Getting to Sam Roi Yot was harder than leaving the place because usually, people come here for a day tour from Hua Hin. But, I decided to stay in Sam Roi Yot and enjoy the place for more than 2 days which was enough to visit everything around.
I stayed in this pretty cool floating bungalow from Numpu Baandin hotel that is actually very well located. For staying there 3 nights, I could use the bicycle for free so I did a lot of exploring on it.
On my first day, I arrived early afternoon so I used the bike to cycle around.
Boat ride Ranger station 4
Boat ride Ranger station four, as per google, was the first place I visited and the ride to get there was so charming. This is the kind of place that I love to explore on a bicycle, just like I have done before in Ninh Binh, Vietnam, or Vang Vieng, Laos, and even Hpa-An, Myanmar, remind me of this area in Sam Roi Yot. I’m surrounded by imponent mountains, exotic bird sounds, and an inspiring silence that allows me to truly connect to nature and enjoy it fully. This is my kind of place therefore I loved Sam Roi Yot.
Cycling to this spot was already rewarding, but the bicycle is not the best mean of transport to go here cause there are some steep hills. At some point, I decided to leave the bike and walk, which was fine. I rode again when the street was flat and the path is flat 80% of the time.
There are some boats here, but I will not do the boat ride cause I am by myself and as I’m traveling during the pandemic, there was absolutely no one I could join and share the boat with. The views of the mountain are pretty from here and there is a viewpoint to the wetlands. I visited Sam Roi Yot in early December, which I believe not to be the best time, for the boat ride because the lotus flowers are not blooming. The boat ride is much nicer when all those lotus flowers bloom filling the place with color. That must be a stunning view because there are hundreds of lotus flowers in the swamp.
Sam Roi Yot beach
The next thing I visited this day was Sam Roi Yot beach. The beach is very wide and windy. Overall, Sam Roi Yot is so windy!! So, for that reason, not the best beach. There was no one at the beach, probably because of Covid, but also the water is not so inviting. After being used to the blue waters of Phuket, the beach in Sam Roi Yot looked pretty ugly with grey and sandy water. Doesn’t seem like the best place to enjoy beach days, but a good place for surfing. Also, the beach doesn’t have much dry sand to lay the towel on.
Phraya Nakhon cave
The next day I explored around by bicycle, which was tough cause I cycled more than 35km the whole day. I decided to go to Phraya Nakhon cave by bicycle although it takes 45 minutes to get there this way. But the street is so flat that makes it so easy to cycle and feel freedom on the way to explore beautiful places.
Phraya Nakhon cave was what attracted me to Sam Roi Yot in the first place. The cave has a temple within and a collapsed ceiling that allows the sun to shine on the temple in a whimsical way. Pictures of it got me hooked so I had to visit Phraya Nakhon cave. It took 45 minutes to get to the ticket counter and then 30 minutes to walk to the cave. Views along the way are quite scenic!
There are two ways to get to the cave:
-walk from the ticket line
-Hire a boat to take you closer to the cave. By doing this you will avoid a 15 minutes hike that is actually so beautiful, so I wouldn’t skip it. (During this 15 min hike you will have a full view of the bay and an excellent viewpoint of the surroundings.) This boat will take you from Bang Pu beach to Laem Sala Beach and from there you still have to hike more than 400 meters up to get to the cave. There is no way to escape this last hike.
I rushed all my way up because I was afraid I would miss the sunlight, but the temple is lighted up for quite a long time. If you go there from 10 am to 11 am it is totally fine as the sun rays will be lighting up the temple, thus this is the busiest hour to visit Phraya Nakhon cave.
I arrived at the cave at 9.30 and it was early. The sun was not reaching the temple yet, but seeing the light changes along the time was rewarding. As time passed by, more and more people arrived but probably because of the pandemic, there weren’t more than 10 people in the cave at the same time as me. I stayed there for more than 1 hour admiring the light invading the crater and creating this magical scene that is so photogenic. There is a “mini forest” behind the temple which is cool, with some plant species thriving in there. I’m sure there are some animals living there too as I saw a snakeskin on the floor.
