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  • Writer's pictureBarrett B.

5 Things you should know about Thailand's Phraya Nakhon Cave (4.5 Hrs from Bangkok)

Updated: Aug 20, 2023

This coastal hike in Sam Roi Yot National Park leads to an ancient historical temple in an cave


There are a number of memorable unique destinations that you'll travel to in Southeast Asia, but nearly 5 hours away from Bangkok by car, outside of Hua Hin is a little treasure spot. If you're willing to take the venture to Sam Roi Yot National Park this is a landmark location that you have to see to believe.


Make sure to watch my video on my youtube channel: Traveling on the Go


The Number One Thing: History

Inside Phraya Nakhon Cave, there is a unique and iconic Royal Pavilion known as "Phra Thinang Khuha Kharuhat." This pavilion was built during the reign of King Rama V of Thailand (King Chulalongkorn) in 1890. The cave served as a tranquil and secluded retreat for the king during his visits to the region.


Number Two: Sunbeam Illumination

One of the most enchanting features of Phraya Nakhon Cave is the natural illumination that occurs twice a day. Around 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., sunlight penetrates through an opening in the cave's roof, creating a spotlight effect that beautifully illuminates the Royal Pavilion. This picturesque sight has made the cave a popular destination for photographers and nature enthusiasts.


Number Three: Hidden Temple

Phraya Nakhon Cave houses not only the Royal Pavilion but also an ancient temple called "Wat Tham Phraya Nakhon." The temple's existence dates back to the Ayutthaya period (1350-1767), making it one of the historical highlights within the cave.


Number Four: Difficult Access (Not hard in my opinion)

While Phraya Nakhon Cave is a stunning and unique destination, reaching it requires some effort. Visitors must hike along a moderately challenging trail through Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park to get to the cave's entrance. The hike can take around 30 to 45 minutes, depending on one's fitness level.


Number Five: Two Chambers

Phraya Nakhon Cave is divided into two chambers, each featuring its own unique landscape and rock formations. The first chamber, where the Royal Pavilion stands, is more spacious and receives the famous sunlight illumination. The second chamber, located behind the first one, is smaller and less visited but still holds its own charm with fascinating stalactites and stalagmites.


Other Tips and Hidden Gems:

  1. Khao Daeng Viewpoint: A short hike up Khao Daeng Mountain leads to a scenic viewpoint overlooking the surrounding landscape, including the Gulf of Thailand and the limestone hills of the national park. The hike is relatively easy and offers rewarding panoramic views.

  2. Kaeo Cave Mangrove Nature Trail: This boardwalk trail takes you through a peaceful mangrove forest. It is an excellent spot for birdwatching and observing the diverse ecosystem of the mangrove habitat.

  3. Thung Sam Roi Yot Freshwater Marsh: MY FAV! This expansive freshwater marshland is home to a variety of bird species and wildlife. It is an ideal location for birdwatching and observing migratory birds during the winter months.

  4. Laem Sala Beach and Phraya Nakhon Beach: The national park boasts beautiful beaches where visitors can relax, swim, or have a picnic. Laem Sala Beach is also the starting point for the hike to Phraya Nakhon Cave.

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