Sam Roy Yot National Park is a diverse one, you can find the biggest swamp in Thailand there, as well as an abundance of beaches, rivers, mountains, caves and many species of animals and birds.
The Sam Roy Yot national park is located 30-45 minute drive south of Hua Hin, the royal holiday town, which makes it easy to reach for anyone staying overnight in Hua Hin or its neighboring area. Apart from treking the national park also offers a cruise on Kaho Daeng Canal, a visit at the Dolphin Bay and the famous Phraya Nakhon Cave, where some of Thailand’s kings have visited and signed their name on the walls.
On the way between the national park and Hua Hin you can find another holiday town called Pranburi, which is the new trendy place for the wealthy to spend their holidays.
Pranburi offers special hotels for honeymoon couples as well as the extravagant Six Senses hotel, etc. In addition you can find the Pran River and a pretty little beach called Khao Tao beach, (the turtles beach), between Hua Hin and Sam Roy Yot National Park.
I intend to write an article about Pranburi and its area, including the Pran River, and Khao Tao beach shortly. This will give you a full review of the beginning of the way south, (road number 4), after which I will elaborate about the picture like town of Prachuap Khiri Khan and the famous Ao Manao beach, (the Japanese invaded Thailand via this beach on World War II), etc.
Khao Daeng Canal: one of the great attractions of Sam Roy Yot National Park is a cruise on the Khao Daeng Canal. This is a wonderful relaxing cruise on the canal going through a pretty Mangrove forest while the park’s huge limestone cliffs are seen as a background along the way. If you are lucky enough, you will see many bird species, monkeys and enormous lizards along the cruise. It is best to take the cruise early in the morning or in the late afternoon, (approx. 17:00). Please consider 1 – 1.5 hours for the cruise.
How to get to Khao Daeng Canal: the canal is located approx. 1.5 Km. from the national park’s office. If you are coming with a car from the national park’s office – make a left before the bridge crossing the canal and you will see Wat Khao Daeng temple. The boats await right next to the temple.
Phraya Nakhon Cave: this is one of the prettiest caves in Thailand and no doubt the most photographed one. The cave has two rooms and a part of its sealing has collapsed. This allows for sun light to reach the cave and create a beautiful mystical atmosphere which gives the place its special charm.
At the entrance to the first room you will find a map of the cave. There is a dry waterfall in the first room and some stalactites and stalagmites, (which are also found in the second and main room). The cave’s second and main room includes the famous Khua Karuhas Pavilion.
In order to enjoy the special misty charm created by the sun light in the cave , on the famous Kuha Karuhas Pavilion, it is best to get there in the morning, (at about 10:30). This is when most of the sun light gets into the cave and creates its famous mystical atmosphere.
Kuha Karuhas Pavilion was built on 1890 in respect of King Chulalongkorn, (Rama 5), who visited the cave. Later on, King Prajadhipok, (Rama 7), and today’s King, King Bhumibol, (Rama 9), have also visited there. The three kings have signed their name on the cave’s walls. The cave is named after Nakhon Si Thammarat province governor, Phraya Nakhon, who discovered the cave 200 years ago when his ship had been forced to find shelter from the storm at a nearby beach.
How to get to the cave: in order to get to the cave you will have to first get to the beach and then climb up to it. You can reach Laem Sala beach by climbing and crossing a mountain, (please take into consideration that there is another way to climb ahead), or you can take a short cruise on a longtail boat to Laem Sala beach thereby saving yourself the first climb. Cruising on the longtail boat is the preferred way in my opinion. You can take the longtail boat from a beach next to a small fishermen village called Baan Bang Poo where you can find plenty of restaurants, as well as buy food and water for the way.
Once you have arrived at Laem Sala beach, you will have to climb about 430 meters up. There is a good path going up but it is very steep and not an easy one. There are rest areas along the way where you can enjoy the beautiful view of the bay.
The Dolphin Bay: the Dolphin Bay is not a formal part of the national park, (building there is permitted), but in reality it is included in the park’s geographical territory. Not far from the beach you can find Ko Lam island which is better known as The Monkeys Island, where there are many monkeys living off shells and crabs, (they know how to crash the shell on the rocks). You can take a boat to the island and even to Laem Sala beach where you’ll find Phraya Nakhon Cave.
This is an amazing bay, it is peaceful and relaxing and there are resorts and small restaurants found along its beaches. In fact, it is so pretty that it looks more like one of south Thailand’s beautiful islands than a beach near Bangkok. The Dolphin Bay’s beach is approx. 5 Km. long and its view of the islands, palm trees and fishermen boats is simply hypnotizing.
Some more pictures can be seen in the video – I tried to give you a taste of Sam Roy Yot National Park – Enjoy!!