Exploring The Hidden Gem Of Kanchanaburi Wat Ban Tham 135883128

Exploring The Hidden Gem Of Kanchanaburi: Wat Ban Tham

Wat Ban Tham, also known as Dragon Cave Temple, is a hidden gem located in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. It is a must-see attraction recommended by Lonely Planet and offers a unique glimpse into the mystical allure of Kanchanaburi.

In addition to its stunning cave temple, the temple provides a panoramic view of the town of Kanchanaburi and is surrounded by other nearby attractions that make it worth exploring.

Location and contact information

A temple surrounded by lush greenery and a bustling atmosphere captured in a stunning landscape photograph.

You will find Wat Ban Tham in the Khao Noi Sub District. It is part of the Tha Muang District in Kanchanaburi. Landmarks nearby help you spot it quickly. The temple stands on the south bank of a river.

From town, this place is only 10 kilometers away. Before reaching Wat Tham Sua, stop here as it’s only 4 kilometers before that particular temple! If you are already at Wat Tham Sua and want to visit next, don’t worry! The distance from there is just 5 kilometers.

Contact data for further details isn’t available right now.

Must-see attraction according to Lonely Planet

A photo of Wat Ban Tham at sunset with a monk standing in front of a boat shrine.

Lonely Planet ranks Wat Ban Tham as a top sight in Kanchanaburi. This Buddhist temple draws crowds with its unique features. You will see interesting statues and shrines here. One shrine is even made from a World War II-era boat! It gives the place an old but cool feel.

Wat Ban Tham sits next to the JEATH War Museum in Khao Noi Sub District, Tha Muang District, Kanchanaburi. The museum tells many stories about war times. Just five kilometers away you can find another fine spot called Wat Tham Sua.

Plan your visit for at least 1-2 hours at this historical site. You won’t get bored exploring all it has to offer!

Nearby attractions in Kanchanaburi

Buddhist monks meditate amidst the majestic temple complex of Wat Tham Suea.

Kanchanaburi is not just about Wat Ban Tham. There are more unique spots to see around. One such place is Wat Tham Suea. This temple complex stands out for its stunning design. It’s only a few kilometers from Wat Ban Tham.

A visit to Kanchanaburi would be incomplete without touring the War Cemetery and Burma-Thai Railway. These sites hold much history of the region. They offer a deep look into the past, letting visitors reflect on times gone by.

Also, don’t miss taking part in outdoor fun in Kanchanaburi! The town offers parks and monuments ready for you to explore and enjoy! And of course, there are more Buddhist temples waiting for your discovery too!

History of Wat Ban Tham

A photo of the stunning Wat Ban Tham temple at sunset, surrounded by lush greenery and a bustling atmosphere.

Wat Ban Tham has a rich history that dates back many generations. This ancient temple was constructed by prisoners of war during the building of the Thailand-Burma Railway. The railway holds significant historical background as it was built under harsh conditions and suffered from Allied bombings in 1945.

The temple itself was founded by a wealthy local merchant who used it as his monastic cell, finding comfort and solace within its walls. It is an important part of the area’s cultural heritage and showcases the resilience and determination of those involved in its construction.

Cave Temples of Kanchanaburi Wat Tham Phu Wa, Wat Tham Khao Pun

Practical Information for Visiting Wat Ban Tham

A group of tourists exploring the stunning architecture and surroundings of Wat Ban Tham.

Find out how to get to Wat Ban Tham and the rules for visiting temples. Plus, a helpful map guide! Ready to explore? Read on!


How to get there

A group of diverse travelers wait for transportation outside a temple, captured in a vibrant and cinematic photograph.

Wat Ban Tham is located in Khao Noi Sub District, Tha Muang District, Kanchanaburi. To get there, you can hire a songthaew, which is a pickup truck with benches at the back that you can have exclusively for yourself.

