Wat Tham Khao Poon

Wat Tham Khao Poon

An easy to reach cave temple

More on Kanchanaburi

Well-lit natural halls lead to nine caverns full of Hindu/Buddhist shrines in the cave system at Wat Tham Khao Poon, the easiest to reach of Kanchanaburi’s many cave temples.

Travelfish says:

The first cavern in the “Temple of the Limestone Mountain Cave” houses a reclining Buddha image that has supposedly been here since the late 19th century and once received the offerings of King Rama V. From here you enter a series of narrow corridors in which getting lost would be easy if it weren’t for the abundant fluorescent lights.

Eye-catching. : David Luekens.
Eye-catching. Photo: David Luekens

Of the variety of shrines found in each room, two of the most eye-catching are a depiction of the hermit Ruessi and a collection of Ganesha images cluttered among other Hindu deities. A range of Buddha images include palm-sized statues squeezed into dark corners and a fairly large seated Buddha in the final room. Along with the dusty religious statuary, coloured lights join stalactites and stalagmites to create some eerie scenes.

On the way to the entrance, check out the sign explaining how some of the rooms were named after rocks resembling crocodiles or the roots of fig trees that have pierced inside. Tall visitors will need to duck in places, but there are no tight pinches and it’s easy to find your way from one end of the complex to the other. You also won’t need to climb many stairs here, unlike at Wat Ban Tham, Wat Tham Sua and Wat Tham Khao Noi.

Buddha in a crevice. : David Luekens.
Buddha in a crevice. Photo: David Luekens

The vicinity of Wat Tham Khao Poon was used as POW camp during the Second World War and is often visited in conjunction with the Chung Kai War Cemetery, located 1.5 kilometres to the east along the same road.

Transport information

Wat Tham Khao Poon (also spelt Pun) is located five km southwest of the centre of town off Highway 3228, just west of the River Khwae Noi. You could come on a longtail boat tour, pay a songthaew or tuk tuk around 300 baht round trip, or venture here by bicycle.

If coming on your own, take the bridge west from Wat Thewasangkharam and bear right after the second, smaller bridge. Continue southwest, passing Chung Kai War Cemetery on the left, and you’ll reach the temple around a half-km after crossing the railroad tracks. Expect some hills if bicycling. Admission is 30 baht. Open 08:00-18:00.

Contact details for Wat Tham Khao Poon

Address: About 5 km southwest of town
Coordinates (for GPS): 99º30'14.48" E, 13º59'57.44" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Admission: Free

Reviewed by

David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.

Tours in Thailand


These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.


Our top 10 other sights and activities in and around Kanchanaburi

Huai Mae Khamin Waterfall
Huai Mae Khamin Waterfall

Pure tranquility

Hellfire Pass
Hellfire Pass

Riveting

Thailand-Burma Railway Centre
Thailand-Burma Railway Centre

Easily the best museum in town

Wat Ban Tham
Wat Ban Tham

Into the dragon’s mouth

Prasat Mueang Singh
Prasat Mueang Singh

Ancient empire’s border stones

Exploring Kanchanaburi by train
Exploring Kanchanaburi by train

Start in Bangkok and keep going

Erawan National Park
Erawan National Park

Home to majestic falls

Wat Tham Sua & Wat Tham Khao Noi
Wat Tham Sua & Wat Tham Khao Noi

The twin towers of Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery

Pause to pay respects

Chung Kai War Cemetery
Chung Kai War Cemetery

1,750 dead buried here