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Monday, January 07, 2013

Tapan Cave: The Gibbon Cave of Phang Nga, Thailand

The place is called the Heaven and Hell cave, but I would like to call it the Gibbon Cave as the entire climb to the top of the Tapan Cave is full of Gibbon families. But, unlike the monkeys, the Gibbons are very reserved and do not attack us humans.

A Tapan Cave Top view at Phang Nga
The Tapan Cave, located close to the main city road of Phang Nga is modeled as heaven and hell owing to its eerie cave formations.  As you enter its enclosure you find a lot of creatures and life forms that depict hell through their scary looks and on the other end are the gods you are depicted in a calmer demeanor and this signifies heaven.

Bridge over Tapan Cave
This is where the climb starts to the top of the Tapan Cave. I really liked this climb on a flight of stairs that looks like it is natural (tree roots or something like that), but is actually concrete with iron reinforcements. These stairs are surrounded by dense trees that grow out of the limestone hills. This is why the Eastern Hoolock Gibbons can be seen everywhere on the stairs.

Limestone mountains of Phang nga from Tapan Cave
At the top there is a small shrine to Lord Buddha, a small stupa like structure and a fabulous view of the Phang Nga landscape where one can see limestone hills prop up everywhere. I would definitely recommend visiting this cave as it gives you a cave experience, a religious experience and a stunning view while getting close to a rare breed of apes.



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