There are no public transport options available specifically to reach Wat Ban Tham. It’s important to note that the temple is about five kilometers away from Wat Tham Sua. So if you’re planning on visiting both places, it would be convenient to arrange transportation accordingly.

Map guide

A detailed map showing the location of Wat Ban Tham surrounded by landmarks and symbols.

To find Wat Ban Tham, you can use a brochure or ask locals for directions. The temple is located in Khao Noi Sub District, Tha Muang District, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. It’s about 10 kilometers southeast of Kanchanaburi city and can be found on the south bank of the river.

By using a map guide or getting some help from locals, you’ll have no problem finding this hidden gem off the beaten track.

Rules and etiquette for visiting temples

A diverse group of tourists sits on the steps of a temple, capturing the bustling atmosphere with a wide-angle lens.

When visiting a temple in Thailand, it’s important to follow the rules and etiquette. One of the key aspects is dressing appropriately. Make sure to dress modestly and respectfully, covering your shoulders, chest, and knees.

Avoid wearing revealing or tight-fitting clothing. This shows respect for the religious traditions and cultural customs observed at temples.

Another important rule is to remove your shoes before entering the temple buildings or sacred spaces. Most temples will have an area designated for shoe removal, so be sure to look out for that.

It’s also important to maintain respectful behavior while inside the temple premises. Keep your voice low and avoid disruptive activities like loud talking or taking photos where it’s not allowed.

Visitors should also be mindful of their actions when interacting with Buddha statues or other religious artifacts in the temple. Touching or climbing on them is considered disrespectful, so it’s best to admire them from a distance.

The Golden Dragon Stairway

A group of diverse tourists admiring the grandeur of The Golden Dragon Stairway in a bustling cityscape.

At the entrance of Wat Ban Tham is the stunning Golden Dragon Stairway, adorned with intricate designs and vibrant colors.

Dragon Temple in Kanchanaburi Thailand - Wat Tham Khiritham Buddhist Temple

Description of the ornate entrance

A photo of the ornate golden dragon staircase at Wat Ban Tham with various people and a bustling atmosphere.

The entrance to Wat Ban Tham is absolutely stunning. It features an elaborate golden dragon staircase that will leave you in awe. The steps are intricately designed and adorned with beautiful decorations.

This opulent entryway is a true work of art, showcasing the craftsmanship and attention to detail of the temple. As you ascend the stairs, you’ll be captivated by the intricate details of the decorative dragon steps.

The lavish design creates a sense of grandeur and sets the tone for your visit to this extraordinary temple.

The Golden Dragon Stairway holds great significance within the temple. The dragon is considered a sacred creature in Thai culture, symbolizing power, strength, and wisdom. Its presence at Wat Ban Tham represents protection and good fortune for those who enter.

Significance of the dragon in the temple

A woman in traditional attire poses next to a dragon statue in a temple courtyard.

The dragon in the temple is very important. The stairs of the temple look like a dragon’s mouth, which is pretty cool. You can enter the main cave through the dragon’s mouth and come out from its backside.

It’s like going on a transformative journey. The dragon might symbolize something meaningful or special to the people who built the temple.

Views from the top of the stairway

When you reach the top of The Golden Dragon Stairway, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views. From this vantage point, you can see the town of Kanchanaburi stretching out below you.

Take in the scenic views of the river and the surrounding rice fields as they create a picture-perfect landscape. It’s like standing on an observation deck, overseeing the beauty of nature and the townscape all at once.

Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture this stunning panorama from the hilltop.

The panoramic view from The Golden Dragon Stairway is truly one-of-a-kind. As you ascend to higher steps, each level offers a different perspective of Kanchanaburi’s natural wonders.

The Cave Temple

A person meditates in the mystical Cave Temple surrounded by vibrant colors and a bustling atmosphere.

Inside the cave temple, you will be mesmerized by the intricate carvings and colorful artwork that adorn the walls.

