Khao Dan-Tham Suea Bureau of Monks (สำนักสงฆ์เขาด่าน-ถ้ำเสือ) is a Buddhist monastery in the forests near Huai Nam Bo reservoir, about 30 minutes from Sakon Nakhon city. In Northeastern monasteries, you are more likely to see Maechi (or Mae Chee) here. Maechi are Buddhist laywomen in Thailand who live an ascetic life, and adopt the 8 Buddhist Precepts: abstaining from killing, stealing, sexual activity, lying, intoxicating drinks and drugs, eating after noon, entertainment and beautifying the body, and using luxurious furniture. Pray Mercy Bureau Pilgrimage Places (or Wat Pa Phang Khwang Tai) is another place where you will see Maechi on the grounds.
The entrance of Khao Dan-Tham Suea Bureau of Monks has a tiger sculpture, as there was once a tiger cave on the grounds. And the area is filled with unique lava rock formations that are fun to walk around on, as well as beautiful trees and foliage to enjoy. An old pagoda with rough looking, black Naga serpents hold the main gold Buddha image, along with an interestingly shaped bell, unlike those seen at other temples.
There is a striking Buddha sculpture with a Cobra entwined around it and flanked on either side by Luang Pu Tiang, who must be a highly revered monk. However, we have yet to find detailed information about him. Interestingly, Luang Pu Tiang takes the standing pose with a parasol (umbrella) and walking staff usually seen in sculptures of the Buddha. The umbrella is a symbol of protection from the “heat” of negative forces, such as greed, lust, suffering, and obstacles in the path towards enlightenment.
If you visit the Khao Dan-Tham Suea Bureau of Monks, be sure to also visit the nearby Wat Pracha Suksan Wararam and Ham Bing Pracha Suk San Priest's Camp Site. Both are only a few minutes away, and have beautiful things for visitors to see and meditate upon.