Waiting within the stunning natural beauty of Thailand’s Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park is the magnificent Phraya Nakhon cave. Full of history and an incredible view for anyone willing to brave the climb, Phraya Nakhon is one of Thailand’s most revered natural landmarks and has hosted many members of Thai royalty.
Located a short 45-minute drive south of Hua Hin, the cave makes a wonderful trip for tourists and those living in Bangkok. Take a short boat ride from the beachside village of Bang Pu to where the steep yet scenic climb begins. About 400 meters of uneven steps will be rewarded when you head inside the cave’s first chamber and catch sight of the dry waterfall within. Full of stalagmites and stalactites, both of the cave’s chambers are also illuminated amazing natural skylight above in the pre-noon hours. If timed correctly, the sun will be with you and provide a serene and mystical atmosphere as you observe the majestic Kuha Karuhas pavilion within.
King Mongkut, also known as King Rama IV and “The Father of Science and Technology” in Thailand, may have hosted European guests near the cave to view a solar eclipse on August 18, 1868. Mongkut calculated the time and date of the eclipse with greater accuracy than European scientists at the time. Successive Thai kings have paid a visit to Phraya Nakhon over the centuries, including the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Each king has left an impression in the cave, whether a signature or the Kuha Karuhas pavilion built for Mongkut’s son, King Rama V.
Be sure to gear up properly with sturdy footwear and don’t forget your camera to capture memories of the stiff but quick climb and the wonders inside Phraya Nakhon cave itself.