Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Explore Hua Hin [Day 3] - Phraya Nakhon Cave

I would always second to go for an adventure, not knowing what lies ahead and get myself sweaty than to hide in the hotel premises or the shopping malls. I am thankful that Don is always with me on such decision though he could just hide and lepak away in the hotel.

So here is our next adventure to visit The Pavilion at Phraya Nakhon Cave.

Day 3 
Wat Huay Mongkol Temple 
On our way to Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, we visited Wat Huey Mongkol Temple which is about 20km away from Hua Hin and did some prayers. This is a statue of the legendary monk, Luang Phor Thuat and is well known in the south of Thailand of converting sea water to plain water by foot. Don shared this story to us as he got to know of this legendary monk when his uncle gifted him an amulet pendant of Luang Phor Thuat. You can read more about the story of Luang Phor Thuat here

After this venue, we were drove to Sam Phan Nam Floating Market.

You can strike this place off even if it is along the way, I find it a total waste of time.

It was not the type of floating market as I expected, alot of shops were vacant otherwise, the products displayed for sale were identical. There were some 'eateries' as well but it did not appealed to me.

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park

This is the first marine national park of Thailand with Phraya Nakhon Cave and the iconic Pavilion, Kaeo Cave and Thung Sam Roi Yot Freshwater Marsh. The view was awesome, the tranquility of the surrounding coupled with the sound of the waves, it was totally relaxing!

I was in for a surprise, Don did not tell me how we were going to reach Phraya Nakhon Cave. For a moment, I was thinking if I was going to wear a pair of wet jeans for the whole day because it was so hard to roll up my jeans above my knees and the water level was just right at the knee level.

There were two ways, you can either go by foot if you would want to spend 20 to 25 mins to do a trail (350m) over the hills or go take a boat the sea way which costs 400 Baht per pax for a round trip. We chose the latter, took a boat to Laem Sala Beach and that was where the campsite was. We started our trail of 470m, making our way up to Phraya Nakhon Cave.

Was it tiring? Yes, you bet! 430m seriously seemed to be a piece of cake to someone like me who walks alot but with the terrain made up of mainly loose stones, some parts of the trail was pretty steep, uneven and slippery, the 430m unconsciously seemed like a 430km to me.

Vera had the privilege to be carried when she was tired but I must say, she was really good. She climbed and walked quite a distance, she was carried when the trail became steep while Xav took over the task of carrying the big haversack that contained our bottles of water. I was trying to catch my breath when we reached a view point, overlooking the Gulf of Thailand.

Reaching soon? But the cave was still far from sight.

Finally, saw the exterior of the cave but not there yet!

An exhausted but happy me, feeling a sense of accomplishment ! The journey would have been esaier if I did not wear jeans. But then again, it had saved me from all the mosquito bites. I got a handful of bites on my arms when my repellant wore out.

There was still another steep slope to walk down. Spot the miniature beings waving to me from the bottom.  

We saw the first cave with a stone bridge formed naturally and had trees sprouting, growing towards the sunlight.

Hell Bridge

The very last bit to go ...... We had to walk into the cave along a path which connected the two caves.

Here it is ! By the time we reached, it was around 3 to 4 pm, the beams were not as golden as compared to the morning or evening sun. If only it was not a cloudy day, else the rays could do magic. The cave was surreal and mystical, totally worth our every step to get here when I saw the Pavilion, beautifully standing on the hill. 

The pavilion was built at the end of 19th Century for the purpose of King Chulalongkorn the Great (Rama V) 's visitation and has also been visited by King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) and King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX)

Signatures of the kings. 

Going back is always easier if you agree with me.

Best things come to those who do not give up, this visit was one great experience to teach Xav not to give up easily in challenging times. I am so proud of all of us!

We did it ! 

The tired souls bidding goodbye, till we see you again! It had been a great experience!

What to bring if you are planning to come here:
- Bottles of water
- Dress light
- Insect repellant
- Covered shoes preferably unless you are confident you can complete the trail in slippers without any challenges.
- Cap
- Portable fan if you have to hang around your neck.
- 1 Towel for drying of feet after washing and 1 towel for wiping perspiration.

Thank you for reading and do stay tuned for the last part of our trip. Hope the posts have been helpful in your planning. 

Related Travel Thailand Post: 

- Khao Yai 2016 Day 1 

Disclaimer: This holiday is a NON SPONSORED post. All expenses are paid through our very own pocket. Just purely documenting down these lovely memories and to be shared to all who are looking into kids friendly places in Thailand! 

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