Wat Tham Ta Pan is undoubtedly one of the weirdest original temples of southern Thailand. Located about 100 km north-east of Phuket City in the town of Phang Nga, the temple offers a journey through the Buddhist version of Heaven and Hell. It might look a bit decrepit and abandoned at first sight, adding to the creepiness of the place.
At the temple’s entrance, you’ll find a fountain with five magnificent monk statues, each holding a bowl that represents health, cleverness, happiness, beauty and wealth. According to the myth, if you succeed in throwing a coin into the bowl of your choice, you’ll get whatever you wish for. Wat Tham Ta Pan is certainly one-of-a-kind temple that is well worth a visit because of its weird uniqueness.
At the center of Wat Tham Ta Pan temple grounds, you’ll find a few buildings along with a small shop from where you can get snacks and drinks or make a donation if you wish. Behind these buildings is an area that leads to a cliff through a beautiful garden filled with statues of animals. From Akhilandeshvari to Ganesh, the cliff itself showcases various representations and sculptures of Indian deities. Adjacent to the small shop at Wat Tham Ta Pan is a giant Chinese dragon with its wide open mouth, waiting for you to step inside.
Upon entering, you’ll see a long and dark tunnel with only a few small windows, enough to light your path and offer you a vision to the outside ‘hell’. At the end of this tunnel, you’ll find an entrance to a deep cave. You can stop to pray at the small shrine towards your left before heading for ‘Nirvana’ at the cave’s end after completing a 10-minute stroll along the dark track.
Wat Tham Ta Pan
Location: 79 Thamtapan 5 Alley, Tham Nam Phut, Mueang Phang-nga District, Phang Nga 82000 Thailand