What starts and end with muddy feet is a good trek in my definition. The trek to Phraya Nakhon Cave in the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park (in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province close to Hua Hin) was one such trek. We reached the village Bang Pu which was quaint and lovely. We had to take a boat from the village to reach the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. It was low tide and my feet were clearly muddy by the time I reached the boat! It was so much fun!
We were asked to wash our messy feet before we entered the boat. The boat was sparkling clean! The boat ride was short, about 20 minutes or so. The weather was not too hot as there were clouds in the sky, which also meant most of my pictures would have grey skies!
The boat ride was quite uneventful, not that I was looking for any extra excitement after the muddy walk. We were deposited at the Hat Laem Sala beach and a short walk would take us to the start of our hike. Our guide Joey gave us water bottles, and soon we were headed for the climb to the Phraya Nakhon Cave. There are clean washrooms available on the national park side of the beach, which are free to use as well.
Before we made any real progress, down came the rain. A few us took shelter where ever we could find it. I was standing under the overhang of a rock. I would not mind getting wet, it is my precious, my camera that doesn’t like rains!
The way to the cave is not very long and if you are used to walking/trekking it is totally doable. It goes up for quite sometime though. I was walking in my sneakers and in spite of rain I was fine. The path was not too slippery. At the half way mark there is a beautiful view.
If you are tired at the mid way, this beautiful view of the Gulf of Thailand greets you along with some wooden benches. I stood there for a while, admired the view and then decided to continue walking as I was not too tired.
Even at a leisurely pace it did not take me very long to reach the cave. I was quite fascinated by this bridge like structure within the cave. I tried clicking the dark parts of the cave which had stalactites and stalagmites but the pictures didn’t turn out very well!
There is a beautiful pavilion, the Kuha Karuhas Pavilion inside the cave. It was built by King Rama V in 1890. I realized that it was so old only later, the pavilion is so well maintained that it doesn’t look that old! After spending some time exploring the cave, reluctantly it was time to head back to the beach. I was one of the last person to leave the cave.
I did not stop for long at the mid way while coming down as well. I sat at the Hat Laem Sala Beach and enjoyed the view. While walking back I was lucky as I spotted some wild life as well.
There was a group of Dusky Leaf Monkeys playing around in a tree. I stood there for a while but even then I got only this passable shot. The monkeys were quite good at hiding behind the leaves and going about their monkey business!
When we got back to the Bang Pu Village our feet were muddy again. While I was waiting my turn at the wash I was distracted by a bunch of butterflies. I was so busy clicking them, I was the last person to wash my feet.
The trek to the Phraya Nakhon Cave was an exhilarating half day affair. If you are in the Hua Hin region do give this a try. It was great fun to be outdoors, get our feet muddy and walk to the beautiful cave.
PS. I was invited by Tourism Authority of Thailand, New Delhi on this trip. I had a great time too!