Wat Khao Tham - วัดเขาถ้ำ

"Temple of the Mountain Cave".
Baan Tai, Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand

~ ดูเว็บไซต์ภาษาไทย ~

Wat Khao Tham — Mountain Cave Monastery — is located in the forested hills above Baan Tai, on Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand. It is a small monastery following the Thai Forest Tradition.

It has a lovely traditional temple with a large reclining Buddha image, and a viewpoint with a small temple containing a "Buddha footprint" and paintings of the life of the Buddha. On the way, beautiful walks through the trees with scattered chedis, small images and stone carvings throughout. The viewpoint overlooks the forest, Thongsala, and the Gulf of Thailand, with the islands of Samui and Angthong Marine Park.

You are welcome to come and meditate here.

Phra Chaiwat is the abbot of the Khao Tham monastery.
He sometimes gives dhamma teachings during the monthly retreat at the adjacent Khao Tham Insight Meditation Center

Khao Tham Temple with two monks

Location อ่านในภาษาไทย

Wat Khao Tham is in the forested hills above Baan Tai town, on Koh Pha Ngan (Pha Ngan Island), north of Koh Samui (Samui Island), in the Gulf of Thailand.

Wat Khao Tham in the hills above Baan Tai

Wat Khao Tham, and the Baan Tai area
Click map image ↑ for larger image
Click link → for Khao Tham/Baan Tai interactive map at OpenStreetMap.

Visiting Wat Khao Tham อ่านในภาษาไทย

When you come, please park in the lower parking lot, before you enter the grounds. If you come by taxi, the driver will usually know to park there.
Grab a stick there also to discourage any unpredictable dogs (good practice anywhere in Asia when on foot!).
Then walk up to the main meeting hall and open area, and you will see two roads branching off. The road straight ahead goes up to the monastery grounds and the viewpoint, and the road to the right goes up to the meditation hall and temple, all through beautiful forest of Khao Tham.

The monastery side

You are welcome to walk along the main road through the monastery (to the viewpoint). Please do not go off to the sides or bother the small houses (kutis) — monks are living there!

If you would like to talk with the abbot, Phra Chaiwat, keep an eye out for someone on the property, and ask them.

The retreat side

There may be a meditation retreat going on (on the side with the meditation hall and temple). If so, there will be a sign crossing the road that way. It is ok to go up, but please be extra quiet.

When you visit ... อ่านในภาษาไทย

Wat Khao Tham is a traditional, consecrated, Thai temple and monastery, not a tourist attraction. The abbot kindly allows the public to visit.

If you are not native to Thailand or other Buddhist countries, you may not know about the appropriate ways to dress and behave. It is all about respect:

  • During the Covid pandemic, you must wear mask at all times everywhere on the Khao Tham grounds.
  • Your body should be covered from neck to knees, including shoulders and upper arms. No see-through clothing or yoga tights please! You can borrow shawls and loose clothing from the big box at the Khao Tham Center meeting hall.
  • Remove your shoes when entering a temple anywhere, or any building on the grounds.
  • Behave mindfully and quietly when anywhere on the grounds. This includes no loud talking. hugging/kissing, and other physical demonstrations.
  • You may take photos of temples and buddha statues, but do not sit next to or stand next to a statue, or place anything on it.
  • Do not take photos of people without their permission.
  • More about temple etiquette at TripSavvy.com

Learn more about Buddhism and the Thai Forest Tradition

Morning at the Khao Tham viewpoint.

inviting all to come and see ...

svakkhato bhagavata dhammo
sanditthiko akaliko ehipassiko
opanayiko paccattam veditabbo vinnuhiti

The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One
To be seen here and now, timeless, inviting all to come and see,
leading inwards, to be seen by the observant for themselves . . .