Wat Tham Sua in Kanchanaburi

Not to be confused with the Tiger Temple (Wat Pa Luang Ta Bua), Wat Them Sua (Tiger Cave Temple) is an architectural wonder. The temple is set atop a hill, fronting the Mae Klong Dam and backed by a vast expanse of rice fields.

Climb up 157 steep steps to get to the top, where the giant golden Buddha image rests inside a semi-circular ‘aura’ dome. The main chapel features ornate, multi-tier gables and door arches, built on an octagonal base – a peculiar layout only found at this temple. Another highlight is the ‘Ket Kaew’ pagoda, featuring multiple built-in niches along its polygonal sides. Sharing the same hilltop but not directly accessed from Wat Tham Sua is Wat Tham Khao Noi. From afar, this ‘temple hill’ looks simply stunning.