This cave was my personal highlight of 2015! It certainly makes you utter a silent ‘wow’ once you walked down these steps into the awaiting darkness!
About 40km nort of Cha-Am lies the city of Phetchaburi. Near this one is the temple cave! You best reach it via car and then park in front of it (either drive on your own, or book a tour – you’ll have no trouble finding people willing to drive you around for a good price. But never forget to haggle and agree on a price before you start your tour!). There are a couple of booths selling mostly food and a couple of locals seeking the shade to hide from the burning sun.
There are also a lot of monkey in that area, and while they did not even go near us, please be careful. I heard stories of them stealing food and bothering visitors, but the people from the booths feed them and are also quick to come to your aid, should the monkey come too close. (during my stay there one tourist was afraid of the monkeys and screamed quite loud – it did not only make some locals come to her aid, but also made the monkey run away in surprise)
From the parking spot you walk on for a bit and a couple of stairs up until you see a door and behind it stairs leading down into the darkness.
I had no idea what to expect as I climbed down, slowly however, as some steps are really uneven!
But once I was down there I was left breathless! There is a big hole in the ‘roof’ of the cave, illuminating the main chamber filled with lots of Buddha statues. You can then walk to the left and explore more of the cave. The back area is filled with artificial light and there are more stairs, leading up to the back door, which is closed however.
The cave is open for visitors from 7AM until 6PM and entry is free. But you need to be good on your feet to explore this destination, and have at least 1 hour free to enjoy this cave with all its little details and interesting corners.
The cave is regarded as the largest and most important in the province, due to the Buddha image in there, which had been cast under the royal command of King Rama V as a dedication to King Rama III and King Rama IV. So please be respectful while you’re in the cave and take in the stunning view of this very special place!