Description of the interior

The interior of The Cave Temple at Wat Ban Tham is a breathtaking sight. As you step into the cavern, your eyes will be drawn to the magnificent rock formations that surround you. Stalactites hang from the ceiling while stalagmites rise up from the ground, creating a magical and otherworldly atmosphere.

In one corner of the cave, there is an impressive Buddhist shrine adorned with intricate decorative mosaics. This sacred space exudes a sense of peace and serenity, making it a popular spot for spiritual retreats.

In the heart of The Cave Temple stands an enormous 18-meter-high Buddha statue covered in golden mosaic. Its radiant presence fills the cave with a warm glow, inviting visitors to appreciate its beauty and reflect on its symbolic significance.

The statue represents enlightenment and compassion, serving as a reminder of the core principles of Buddhism. People come from all over to pay their respects and find solace in this serene space.

Surrounded by natural beauty and steeped in religious iconography, The Cave Temple at Wat Ban Tham offers visitors an unforgettable experience that combines cultural exploration with spirituality.

Religious and cultural significance

The Cave Temple, Wat Ban Tham, holds great religious and cultural importance in Kanchanaburi. People visit this temple to pay their respects to the revered Phra Buddha Chinnarat, which is housed within its walls.

The temple also features a remarkable stalactite known as Bua Kli. These sacred elements attract devotees and tourists from all over who come to seek blessings and admire the spiritual ambiance of the place.

Wat Ban Tham has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. It is believed to have been constructed centuries ago, making it an important symbol of tradition and heritage in Thailand.

Today, the temple continues to be a hub for merit-making ceremonies where devotees offer donations and make wishes. The cave’s entrance itself is adorned with an elaborate cement dragon, adding a mystical touch that enhances the overall experience for visitors.

Reviews and Recommendations from Travelers

An aerial photo of Wat Ban Tham at sunset showcasing its stunning architecture and bustling atmosphere.

Travelers who have visited Wat Ban Tham rave about its stunning views, intricate architecture, and peaceful atmosphere. Many recommend climbing the golden dragon stairway for a breathtaking perspective of the surrounding landscape.

Others praise the cave temple’s unique design and spiritual ambiance, making it a must-visit destination in Kanchanaburi province.

Contact details

If you’re planning to visit Wat Ban Tham, it’s important to have the contact details handy. You can reach them at [insert contact information here]. Many travelers have shared their reviews and recommendations about this hidden gem.

They rave about their experiences and offer useful travel advice and local tips. These traveler opinions can help you make the most of your visit. Don’t forget to check out other nearby attractions in Kanchanaburi that cater to various travel interests.

Reviews from visitors and travel sites

Visitors and travel sites have given glowing reviews of Wat Ban Tham. According to visitor reviews, it is ranked as the 11th best thing to do in Kanchanaburi. Travelers have praised the cave temples for their beauty and cultural significance.

Many have mentioned that the golden dragon stairway is a must-see attraction, with its ornate entrance and stunning views from the top. The temple’s history and small museum focusing on Prisoners of War (POWs) are also highly recommended by visitors.

Overall, Wat Ban Tham has received positive feedback for its interesting and unique experience in Kanchanaburi region.

Other Services Offered at Wat Ban Tham

A group of tourists visit a small museum surrounded by beautiful Thai architecture.

– Small museum focusing on POWs.

– Nearby cafes and shops.

Small museum focusing on POWs

At Wat Ban Tham, there is a small museum that puts the spotlight on prisoners of war (POWs). This museum tells the stories and shows artifacts from World War II when many POWs were forced to build the Death Railway.

Inside the museum, you can see replicas of POW camps with bunk beds and photographs. There are also written accounts from former prisoners, giving insight into the harsh living conditions they endured.

It’s a place where you can learn about this dark chapter in history and pay tribute to those who suffered during the Japanese occupation.

