Wat Tham Pha Chan (สำนักสงฆ์ วัดถ้ำผาจัน) is a secluded "samnak song," rather than official wat (or temple). In Sakon Nakhon, samnak song are often referred to as a "priest's camp site" and while some are quite impressive, such as Samnak Song Pu Ruesi Don Pu Ta, with its large collection of hermit monk statues, and Tham Thoeng Nak Nimit Priest’s Camp Site, with its long, gorgeous mountainside path, other samnak song are simply secluded areas in nature, where monks can stay to meditate and practice the Dharma.
Wat Tham Pha Chan is not an easy place to get to. It requires traveling quite a while along a path through fields and forests that are barely navigatable by motorbike. Google Maps does a pretty good job of providing directions, up to a point, but then you have to just use your intuition. When you pass by a rubber tree plantation on your left, you'll know you are getting close. After the rubber trees, the path will narrow further through a final batch of forest, which will then open out to a gorgeous clearing, and large boulders ahead of you.
A cement path cuts through the boulders, which leads to a simple shack, where the resident monk stays. There are a number of dogs on the grounds, who rarely see visitors, so you can expect them to bark quite loudly. If you are fearful of dogs, it would be best to carry a stick with you, which will keep them at a distance. However, always remember to examine closely any stick in Thailand before picking it up. Because it well could have fire ants (mod daeng) on it, which will give you a very nasty bite.
After walking through the boulders, you'll get a beautiful view across fields to the mountainside. If you turn left, you can walk around additional boulders and see an underground spring pool below one of the rocks. The resident monk keeps to himself, so you are unlikely to see him, and we don't suggest walking toward the shack, so as to protect his privacy. After finishing your visit, we would highly recommend visiting the famous Wat Tham Kham, which is about 8 kilometers away on a mountaintop.