Tham Phraya Nakhon & Hat Laem Sala

Lonely Planet review

The park’s most-visited attraction is this revered cave sheltering a royal săh·lah (meeting hall; often spelled sala ) built for Rama V in 1890 that is often bathed in streams of light. It's accessed via a walking trail from the picturesque sandy beach of Hat Laem Sala , flanked on three sides by limestone hills and casuarinas.

The beach hosts a small visitors centre, restaurant, bungalows and campsites. The cave trail is 450m long and is steep, rocky and at times slick so don’t wear your ballet flats. Once there you’ll find two large caverns with sinkholes – the meeting hall is the second of the two.

Reaching Laem Sala requires alternative travel since there is no road connection. It is reached by boat from Bang Pu (300B return), which sits beachfront from the turn-off from Tham Kaew. Alternatively, you can follow the steep footpath from Bang Pu for a 20-minute hike to the beach.