Buddha Image Cave

Buddha Image Cave, an adventure that grew on me 

The Buddha Image Cave might never find its way to the top of the ordinary bucket list. My visit to the Buddha Image Cave was, not the most exciting place I visited on my trip to the Golden Triangle.

But on the other hand, I kind of liked it, it sort of grew on me, the deeper i got into the adventure.

Unless you’ve been to the nearby  Buddha Cave Temple, have visited all the other attractions in Chiang Rai, have plenty of time, and are bored, just drive on by.

By the way, it’s pretty hard to find the Buddha Image Cave, so if you miss it, you’re not missing anything.


Buddha Image Cave Chiang Rai
After driving down a long dirt road, I came to a clearing. There were no signs, but Google maps told me I had arrived. So I parked the car and walked down the small path.


You may ask yourself why I visited the Buddha Image Cave when there are many more exciting places and choose to tell about my visit.

The simple answer is that I like to explore and visit many places, so they can’t all be winners.

I am not writing this article because I want to share a great story and amazing pictures, but I am writing the post, so you do not need to go

You can just read the article, look at the pictures, and save your time visiting more exciting places.

But when all is said and done, it was also a bit exciting, not quite Indiana Jones exciting, but it had a slight smell of adventure.


Stairs to Buddha Image Cave Chiang Rai


After walking a few hundred meters down the path, which was quite overgrown, I came to the stairs leading up to the cave.

Obviously, the Buddha Image Cave had not been very well kept, which only made it more exciting.

If you don’t have the courage to climb the stairs to the unknown you can also pray and pay merit at the little shrine at the foot of the stairway.


Shrine at Buddha Cave Chiang Rai
Although it looks very unkempt, you can see from the offering in the monk’s lap and the recently burnt incense sticks that the Shine at the Buddha Image Cave Chiang Rai is not completely abandoned, but people still come to pay their respects.


After the first flight of the stairs, it became clear that if the area below the stairs was not well maintained it didn’t get any better when I started to climb up to the cave.


Buddha Image Cave Chiang Rai
In the background on the left, you can see a large relief of a white Buddha image. On the right, you can see the next flight of stairs leading up to the cave.


It was when I was facing up the next part of the stairs, that it started to feel a little like Indiana Jones.

Buddha Image Cave Chiang Rai
It was not the stairs there was the challenge, it was more my fantasy of who else was around.

It was not the stairs there was the big challenge, it was more that I had to crawl under a thorny Bougainvillea bush.

Added to that came to my thought of what exciting little poisonous animals and insects I might confront when I crawled on all fours up the stairs and under the bush.

To amp up the excitement, I played vivid images of snakes, scorpions, centipedes, and poisonous spiders the size of dinner plates in my mind’s eye.

All animals I have seen many times, especially in the wild where there are not many people.

In fact, the area in the shadow under the bush was the perfect living condition for poisonous creep.

The saying that “they are more afraid of you than you are of them” is not always true.



Buddha Image Cave Chiang Rai
A nice portal leading into the cave.

When I got to the other side of the bush, I came to a portal and another staircase leading into the cave.

The energy put into the construction of the portal and stairs were further evidence that there once were greater ambitions for the Buddha image cave.

Keep in mind that all the materials, sand, stone, and cement, for the construction, have to be carried up the mountain.

Besides the heavy materials and the steep mountain, it can also be burning hot. So it has not been an easy task to construct the stairs up to the cave.



Buddha Image Cave Chiang Rai
The last flight of uneven stairs

The stairs were much better when I entered the cave, although they also suffered from the “uneven step height” syndrome; I have seen many places around Thailand.

Although the cave didn’t trigger the same fantasies of poisonous creep as the stairs outside, it had its own charming inhabitants.

Like most other caves I’ve visited in Thailand, this one was also filled with flying bats, many of them.

It’s not that I’m terrified of bats, but it was more that they flew very close to my head, very close.

Also fresh in my mind; were the stories that the COVID era had brought about, all the nasty diseases that bats could be infected with.

But it kind of added to the Indiana Jones experience, so I tried to enjoy it.


Finally, I came to the big Buddha image that the Buddha image Cave was named after at the bottom of the cave.

I wouldn’t say I was disappointed, but I’ve seen many Buddha images in caves that have made a bigger impression on me than I got here.

But for me, the journey is the most important, in this case, the climb up the mountain, not the destination, which was the Buddha image inside the cave.


Buddha Image Cave Chiang Rai
The Buddha statue in the “Buddha Image Cave” in Chiang Rai


After being deep inside the cave, high on the mountain, the only thing left was the climb down.


Buddha Image Cave Chiang Rai
Here is the way down, seen from above, to me it is always easier to climb up than down.


How to find the Buddha Image Cave

Without a map, it can be a little difficult to find the Buddha Image Cave in Chiang Rai, so here it is on Google maps.




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