Visit the Famed Wat Tham Sua in Kanchanaburi with the Mitsubishi All New Pajero Sport
The Amazing Road Trips with the All New Pajero Sport brings you to Kanchanaburi Province to take a look at the stunning architecture of the chedi atop a hill at Wat Tham Sua, location of the largest Buddha statue in the province. And turn back the clock to the time when mining still boomed with a visit to the Pilok Mine followed by more scenic views of the amazing province at Nern Chang Suek.
Get to Know Our Destination
Wat Tham Sua started off as a small monastery but with unwavering faith and support from neighboring communities, it became a large and beautiful temple. The temple features a cave that has been divided into 4 chambers. And if you want to pay respect to Luang Phor Chin Prathanporn, the largest Buddha statue of the province, and the main chedi, you’ll have to hike up the hill. Next to the main chedi is the Ketkaew Maha Prasat Chedi which houses the ashes of the Lord Buddha. There you can also view the 360-degree view of the Mae Klong River and the never-ending rice fields.
Pilok Mine was in operation more than 70 years ago. Mining here started when some Thai hunters saw Myanmar nationals excavating for minerals. That prompted the authorities to conduct an excavation in 1938 where they found tin and wolfram in abundance, interspersed with tungsten and gold. A mine was established in 1940 after which several authorized and illegal mines were set up around the area. A lot of Thai and Myanmar nationals also carried out illegal excavation, prompting the authorities to crack down on them. This coupled with a lot of mining accidents left many dead, leading the mine to be called haunted mine or ‘muang phee lok’ which is said to become the name Pilok. In 1984, mines in the area started to close down after China flooded the global market with cheap tin and the usage of plastic became the norm. Nern Chang Suek is the headquarters of the border patrol police unit 135. It is 1,053 meters above sea level and contains living accommodations for the officers, as well as a helipad.
Fun in the Sun
- Pay respect to the remains of Luang Pu Chuen, who renovated Wat Tham Sua, and the statue of the former abbot of the temple, Luang Phor Singh, who founded the cave where the temple is situated. The 4 chambers of the cave contain statues of the Lord Buddha and the goddess Guan Yin. Walk up 157 steps at a 60-degree incline to pay respect to Luang Phor Chin Prathanporn and the ashes of the Lord Buddha housed in the Ket Kaew Maha Prasart Chedi. If the walk is too much for you, a cable car is available to bring you up and the ticket costs just 10 Baht.
- The mining caves are opened to the public but do bring a flashlight as it is pitch dark inside.
- Experience the sea of mist and chilly temperature atop Nern Chang Suek. The view of the sunrise and sunset from here is beyond spectacular and with open skies, you can actually see as far as the Andaman Sea on the Myanmar side. At night, you’ll be treated to an unobstructed view of the stars and lights from the gas delivery station nestled in the mountains on the Myanmar side.
- Driving to Wat Tham Sua can be tricky because you need to drive through narrow roads in a crowded community and signs are unclear in many of the areas. Keeping the Ketkaew Maha Prasat Chedi in your line of sight should help.
- Camping is available on Nern Chang Suek and during November-January, you’ll get to experience chilly temperatures. However, restaurants and other amenities are not available so do prepare your own food and things you’ll need. Make sure you bring warm clothing as well.
- The route to Pilok Mine has a damaged surface in some parts while the road downhill has several sharp turns. The way up Nern Chang Suek is paved with gravel in some areas so do take care while you drive.
How to Get There
Use Highway no. 323 and drive pass Mae Klong reservoir. Follow the signs to Wat Tham Sua. To get to Pilok Mine, use Highway no. 323 headed for Thong Pha Phum national park. The distance is around 240 kilometers from the city center. Close to the mine, the roads will narrow and both sides are a ravine so drive with caution. To get to Nern Chang Suek, drive about 3 kilometers from Pilok Mine. There will be signs directing you there.
Safe Driving Tips
For more information, please contact:
Kanchanaburi Tourism Authority of Thailand Office
Area of jurisdiction: Kanchanaburi
Saengchuto Road, Tambon Ban Nua, Muang District, Kanchanaburi Province 71000
Tel: 0 3451 1200, 0 3451 2500
Fax: 0 3451 1200