Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Phraya Nakhon Cave

Two months ago, I started telling you about a trip we took five months ago. Last December, we rented a car and drove to the Sam Roi Yot district. We frolicked on the beach, gazed at elephants, and enjoyed walking around in shorts a few days before Christmas. If you need a quick review of our trip, look HERE and HERE.

While all of it was great, the most picturesque of our outings was at Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. The park has a lot of attractions--wildlife, bungalows, beaches, campsites, hiking, a restaurant...and caves. The best known cave is Phraya Nakhon.

Phil at Phraya.

Hard to tell why it's famous.

At some point in the cave's history, a couple of sinkholes formed, and punched holes through the ceiling. As a result, the Phraya Nakhon gets enough natural light to support tree growth. It's beautiful.

A sinkhole in the ceiling, and trees.

The pavilion inside the cave was built in the late 1800s for King Rama V. He signed the wall of the cave during his visit, as did King Rama VII, a few years later. King Rama IX, the latest late king, also visited the cave. He saw it twice, but didn't sign the royal guest log either time.

Here's another view of the cave and pavilion.

King signatures.

Look at these cave guts!

Getting to the cave was a bit of a hike. We managed to do it with a toddler, and without a toddler carrier. Though it's not something I'd suggest, we still made it in decent time, by passing The Kid back and forth at intervals. He was able to walk under his own power, with hand holding, for parts of the trail. He was able to walk around the cave all by himself. What I'm saying is, it's doable.

This is the entry of the cave. It looks hairy, but there were stairs and a handrail.

The views along the hike were great, and so was the beach below. If we'd planned it better, we would have hung out on the beach for longer.

The beach from above.

The beach from below.

If we'd been really ambitious, we'd have rented one of the bungalows on the beach, and spent the night in the park. They looked like a nice, quiet place to spend time--after dark. I imagine that during the day, you'd have to keep the curtains closed to prevent the looky-loos from peering inside your vacation.

And you're going to get a lot of looky-loos with this thing just up the hill.

So, that's it. That's the end of our December vacation. This brings our tally of Thailand National Park visits to 2. There are over 100 more, and we have just over a year left. We need more time, ****it!

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