"Khao Sam Roi Yot. Thailand National Park. The Places We Live" Cave with temple inside, Josh on a deck overlooking the beach and islands, view of the beach from the sand, and beach with colorful boat on it.

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park

After our daring escape from the police road block on the motorbike, we were off to Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. It is one of the top sights in Thailand and only 40 miles away from our house sit in Hua Hin. The drive was wonderful, with views of both small farming villages among the hills and modern beach-resorts along the coast. After a little over an hour’s drive, we had arrived.

Sam Roi Yot Beach

Postcard. "Hello from Sam Roi Yot Beach! The Places We Live" Beach with islands visible in the background. Foreground has a colorful boat parked on the sand.

Our first stop at Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park was to the beach, one of three we visited that day. Sam Roi Yat beach was quite long and very flat, with plenty of space for walking around in the sunshine. Several islands lay just off the coast, all of which looked like they’d be fabulous for a day trip and picnic, if you have access to a boat. There’s a road that runs along next to the beach, with little locally-run shacks selling ice creams, teas, and other tasty treats. The other side of the road was lined with restaurants and bars, each with a little parking area. It’s easy to imagine this area being quite busy during the height of tourist season.

Jen from the Places we Live stands with her arms outstretched on the long beach of Sam Roi Yot in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, Thailand.

We, thankfully, had the beach to ourselves that day. Many of the brightly colored shacks were boarded up, and the bars had only a few locals hanging around. We took a nice walk along the shore, enjoying a lovely view of the islands and the scattered fishing boats. There were lots of little crabs crawling along the beach and tons of large sea snail shells scattered about. The sun was really hot, but there was a cool breeze off the ocean that made it quite enjoyable.

Bang Po Beach

Our next stop in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park took us through some hilly farmland to a small town hidden in a valley along side Bang Po Beach. To get access to the park, we had to enter through a gate where we paid 10 baht ($0.32 USD) for parking the motorbike. Once inside, we had easy access to the lovely beach and the line of small shops and restaurants that lined the parking lot.

"The Places We Live" Bang Po Beach from the top of the nearby mountain. The beach appears to be part of a cove with small mountains surrounding 3 sides.

Right off the parking lot, in the Southeast corner, there was a National Park stand selling tickets to the Phraya Nakhon cave. There are two options for getting to the cave. You can either walk, which costs 200 baht ($6 USD) each for foreigners, or you can take a boat around the edge of the island, which costs an additional 400 baht. We opted to walk up and around the small mountain separating Bang Po Beach and the hidden beach of Laem Sala.

Laem Sala Beach

The hike to Laem Sala Beach was a fairly easy, up and over hike along the coast. Like most hikes in Asia, the trail was a set of concrete/stone stairs. These stairs were not particularly well-kept, making it a bit treacherous in places, and climbing stairs in ninety-degree heat and humidity isn’t the most pleasant activity, but the views were very nice and, despite the constant engine revving of the cicadas, the walk was very peaceful.

Josh from The Places We Live stands on a mountain-top overlook. He is surrounded by jungle trees and boulders.

The moment we touched the sand at Laem Sala Beach, however, we were attacked by mosquitoes. We practically ran from the entrance of the beach to the exit on the opposite end. This was unfortunate as the beach did look very comfortable and inviting. There were pine trees along the edges of the sand and cabins scattered around. It reminded us a lot of Ponderosa State Park back in Idaho. But, we missed most of it in our rush to not get eaten alive.

Postcard. "Laem Sala Beach. The Places We Live." Laem Sala Beach in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park Thailand is a sandy beach, perfect for camping. There are thin trees spread out throughout the beach to provide shade.

Phraya Nakhon Cave

The trail to Phraya Nakhon Cave was another stone staircase, but this one was well maintained, and had much more traffick moving in both directions. It was a challenging climb among the large, vine-covered trees. Everything looked like a snake! Thankfully, we didn’t see any actual snakes, but the massive amount of vines and roots kept us on our toes. We DID see a couple of monkeys in the distance, however, so that was fun.

After half an hour of hiking through the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, we arrived to the mouth of the cave. It was slightly cooler and smelled like bat poop. It was at that moment we noticed we have visited a lot of caves during our adventures abroad… not important… but weird.

Seven Star Cave in Guilin, China. 

Dark Cave in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Large cave with a slanted rock wall with drooping stalactites. A person stands off in the distance reflecting how large the Phraya Nakhon cave is.

The tourist access area of Phraya Nakhon Cave has two caverns. The first has a small window where water looks to constantly drip in. The only dark stretch was a short path between the two caverns. The second one is quite a bit larger and has a large window in the center, big enough to host trees and a temple.

Light shines through a hole in the roof of the cave. The cave is large and filled with tall, green trees. In the center of the sunlight on the ground is a thin, Thai Buddist temple. Phraya Nakhon Cave in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, Thailand

It all seemed quite simple: a cave, with a hole in the roof, and a small, basic temple inside. But something about it felt magical. Maybe it was the lighting? Or the trees surrounded by the cave walls? I don’t know how to describe it, but it was mystifying. You definitely got a sense of the power of this place.

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park One Word Summary – “Itchy”

The trek back to the bike was the same thing, just in reverse, complete with swarms of ravenous mosquitoes. We swatted at ourselves the whole way down the mountain, ran in near-terror across the beach, and practically leaped over the hill to the other side.

Why? Why were being attacked so viciously? I had put repellent lotion on my skin and spray on my clothes. And, despite the heat, I wore sneakers, thick socks, jeans, and a long-sleeved sweater to protect myself from the sun. Maybe these mosquitoes just really enjoy American cuisine?

Collage of Jen from The Places We Live. To the left, she is standing in front of a sign written in Thai. She is wearing a long-sleeve, grey sweater, blue jeans, and sneakers. The picture to the right shows the back of her legs while she is wearing shorts. Her thighs and calves are covered in large, red bumps.
Yep, they got me, right through my jeans!

By the time we made it back to the motorbike, we were tired, sweaty, and itchy. We grabbed some much needed (and much enjoyed) Thai Tea, then headed back home. We didn’t see everything that the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park had to offer, but we saw some of the top attractions and had an amazing time.


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"Sam Roi Yot Beach Thailand. The Places We Live" Colorful boat on Sam Roi Yot Beach in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, Thailand

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5 comments

  1. Interesting account of your tour/hike! Sounds like a fun one except for those ruthless mosquitoes. Wow! They must have been monsters to be able to bite through your clothes. Sorry to hear that!

    1. I must have been paying so much attention to the cave that I didn’t notice. I knew i was getting swarmed by bugs, but I couldn’t tell I was being bitten… until we got home and I about itched my leg right off. haha

    1. It was truly wonderful. I strongly suggest visiting if you are in the neighborhood.

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