Trekking and visiting the Phraya Nakhon Cave in Thailand


Southern Thailand

Joanna Horanin

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Last updated at 21/06/2024, 17:00

Hi, I'm Joanna, the author of The Blond Travels. In the worlds of Thailand and Portugal, I feel like a fish in water - and it's no coincidence! I've been exploring Thailand for over a decade, and I've settled in Portugal for 6 years now. My mission is to support Dreamers - just like you - in discovering these fascinating countries and helping those in love with them find their own place on Earth, preferably for good! Let's uncover these unique corners of the world together.

I have been travelling to Thailand for more than 10 years and only recently managed to reach the beautiful cave – Phraya Nakhon. It is one of the country’s showpieces. Along with the golden Buddha statue in Nan, or the Royal Palace in Bangkok, Phraya Nakhon is the place you often see on advertisements for the Land of Smiles. Visit this cave with me and marvel at its beauty.

It was quite an exhausting day for me. I went with Pyś first to the viewpoint at Sam Roi Yot Park, which required us to be quite fit, then we rode a scooter for a few kilometres before finally arriving at the entrance to the area where Phraya Nakhon is located – a cave whose beautiful light attracts tourists from all over the world.

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    Getting to the cave was another long walk. When we finally managed to get there, I thanked my legs that they were still able to carry me. At the end of the day, I was proud of myself for getting there and I will definitely remember Phraya Nakhon as one of the most beautiful places I managed to visit in Thailand.

    The inside of Phraya Nakhon Cave.
    The cave lets the sunlight in and thanks to that has little gardens inside.

    Organising your trip to Phraya Nakhon

    Phraya Nakhon is 250 kilometres from Bangkok. The nearest tourist town is Hua Hin, from where it is 50 kilometres to Phraya Nakhon. You can check the location here.

    We went there when we stayed a few days in Prachuap Khiri Khan. There wasn’t that much to do in the town itself and after one day of exploring the area, we decided it was time to see something further afield. It fell to Kui Buri Park, followed by Phraya Nakhon and Sam Roi Yot Park.

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    We didn’t give it much thought. As is our custom, we hired a scooter and set off ahead. As part of the road overlapped with the route to Kui Buri, we already knew to be careful. This highway is extremely busy and swarming with trucks that hold scooters in high regard. So, be warned – if you are driving a scooter, make sure you have your documents, and know how to drive a scooter, especially on Thai roads.

    The inside of phraya nakhon cave.
    The inside of the cave is huge.

    You can also reach the entrance to the area where the cave is by car. A good option is to either hire a driver for the day or an individual guide. Then it is a bit safer, because at least the guide knows what to do on the road and will do his/her best to keep you safe.

    Admission costs BHT 200 per adult.

    Trekking to the cave

    After descending from one of the viewpoints we visited on the way, we drove to the cave.

    We had to leave the scooter in the car park. Further on we had an option – either take the boat to the beach, from where we had to walk uphill, or walk the whole way. The boat costs 200 BHT. You can wait for a few extra people and spread the cost of hiring it.

    I wasn’t that tired at the time, so we decided to walk from start to finish.

    At first, the walk didn’t seem so bad. We walked up the steps for a bit, overlooking the sea. The sun was blazing and it was hot, but we walked rather pleasantly.

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    After about 30 minutes we reached the beach. That’s where the boats were moored, picking up tourists from where we had left. There weren’t many people on the beach, but there was a restaurant open in the shade of the trees and a shop where we bought something to drink.

    It was only then that I felt how tired I was. However, it looked like it wasn’t far to Phraya Nakhon, so after resting for a while, we went on.

    Rocks on the way to the phraya nakhon cave.
    The trekking was easy at first, but then it started becoming challenging.

    This part of the road led uphill, lined with stone and shaded (fortunately) by trees. Here I felt increasingly tired, dehydrated and aching in my legs. By the end, I felt like I was going mad with fatigue. We should have taken the boat after all, I thought.

    I suddenly felt better when I saw the beautiful Phraya Nakhon.

    The Phraya Nakhon Cave

    Legends claim that the cave was discovered 200 years ago by a local ruler, Nakhon Srithammaraja, who took shelter there from a storm. More reliable sources say that the first to set foot in the cave was a high-ranking resident of the area, Nakhon, in the 17th century.

    Phraya Nakhon Cave, Temple.
    This little sala looks amazing with the light floating on it.

    The site is extremely popular due to its stalactites and stalagmites, and the vast space, which is covered with lush vegetation in many places.

    In 1890, King Rama V visited Phraya Nakhon. In his honour, a so-called pavilion, or small temple, was built here. It stands in a place where light streams in in the morning and embraces the structure, creating a beautiful image. It is this place that is shown in many photos from Thailand.

    The inside of Phraya Nakhon Cave.
    I felt so small inside the cave.

    The whole cave is really big, but don’t be afraid, you won’t get lost here. Take some time to explore, walk around and take photos.

    Pcy and I spent over an hour in the cave. It took me a while to feel up to going back. Fortunately, the way to the beach was not that hard. It is better to go down than to go uphill. We took a boat from the beach and for me it was the most enjoyable cruise under the sun!

    I highly recommend you to visit Phraya Nakhon. The place is well-known but not too besieged, even during high season. Probably getting there deters tourists effectively. Allocate yourself a day trip to this beautiful cave in Thailand.