The Mummy Monk at Wat Tham Sua, Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi, a beautiful province in far western Thailand, is home to a number of remarkable temples and sites. One of the most scenic is the famous Wat Tham Sua. Besides the stunning views and amazing temple complex, the "Tiger Cave Temple", is also the resting place of the mummified body of a famously powerful Buddhist monk, preserved in a glass coffin, who visitors can go to see.
The Tiger Cave Temple
Wat Tham Sua, the "Tiger Cave Temple" (no, there are no tigers here!) is one of the biggest and most impressive in western Thailand. The temple sits on a big hill overlooking green rice fields. There's a long staircase up the hill, but if you have 20 baht to spare, there's a funicular cable car that you can take up and down to and from the temple.
People enjoy climbing up the temple's towers for the incredible views over the surrounding rice fields.
The complex is made up of a number of different shrines and chapels, and it's a very popular spot with locals and foreigners alike. The main Buddha image is massive, and can be seen from far away in the surrounding countryside.
A popular spot at the temple is a small chapel, where the preserved body of the temple's former abbot is on display in the lower parts of the temple compound. It's said that the bodies of especially holy monks don't decay like regular people. The naturally mummified body is kept on an ornate podium in a glass coffin, and people can visit and make a special prayer in the chapel. It can be a little bit creepy if you aren't expecting it! If you can't get a good enough view, don't worry - there is a CCTV off to the side with a live direct view of the monk's face!