Recently Skye and I drove to the famous Phraya Nakhon Cave, only a 45 minute drive away from Hua Hin. The cave and the temple is located in Prachuap Khiri Khan in the Khao Sam Roi Yoi National Park.
(ps. before I go on I’ve edited a few of the photos from this trip. I just started using Lightroom and I’m obsessed, so they might be a little OTT but I love playing around with them! I’ll note which ones are edited).
We made it to the small village of Bang Pu where the National Park is and parked up. There are a few souvenir shops and places to get food and water on the beach. Then you head over to the side of the mountain and purchase your tickets to the National Park, they were only 200 baht each person. From there you can either climb over to the other side of the mountain, it apparently takes about 30 minutes, or you can pay for a long tail boat around the cove to Laem Sala Beach. Our boat was 400 baht for the both of us too.
The boat only takes about 5 minutes and is very pleasant. Laem Sala Beach is beautiful too, with stunning white sand. There are little houses you can stay on the beach too which would be really nice! That way you can get to the temple in the very early morning to catch the best lighting. (Also a side note, take flip flops with you as you have to take your shoes off to get on and off the boat but wear trainers to climb up to the cave).
We then started the 430m climb up to the cave. I’d read reviews that it was an alright climb, but we really underestimated it! It’s a long climb up steep stairs and in the heat of the day it is very unpleasant. Make sure you take lots of bottles of water and any food you’ll need for a few hours as there’s nowhere you can get any from except the beach. I’m not going to lie but I really struggled! We trekked up there in the heat of the day and took lots of breaks all the way up. Wear appropriate clothing and shoes too! There’s a lovely viewpoint about half way up though where you can sit and have a rest and some water.
When you reach the top the incline becomes a little easier and then there’s a few ups and downs. Altogether it took us about 30-40 minutes but I made Skye stop a lot! Then you get the steep stairs going down into the first chamber of the cave. It’s a huge cave with a hole in the roof that lets all the light in, full of stalagmites. But the next cave is the most famous. Still with a hole in the ceiling, the cave is home to the Kuha Kharuehat Pavillion that was built towards the end of the 19th Century for a visit from the King.
The cave is so serene and even though there were quite a few people there, it’s that big that it doesn’t get crowded, and you’re able to take as many photos as you like. You can walk all the way around the cave, taking the temple and greenery in around it. Apparently the light is best early morning between 10-11 so the light streams through the ceiling and illuminates the temple beautifully. I wish we’d taken this into account because it looks beautiful and the trek would’ve been cooler too!
We stayed for a while and then decided to start the climb back. It was a lot easier coming down but still tiring and hot. We did see some monkeys though which was really cool! Then we just sat in the restaurant and cooled off, with some cold water and ice creams. Then we relaxed on the beach for a bit and waved down our boat back to Bang Pu.
We headed straight back to the car because we were shattered but the souvenir shops looked very nice, selling all sorts from furniture to hats to snacks.
Overall I’m really glad we went on this trip. I was very reluctant because I don’t particularly like being out during the heat of the day, never mind trekking uphill at that time! I’m also not the biggest fan of boats, but this one was fine and only took about 5-10 minutes, if that. The scenery was beautiful though, with a few little islands dotted on the horizon and the white sands. If we were to go again I’d definitely try and stay on the beach so we could explore more.
I hope you liked this post, I’m hoping to do at least one of these a week when we go out exploring. Let me know what you think of the new style of editing too, I know I’ve gone a bit overboard with it but it’s all new to me and I was really enjoying myself!