Phraya Nakhon Cave
Laem Sala, Prachuap Khiri Khan
If you like to get off the beaten track then the Khao Sam Roi Yot National park is the place for you. It’s about 1 hour drive south of Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan province. The area is a long stretch of beach with mountains behind.
Sam Roi Yot beach
The main beach is Sam Roi Yot beach. That’s where you’ll find a few resorts and places to eat. It gets a few Thai tourists at weekends but is very quiet in the week. You can rent kayaks for 100 baht or rent a bicycle to explore the long beachfront.
Laem Sala and Phraya Nakhon Cave
The gem of the area is 10 km south of Sam Roi Yot beach. It’s well signposted to Phraya Nakhon cave. From the car park you can take a long tail boat to Laem Sala (cape sala) for 400 baht. But we recommend walking up and over the headland. It’s a one kilometre trail, not too taxing and offers stunning views. The boat operators will tell you it’s further than it is but actually the real climbing starts once you reach Laem Sala. If you are staying in the national park accommodations at Laem Sala and have big bags then the boat may be a better option but you will have to wade out to it so pack your things in dry bags.
Whether you walk or take the boat you will have to pay a national park entrance fee, currently 200 baht for foreign adults.
From Laem Sala beach follow the trail inland a few hundred metres and your come to the start of the upwards climb. It’s only 500 metres but mostly uphill on rocky steps. Anyone of reasonable fitness can manage it and there is a viewpoint about half way up to stop and rest. The rocks have been worn and are slippery. You can do it in flip flops but sneakers may be better.
We saw a big monitor lizard on the way and were delighted to see some Dusky Leaf Monkeys (Spectacled Langurs) in the trees.
Once you reach the top and then descent into the cave you will appreciate that the effort was worth it. Try and be there between 11 am and 3 pm when sunlight shines through an opening in the cave roof and illuminates the Kuha Karuhas pavilion.
You could be up, down and away in a few hours if time is tight but you could also spend all day at Laem Sala. There will probably be no-one else on the beach. There are also camping facilities and national park bungalows if you fancy an overnight stay.