Wat Tham Seua


The centrepiece of this hilltop temple is a striking 18m-high Buddha covered in golden mosaic. One of the merit-making ceremonies for devotees is to place coins in small trays on a conveyor belt that drops donations into a central bowl with a resounding clang. It's fun to ride the steep cable car (20B per person) to the top of the temple, but you can also climb the stairs.

Surrounding the main Buddha image are several styles of stupa. The biggest, nine stories (69m) high, is full of murals (mostly about war with Burma) and Buddha images, many in seldom seen postures. The namesake Tiger Cave, flanked by brightly painted tiger statues, is at the base of the hill, to the right (west) of the cable car. A former abbot's mummified body is on display in the big hall next to the cave.

The Chinese-style temple next door is Wat Tham Khao Noi, which is more interesting outside than in.

Wat Tham Seua is 14km southeast of central Kanchanaburi. After crossing the city's southernmost bridge, make the first left and follow the river. There's no public transport.

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