Phraya Nakhon cave itself is not very impressive, with not a lot of stalactites or stalagmites, and no chambers to explore, but that temple sight is already more than worth it. As I stayed there for so long, I enjoyed it to the fullest. I could actually stay longer but I decided maybe it’s better to move on haha
To enter Phraya Nakhon cave I had to pay 200 bahts (about 5 €) and this ticket is valid for any of the attractions in Sam Roi Yot National Park for 1 day. If you visit the cave 1 day, and other places on a different day, you will have to pay the 200 bahts again.
On my way to Phraya Nakhon cave, I saw a sign to Kaeo Cave, and for the short distance, I decided to visit. Besides having the ticket to Sam Roi Yot National Park, I had to pay an extra 40 bahts (about 1€) to enter Kaeo Cave and the lady handed me a LED torch.
I said ok I can have it, having no idea what was expecting me ahead haha. There is a little hike on spiky rocks to get to the cave entrance. What I didn’t know is that this cave has no light at all. LITERALLY NOTHING!!! So later I understood why the torch. I would not visit this cave by myself again. Also because of the pandemic, I knew I was the only one inside that cave, and that thought was scary because the cave is slippery, sometimes the floor is reclining to the edge, so one wrong foot and you are gone forever. There is water leaking in some parts which makes the floor even slipper so I had to crawl to make sure I don’t fall into this giant hole cause there is absolutely nothing separating me from the abyss except for a few inches of land that I can barely see because there is no light at all. I started to overthink about it and that was why visiting the cave was scary for me. Sometimes I was thinking ” am I really supposed to walk here” as the path was looking so sketchy… This is not a cave for claustrophobic people at all.
As I’m going deeper and deeper, the air gets harder to breathe, the moisture level is so high that my glasses get foggy, sweat dripping from the lenses, so nothing really helped. Plus, I had to decide where to point the torch to: where I put my feet or where I put my hands haha
The cave is huge and pretty. So many wonderful rock formations!! And there are bats too. I saw a bunch of them hanging on the ceiling which was also creepy. I walked in the darkness for a long time. I had no idea if I will have to return all the way back, or if I will find a way out, which was causing me stress because I definitely didn’t want to walk the tricky way back. I just wanted to get out of there but the end wasn’t showing up…
Then I see a light. Thank GOD. But the hole on the top of the hill made me wonder if that is supposed to be the way out. I had to literally climb rocks to get out of that cave. A steep 30 meters wall of rocks with many spider webs got me wondering why did I visit this cave… The way out looks dangerous but I don’t have any other possibility so I climb it begging that I will not have to do it the opposite way. Finally, I see the jungle and I’m so happy about it. That was stressful more than pleasant although the cave is pretty. I would not visit knowing that there is no one else around and that if I slip I die there and no one will even find me haha I was just very happy I was out.
Khao Daeng Viewpoint
From Kaeo Cave, I cycled all the way to Khao Daeng Viewpoint that is actually quite a long ride, but once again the path is so flat that it was super easy to do it. I was happy I decided to explore by bike. Just didn’t feel the same way on the way back… I was 15 km away from the hotel.
Cycling to this viewpoint was pretty cool cause there were barely any cars on the street and the views were great all the time. Once again I felt like a free person enjoying the world to the fullest, riding where I want, wind on my face…
But, I ended up cycling all this way just to figure out that the viewpoint closed 15 minutes before I arrive… That was frustrating… Make sure to visit the Khao Daeng viewpoint before 3 pm.
