For the nature lovers at SO Sofitel Hua Hin, a day excursion to Khao Sam Roi Yot’s dramatic limestone peaks and spectacular caves is not to be missed. This National Park is about 60 km south of Hua Hin, or 96 km. from SO Sofitel Hua Hin. Khao Sam Roi Yot is as visually stunning as Krabi Province’s dream-like seascapes on the Andaman Sea but also interspersed with marshes, wetlands and mangrove swamps, making it critical habitat for an abundance of wildlife and migrating birds.
The 100 sq. kilometers of this magnificent environment encompasses diverse scenery, from talcum powder white-sand beaches and offshore islands to cave-festooned cliffs, forested trails and freshwater marshes that are home to over 300 species of large water birds, songbirds and raptors. Cave exploration and hiking are two of the foremost activities that this natural wonderland near Hua Hin has to offer.
Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park’s breathtaking limestone cliffs are pocked with translucent stalactite and stalagmite-filled caves that can be accessed by a network of trails. Not to be missed, though, is Tham Phraya Nakhon, a grotto with a hole in its roof that allows a perpendicular shaft of light to shine down on a Thai pavilion that was built for King Rama V. Sunlight shines in during the early morning when the Thai pavilion appears mystical and surreal. The best time to catch the downward shaft is 10:30AM.
This magnificent grotto is one of the most supernatural and mystifying caverns in Thailand but only a few travelers go home with a photograph of this sight that’s right out of an Indiana Jones movie. The reason being this gold and green pavilion is hidden inside a hard to reach cave and only a handful of dedicated visitors will make the effort to visit it. Those who make the trek from SO Sofitel Hua Hin are rewarded with postcard-perfect views of exotic Thailand at its best.
Phraya Nakhon is located in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, a 45 minute drive south of Hua Hin, or about 90 minutes from SO Sofitel Hua Hin using Route 37. To reach Phraya Nakhon, first drive to the small village of Bang Pu located by the beach, then take a 20-minute long-tail boat ride to Laem Sala Beach and hike for 30 minutes up a steep, forested trail. From the parking lot, you can also hike about an hour along a steep cliff trail overlooking the picturesque coast, but the boat ride only costs 150 to 200 baht per person and can also be combined with a stop at Monkey Island.