A legend told by the people of Phetchaburi for centuries, was that the entrance to this cave was a portal to a “twilight zone” town where the inhabitants were only young maidens. Sounded like a good place to check out!
There is nothing this technomad likes more than exploring hidden spots around the world, and Thailand is full of them! My recent journey through the south of Thailand led me to a small town a few hours south-west of Bangkok. Phetchaburi, also known as Muang Phetch by the Thais, is definitely worth a visit! It is home to Khao Luang Cave, along with the beautiful Phra Nakhorn Khiri Historic Park, and it is the closest town to Kaeng Krachan National Park (Thailand’s largest national park!).
Khao Luang Cave Temple
One of the town’s most attractive side adventures is Khao Luang Cave, regarded as the largest and most important in the province. It was often frequented by the royal family as a meditation and picnic spot since the reign of King Rama IV (mid-19th century).
The cave chamber lies about 90ft below ground and has numerous openings in the ceiling that allow for natural lighting. The limestone cave is decorated with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, and more than 180 Buddha statues are scattered around the cave’s 3 main chambers. Of these, the most impressive are the 12ft high Buddha image and the 16ft Reclining Buddha, both cast under the royal command of King Rama V.
Location & Directions:
The cave is located about 5km north of Phetchaburi, in the Khao Luang mountains. There is no public transport to this area, so you must hire a taxi or rent a motorbike for the day if you do not have a car. The prices vary, but you can often negotiate a price to include a ride back to town. (Or you can walk/bike to it, just keep in mind that it’s a 6-mile journey roundtrip!)
To get there from Phetchaburi town, turn right at the entrance of Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park, then just follow this road (straight) for the next 5 km. When the road forks at the end you need to go up the hill. The area surrounding the entrance is covered with wild monkeys so watch out! They are not afraid of people and are not very friendly! (View Map on Google here.)
You can visit Thailand’s tourism website for directions on how to get to Phetchaburi, located about 100 miles from Bangkok.
Entrance Fees & Other Services:
There is no entrance fee to see the cave. There are several Thais hanging around the cave that will offer you a guided tour. In my opinion a tour is not really necessary, and the path to the cave is clearly marked. However, you can easily hire a local guide if you’d like to ask questions about the cave. They will suggest a price, but will accept whatever price you agree to – negotiate! At the entrance parking lot, there are a few stands that sell snacks, and Monkeys hang around here too!
Other Nearby Points of Interest:
Phetchaburi’s Phra Nakhorn Khiri Historic Park is breathtaking and includes a fun cable ride up to the top of the hill on which it sits. It is quite large, and could use a whole day of exploration. Look at photos and get more information on our page here.
More Photos of Khao Luang Cave:
Other Hidden Gems:
- El Salto Canyon & Waterfall – Baja California, Mexico
- Sea Gypsies & Jungle Bungalows – Koh Ra, Thailand