cloudy day so our views were slightly hazy/restricted but to be honest if it had been a clear blue sky and and a scorching sunny day then reaching the top would have been twice as hard!!
There are some touristy souvenir shops at the bottom and some beautiful ornate shrines – there is a also a Buddhist monastery at the base of the mountain. There are also a lot more monkeys at the bottom who like to try and steal people’s food and they are not shy!!!
The cave and temple are about 5km north east of Krabi Town and there various ways to get there. We hired a scooter for the 2 of us @ 200 Thai Baht and we filled up with 100 baht of fuel – so all in the trip cost us 300 Thai Baht which is roughly £7.
Alternatively you could take a organised trip there which would be a lot more expensive or you could take a bus to Krabi Town and then get a Tuk Tuk out to the temple but then you have to arrange for the Tuk Tuk to come back and pick you up to take you to the bus station again – we worked this out to cost circa 700 Thai Baht which is more than double what the scooter cost for the day. It’s not particularly well sign posted (or if it is then it is mainly in Thai) but we google mapped it before we went and our hand drawn map and notes seemed to work fine.
This is definitely worth a visit but it would be best to go early morning to avoid the heat and crowds and if you leave it till later in the day then you could miss the view as the light starts to fade.