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The Tongue

Phraya Nakhon Cave At Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park

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Today I visited Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park and to take the walk to Phraya Nakhon Cave. This is the number one attraction within the National Park. Ok it cost Andy and myself 200 baht each but it was worth every one of those baht (Thais pay 40 baht and the Thai driving license deal doesn't work). There is ample free car parking at the departure point for the walk which is actually a lovely beach area for those who just wish to relax, plenty of food stalls and restaurants available, you only pay if you wish to go to the cave.

The first part of the walk to the cave includes a steep climb up a headland next to the car park, over the top and down the other side to the beach where after a 10 minute walk through trees you take another steep climb to the cave. Now you can avoid this first climb by taking a boat around the headland but it will cost you 400 baht, you will still then need to pay the 200 baht entry fee to the cave via a steep climb.

Andy and I decided to take the walk, it is not easy and anybody not fit or not patient enough to face a 20 minute walk uphill on a pretty poor stony path before descending 10 minutes down the other side would best take the boat or forget the whole thing. I am pretty fit for a near 60 year old but it was a bit of a slog although this was the easy climb. Once down the other side you exit on to the beach with a 10 minute walk to the entry climb to the cave, this is the hard part. It is a 430 metre climb up up some dodgy stone steps with a few areas to stop and sit (although anywhere would be acceptable to take a rest if needed). According to trip advisor this climb is a steep 90 metre ascent, I can only guess the writer either doesn't know his distances or is a troll. There is a clearly marked sign that offers the ascent as 430 metres.

Andy and I started the climb but found that we needed to stop quite often as it was steep and a little difficult on the old legs. Ok I was stopping more for Andy but you need to be pretty fit or young to do this climb. As much as everybody says the view of the cave is worth the slog I will only say that it bloody needs to be and we were not disappointed. It was quite an effort and it was hot (we started our walk at 1000am, we were at the cave at 1135am). Remember it is not the distance that was the issue, it was the constant ascent that took it's toll. I was soaked like a sponge when I eventually arrived at the cave. Now the last 100 meters (although Andy and I reckon it was extra to the 430 metres) was a descent down to the cave (so you gotta go back up that way). The whole trip takes about 3 hours at a steady pace. We actually took 3.5 hours as at the bottom of the descent from the cave to the beach there is a restaurant which was an oasis for us. Funny thing was that my S4 told me we had walked 4 miles and a lot of that appeared to be uphill.

Ok some photos because that is what this report is about.

Two extra highlights that really added to our trip. On the beach before we took the ascent to the cave we saw many flying squirrels leaping from tree to tree, that was special and then on the way back at the beach area we saw Dusky Langurs, that was a treat as they approached us and just sat in the trees watching us, they are tame even though this is the National Park and therefore it is their territory (see photos)

The view as we ascended and descended the headland

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A slight detour due to rock collapse, fun though

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On the beach before the ascent to the cave

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The path upwards

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The cave (cavern), really two distinct areas to visit

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The Dusky Langur (stunningly beautiful and a real treat). Note the babies are bright yellow but turn black later.

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A wonderful, albeit tiring, day.

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Guest firth1974

Fantastic photos Dave, that looks like a really good find. Thanks for telling me about your thread, i must of missed it whilst i'm in Japan.

Did you come across many other tourists/thai's when you were in the caves?

Hua Hin really is an area i should get down to and explore. I'll try and pop down in October and catch up with you, Porn and Kataleya.

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Great pics, have heard the trek can be a bit much though.

I can actually see Sam Roi Yot from my bedroom on the ship ( not very clear in the pic as it was taken with my phone )

If you see a bright light at sea from that area it's just us burning off a bit of gas !

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Thanks for the pics, might check it out sometime....

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