Sightseeing Tours - Emerald Pool, Hot Springs and Tiger Cave
People come to Krabi for the beach and the Islands, but there is so much more. The Karst mountains rise just as dramatically out of the land as they do the sea creating some amazing sights.
The Emerald Pool, the Hot springs and Tiger Cave Temple are experiences that should come high on the list of places to visit in Krabi.
You can experience all of them and even include an elephant trek in just one day. Krabi really is so much more than just a beach!
(Note: The trip may visit either the hot springs or the Emerald Pool first.)
Tiger Cave Temple
The Full day Krabi Sightseeing tour includes a visit to Wat Tham Sueua or Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi. Located 9 kilometres from Krabi Town, Tiger Cave is truly impressive. The actual Tiger Cave is just one of a complex of natural caves set into the limestone cliff in which the monks live and meditate. There are many stories of how the Tiger Cave got its name, some say there are Tiger paw prints set into a wall, others say that the shape of outcrops resembles a Tiger paw and another says that an actual Tiger used to live in it. Just a note that there are no Tigers at Tiger Cave Temple.
But whichever, if any, of these stories are true or not, the place does genuinely feel sacred. Set into lush jungle with truly monumental trees, the caves are just one of the attractions. For the able bodied there is the climb up the 1237 steps to the temple at the top giving one of the most amazing 360 degree views that you will ever see. There is a very large Buddha at the very top, high above the Tiger Cave Temple and the view from up there is spectacular.
As well as the Monks, the Temple is also home to hundreds of monkeys. Mostly they just sit and watch everyone, but do be careful if you have any food visible. Its best to only eat in the large area at the base of the steps. If a monkey is quite close, its best to just ignore it, staring at them seems to get them agitated.
The walk up to the top is quite an effort, some of the steps are quite steep, but its well worth a walk up even if you don't have time (or energy) to walk to the very top. The views from even a fraction of the way up are very impressive.
Wat Tham Sua teaches a form of Buddhism called Vipassana (insightful meditation), which is based on the teachings of the earliest Buddhist texts and is also a famous meditation retreat. Climb to the Giant Buddha at the top, see the view and you'll understand why!
The Temple is being developed all the time with new, highly ornate Temple buildings, some with pagadas, some that have a big Chinese influence. There are statues and water features and you are free to wander around the Temple complex itself. Everyone is very welcoming.
Please remember to dress respectfully when you visit the Temple, for walking around the temple, women must wear something that covers shoulders and legs to the knees, just a sarong to wrap around is fine. There are also sarongs to rent at the entrance for 20thb. You can remove this while walking up the steps though.
If you feel inspired, there are plenty of boxes around for donations for the maintenance of the Temple. If you climb to the top, please remove shoes before walking onto the ceramic tiled area around the Buddha.
The time at Tiger Cave Temple is approximately 1.5 hours, just about enough time to get up and down the steps, but please keep an eye on the time and make sure you are back at the transport to move on to the next place. It is a tight schedule on this trip, and the guides do need to keep things moving to fit it all in.
Time at the hot springs is about 1 hour.
The Hot Springs are about a 40 minute journey by minibus from Krabi Town (1 hour from Aonang).
Start the day with a relaxing and refreshing dip in Krabi Hot Springs. Just a short distance from Krabi town and nestled into the jungle, the krabi hot springs really are a natural Jacuzzi. Copper in the water gives the stony deposits an Emerald green color and surrounded by the green jungle the place is simply relaxing. The water is a constant 35 degrees and is provided by several hot springs which combine into a river which flows down a waterall. There are many natural water worn hollows in the rock in which you can lie and let the healing minerals do their work.
There is also an area of man-made pools that are fed by the same water. These have very easy access so that even people with limited mobility can enjoy the waters.
Although there are many medical claims associated with the waters including rheumatism, gout and sciatica, cures for these ailments are not guaranteed, however, just laying around in the river listening to the birds and watching the sky through the trees is so enjoyable that it's got to be worth a try. I personally find that a 20 minute soak in the water really does help my legs, not sure whether its the heat or the minerals but for at least a few days after, I feel very relaxed.
It would also be a recommended first day Tour when you arrive in Krabi. Just wash away all your stress with the warm water and let those healing minerals soak into your body and get rid of any lingering tensions. This has to be one of the best ways to get your Holiday in Krabi started.
