The classic shot of the royal pavilion in Phraya Nakhon Cave. Well strictly speaking not a cave but two massive sinkholes that have collapsed creating a sunlit cavern. Roots dangle down from above and trees grow up from the bottom. It is a geological marvel. The Thai ruler Phraya Nakhon, who was forced ashore during a storm, was said to have discovered the spot (though I’m sure “local locals” knew of it). The pavilion is a symbol of the Prachuap Khiri Khan province. The first time I had seen it. It takes about 45 mins of very sweaty climbing, starting from the gorgeous Laem Sala beach (see below) and then a steep descent.
I don’t know why it has taken us so long to visit this part of Thailand only a three and a half hour drive from Bangkok and a bit further on from Hua Hin which I have always liked. I suppose in the past I couldn’t be bothered to go on further. I’ve found that by using the Hua Hin bypass, Phet Kasem highway, it takes almost the same time to get to Sam Roi Yot from Cha Am as it does from the latter to Hua Hin.
There is so much to see and do in Sam Roi Yot and the area is un-blighted by luxury hotels as so much is contained within national park boundaries.
This is the beach opposite our bungalow – an old style Thai beach occupied by both fishermen and holiday makers alike.
If it looks stormy, it was – the heavens opened seconds later.
There is so much to see in the park. We didn’t have time to take a boat ride through the mangroves but we see wild elephants (Kuiburi National Park – more later) and did visit the largest freshwater reedswamp in Thailand, totaling almost 7,000 hectares. A very well kept secret and on the east side (.i.e., away from the seaside) of the mountain range. It is so poorly sign posted it was no surprise that once we did manage to find it we pretty much had the place to ourselves apart from an illegal netter with his moll keeping lookout.
A wonderful elevated circuitous walk of about a kilometre out into the swamp. We visited early afternoon and whilst there was bird life to be seen, early morning or evening would be better – a return visit to this beautiful part of Thailand is certainly in order.