For this reason, I had to go back the following day, but this time by motorbike. As the lady knew I was there the previous day a few minutes after closing times, she let me in without having to pay for a new ticket. That was sweet of her and it made sense. The hike to the viewpoint is not very hard but also not so easy. Getting to the top of the mountain will take not much longer than 30 minutes. There are arrows pointing the way all the trail long, but it was clear where people were walking cause these footsteps were changing the surface of the rocks. Most part of the trail is on rocks. Don’t do this on flip-flops…
I was the only one at the top which was awesome cause I could enjoy the view fully and take as many pictures as I want. The view up there is so wide and beautiful!! It is totally worth the hike. But, it is also very windy and I felt like I could barely stand up because the wind was so strong.
From here you will have a view of 360º to mountains, beaches, fields temples, and water channels. I loved the view up here and this is definitely the best viewpoint of Sam Roi Yot National Park.
As I couldn’t go to the viewpoint I went to this nearby cave. I got in, and 5 minutes later I was out haha. Porcupine cave is also totally dark and I didn’t have a torch, but I used my phone. As soon as I lit up the phone, I see hundreds of creepy crawlers around my feet and I left within a blink of an eye. I went back just to understand if I have been surrounded by hundreds of giant spiders, but there were no spiders. This insect looked like a giant cricket with huge antennae that creeped the hell out of me and got me goosebumps for a few minutes. I decided I had enough of caves for the day, so I left not before realizing that the floor is covered in seashells which was an intriguing view reminding me that the sea was there a long time ago.
Wat Khao Daeng
On my way back to the hotel, I stopped at Wat Khao Daeng, a beautiful temple surrounded by mountains and that you can see from the Khao Daeng viewpoint. Next to this temple is the boat stop. Here you can hire a boat to go along the channels, but I didn’t do it and I don’t regret it cause from the viewpoint I saw where the boat was going.
It was already past 4 when I visited this temple and I guess I visited at the right time cause the light was hitting it in such a beautiful way. The whole scenery looked so magical. I was glad that I decided to stop although the temple was closed and I couldn’t see inside.
The next day I rented a motorbike for 300 bahts (kinda expensive) to go to Khao Daeng viewpoint again because I was not willing to cycle the same long path again. And besides visiting the viewpoint I have been to Bueng Bua Wood Boardwalk.
Bueng Bua Wood Boardwalk
To get here from Sam Roi Yot I had to contour all the mountains. Therefore the path is long to reach this place. It took me more than 45 minutes by motorbike from the Khao Daeng viewpoint. It is a long ride, the views are also pleasant and the streets easy to ride and very empty until I reach the main street. It is kind of a highway with tons of traffic and big trucks riding fast right beside me. Also, this place is so windy that the ride was not so enjoyable. A jacket was not enough to prevent the cold…
Anyway, this is far so you better decide if you really want to go there or not, also cause the ticket that you show here is the same as I said before. If you come on a different day, you will have to pay for it again. At Bueng Bua wood boardwalk you will basically find wetlands and floating wood walks. There are many lotus flowers here too that I didn’t see because it was not blossom season. Anyway, the place is beautiful with amazing views of the mountains that turn the scenery into a pleasant view. There are lots of birds and it’s interesting to try to find them among the tall grass. The place is very silent and peaceful and might be the best place in Sam Roi Yot to watch the sunset because it sets on this side of the mountain.
It is a photogenic and beautiful place, however, if you are not in the area for a long time, I would recommend you to skip it and visit the other things instead.
Unseen Sam Roi Yot
On the way back I chose a different street that lead me to yellow rice fields and a very peaceful street once I got out of the highway. What a peaceful street to ride on!! This street eventually lead me to Unseen Sam Roi Yot that is a place next to the street with a different view of Sam Roi Yot mountains, with lakes around. This might actually be a good spot for sunset too and it is not so far from Sam Roi Yot beach. Very beautiful views here and a pretty street to ride on a motorbike.
And that was all I have visited. There are a few more places that you can visit in Sam Roi Yot like Sai Cave but you will be fine if you visit the mentioned ones.