Nearby cafes and shops

When visiting Wat Ban Tham, you’ll find that there are some additional services available for your convenience. After exploring the temple and enjoying the stunning views from the Golden Dragon Stairway, you can take a break and refuel at one of the nearby cafes or tea shops.

These charming establishments offer a variety of local dishes like Som Tam (spicy papaya salad) and Fried Rice, along with refreshing drinks to quench your thirst. If you’re in the mood for something more substantial, there are also restaurants and bistros where you can sit down for a satisfying meal.

And if you’re looking to buy souvenirs or do some shopping, there are boutiques, retail stores, and convenience stores nearby where you can find unique items to bring back home.

While these cafes and shops provide a convenient way to relax and indulge during your visit to Wat Ban Tham, don’t forget to explore the local markets as well. Located near the temple grounds, these bustling markets offer an array of fresh produce, snacks, handicrafts, and other traditional items that will give you a glimpse into local life in Kanchanaburi.

How to Make the Most of Your Visit

A diverse group of tourists exploring the grounds of Wat Ban Tham.

To make the most of your visit to Wat Ban Tham, be sure to explore other top destinations in Kanchanaburi such as the Bridge Over the River Kwai and Erawan National Park. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or temple tourism, Wat Ban Tham offers a unique and enriching experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Top destinations in Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi province in Thailand is known for its top destinations that offer unique and cultural experiences. One popular destination is the Wat Tham Suea temple complex, which features beautiful statues and shrines.

Another must-see place is the Bridge over the River Kwai, a historical site from World War II. You can also explore Erawan National Park, home to stunning waterfalls and rich biodiversity.

For those interested in history, don’t miss visiting the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum, a moving tribute to prisoners of war who built the Death Railway during WWII. Lastly, don’t forget to check out Sai Yok Noi Waterfall for its natural beauty and relaxing atmosphere.

Travel interests catered by Wat Ban Tham

Wat Ban Tham caters to a variety of travel interests, making it a must-visit destination in Kanchanaburi. For history enthusiasts, the museum at the temple provides valuable insights into the experiences of prisoners of war who built the Death Railway during World War II.

The museum showcases their living conditions and the hardships they endured, offering a profound historical perspective.

For nature lovers and adventurers, exploring the cave temple itself is an exciting experience. The ornate entrance, adorned with golden dragon sculptures, creates a sense of awe and wonder.

Climbing to the top of the Golden Dragon Stairway rewards visitors with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Additionally, Wat Ban Tham offers opportunities for spiritual exploration and reflection. The cave temple holds religious and cultural significance for locals and visitors alike. It provides a serene atmosphere for meditation or simply soaking up its tranquil beauty.


An illuminated golden dragon statue in a temple cave with a bustling atmosphere.

Discover the hidden gem of Kanchanaburi by visiting the enchanting Wat Ban Tham. This unique cave temple offers a glimpse into Thailand’s ancient traditions and provides breathtaking views from its golden dragon staircase.

Don’t miss out on exploring this off-the-beaten-track destination, surrounded by the beauty of nature and rich history of Kanchanaburi Province.


1. Where is Wat Ban Tham located?

Wat Ban Tham is located in Kanchanaburi, a province in Thailand.

2. What makes Wat Ban Tham a hidden gem?

Wat Ban Tham is considered a hidden gem because it is lesser-known and off the beaten path compared to other tourist destinations in Kanchanaburi.

3. What can I see at Wat Ban Tham?

At Wat Ban Tham, you can see beautiful Buddhist cave temples, ancient statues, stunning views of the surrounding nature, and even monkeys roaming around.

4. How do I get to Wat Ban Tham?

To get to Wat Ban Tham, you can take a taxi or rent a car from Kanchanaburi city center. It’s about a 30-minute drive away.

5. Is there an entrance fee for visiting Wat Ban Tham?

Yes, there may be an entrance fee for visiting Wat Ban Tham. The exact amount may vary, so it’s best to check with the temple administration before your visit.

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