All That & The Light: Praya Nakhon Cave, Thailand

“She should have written it down.

She should have said something about all that and the light.”

~ Alexander McCall Smith

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Nestled within the larger Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, this incredible cave houses a gorgeous temple. A short steep hike up to this cave reveals sweeping views of the park and a series of sunken caves in the ground that are home to lush greenery and circular skylights carved out of stone.

When we visited, my friend heard something rustle in the trees as we made our way down the steeper mountainside and through the forest to the beach. Curious, we ran over to see what the noise was all about, and there, blinking with just as much surprise as us, was a family of little monkeys, balancing effortlessly on the thin tree branches. We all froze there for a few minutes, looking at one another, before the monkeys scampered off back into the density of the forest behind them. Out further on the ridge, we could spot at least a dozen more lithe monkeys, climbing up trees or sitting on the ground and clambering around one another. The secret is to not make too much sound and to keep your eyes open as you head down from the temple – you may just spot a monkey or two.

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Location: roughly an hour away from Hua Hin, Thailand

How to get there: rent either a taxi or a songtaew depending on the number of people hiking. The roundtrip cost should be from 1000-3000 baht total.

Bring: a swimsuit for the beach afterwards (be wary of the jellyfish washed up at low tide), good hiking shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, snacks, plenty of water, and a towel.

Entrance Fee: 200 baht to get into the park, 150 baht for a roundtrip ticket on a boat that will take you to and from the trailhead (you can also hike to the trailhead – roughly a 20-30 minute walk).

Amenities at the site: restrooms, a small restaurant at the base of the hike by the beach.

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park

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