Check out some photos of the Hot Springs and Emerald Pool in our photo gallery. These were taken on a trip in May 2014.
Time at the Emerald Pool is approximately 1 hour.
A short hop from the Hot Springs will take you to the Krabi Emerald Pool ('Sa Morakot' in Thai). The pool is so called, not surprisingly, because of its colour. It really is a quite remarkable sight and does live up to its name. After your dip in the Krabi hot springs, a splash and a swim in the warm clear water is an incredible and refreshing experience. The Emerald Pool is set in lush rainforest jungle with towering trees and the constant rhythmic music of crickets and frogs.
The water really is a joy to swim in, the water is just so clear. Be a bit careful getting in and out though, it is a bit slippy in places.
You can walk through the jungle along very well maintained paths and enjoy the humid but cooler air in the shade of the trees. This is a part of Krabi that is often overlooked, the richness of the jungle, the million shades of green, the smells of exotic flowers; this is what the tropics is all about. Many of the trees are marked with the name of their species so, great for any botanists!
There are two routes taking you though the jungle to the Emerald Pool, one is along a winding concrete narrow path that takes you right through the jungle, this route is about 1400m, the other route is a bit shorter, about 800m and wider, it is wide enough for vehicles but is also extremely beautiful and shady.
Please remember that these areas are National Park. If you do take any plastic water bottles or snacks in plastic wrappers, please take the empty wrappers and bottles with you when you leave.
The Elephant trek is approximately 30 minutes.
Take a ride through the Krabi jungle on an elephant. Marvel at the way they pick their way along the rough terrain and see just what gentle giants these amazing animals are. The back of an elephant is a fantastic way to enjoy the amazing scenery of Krabi. The gentle rock of the elephants walk is very soothing and the almost silent movement means you get that much closer to the wildlife.
After the 30 minute ride you can take some time to feed the elephants a few tasty morcels, they are very well cared for elephants and well accustomed to the presence of people. Then perhaps even watch them having a bath.
The experience of just getting this close to an elephant is going to be one of your most memorable Krabi activities and kids will remember the experience for life. The guides are great with kids and will usually let you or your kids ride on the elephants neck to really get to touch the elephants.
This is a Krabi Tour that may on the surface sound a bit of a tourist gimick, but if you think that the elephants are only here for the tourists to take elephant treks, think again, the elephants were actually here a long time before tourists arrived. In fact Krabi owes its very existance to elephants. The first mentions of Krabi in the history books were as an outpost for the purpose of rounding up wild elephants and domesticating them for forestry work, building, lifting and exploration. So, next time you see an elephant, remember that you are looking at one of the real natives of Krabi.
|Elephant Trekking and Tiger cave Temple||
|Hot Springs and Emerald Pool||
|Full Day Tiger Cave and Hot Springs and Emerald Pool||
|Full Day Tiger Cave and Hot Springs and Emerald Pool and Elephant Trek||
Transfer, Fruit and Drinking water, Guide and Lunch, Insurance
Please note that guides in Thailand are generally there only to help and organize, they do not provide a commentary on the places visited as you might find in other parts of the world.
Note: Half Day Program does not Include Lunch.
Note: There is a surcharge of 100thb per person for hotels and resorts in Klong Muang and Tubkaek.
Tour Program Half Day and Full Day
08.30am - 09:00. Pick up from the Hotel
Half day trips - return at about 2:00pm
Full Day trips return at about 4:30pm
The order of visits will normally either be Tiger Cave then elephant Trek in the morning and then Emerald Pool and Hot Springs in the afternoon, or Emerald Pool and Hot Springs in the Morning and Tiger Cave and Elephant trek in the afternoon. The decision on the order is made on the day depending on weather, traffic, the time spent making hotel pickups and how busy the locations are, it is not possible to know which order in advance.
While it is fine to wear swimming clothing while bathing, please cover up with a towel or sarong when in the public areas.
The times spent at each location and activity are approximate and mayvary. The guides do there best to fit everything in but they do rely on guests to return to the transport at the appointed time.
(half day afternoon only trips are available as private trips by minivan or taxi)
Please note that all pickup times are approximate and do depend on how quickly the operators can pick up from hotels. They try their best but some days you may need to wait a while. Please call us if they are more than 30 minutes late and we will check status for you.
Please note that lady visitors to Tiger Cave Temple must cover shoulders and legs, just take a sarong to wrap around or you can rent one for 20thb at the temple entrance.