Pranburi Beach Thailand’s Hide Away Paradise

Pranburi Beach Thailand’s Hide Away Paradise. Pranburi is home to the main water resource of the area, and is named after the River Pran which runs through it.

‘Paknam’ meaning river mouth and ‘Buri’ meaning town.

Sun, sand, pristine beaches, the clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand, a charming local village, several eco-attractions, and a convenient location just 30km south of Hua Hin are the main reasons for Pranburi’s fast-growing popularity.

It’s no longer a sleepy coastal village, but home to several world-class resorts ranging from very affordable accommodation to super-luxurious retreats that are spread out far apart to retain privacy and exclusivity.

Ultimately, what attracts people to this part of the country is the unparalleled sense of privacy it manages to retain.

So it is Pranburi Beach Thailand’s Hide Away Paradise.

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park

Pranburi Beach Thailand’s Hide Away Paradis

khao-sam-roi-yot-national-park, Pranburi Beach Thailand's Hide Away Paradis

Khao Sam Roi Yot’s dramatic backdrop of endless limestone peaks festooned in lush greenery inspired its name (Khao Sam Roi Yot means ‘the mountain with three hundred peaks’).

Covering an area of nearly 100 sqkm along the coast, approximately 60km south of Hua Hin, Khao Sam Roi Yot is as close as it gets to Krabi Province’s dream-like seascapes in the south of Thailand.

Peppered with marshes, wetlands and mangrove swamps, the mountains house an abundance of wildlife, including barking deer, crab-eating macaques and serow, an Asian goat-antelope.

Nature Lovers’ Paradise Khao Sam Roi Yot boasts diverse scenery, from sweeping white-sand beaches and offshore islands to cave-ridden cliffs, forest trails and freshwater marshes home to large water birds, songbirds and raptors – totalling more than 300 species.

khao-sam-roi-yot-national-park-3, Pranburi Beach Thailand's Hide Away Paradis

Pranburi Beach Thailand’s Hide Away Paradis
If you are an enthusiastic birdwatcher, the best time to visit the park is between September and November, when hundreds of migratory shorebirds from Siberia, China and Northern Europe arrive to feed and rest, before continuing their southern journey to Australia.

They arrive again from March to May, for the return journey because simply it is Pranburi Beach Thailand’s Hide Away Paradise.

Cave exploration and hiking are equally fulfilling activities. About 400 metres from the park’s headquarters, a 30-minute, 300-metre hike up the hill takes you to a scenic sunrise viewpoint at Khao Daeng (best time to go 05:30 – 07:00).

Not a morning person? Then try visiting one of the caves dotting the peaks.

Kaeo Cave is tucked deep in the mountains, and to get there you need to trek along an uneven, jungle-clad trail for two hours (contact the headquarters for a guide).

Alternatively, Sai Cave, a 30-minute, 280-metre hike uphill about nine km from the headquarters, is easier to get to.
Both caves boast magnificent translucent stalactites and stalagmites.

Pranburi Beach Thailand’s Hide Away Paradis

Phraya Nakhon Cave

phraya-nakhon-cave, Pranburi Beach Thailand's Hide Away Paradis

The magnificent Phraya Nakhon Cave is one of the most mystical and mysterious landmarks of Thailand but only a few travellers get a chance to take a picture of it.

The reason is simple: this gold and green pavilion is hidden inside a hard to reach cave and only a handful of dedicated visitors will do the effort to visit it, because it is part of Pranburi Beach Thailand’s Hide Away Paradise.

Those who do are rewarded with a stunning vision that looks like it’s straight out of an Indiana Jones movie.

sam-roi-yot-beach, Pranburi Beach Thailand's Hide Away Paradis

Phraya Nakhon Cave is located in the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, a 45 minutes drive south of Hua Hin about 10 to 15 minutes from Pak Nam Pran.

First step to reach the cave is to drive to the small village of Bang Pu located by the beach, and from there decide if you’d rather rent a boat to take you around the cape to Laem Sala beach, or walk a 30 minutes trek above the hill leading to the same Laem Sala beach.

phraya-nakhon-climb, Pranburi Beach Thailand's Hide Away Paradis

Pranburi Beach Thailand’s Hide Away Paradis
Since the boat ride only costs 150 to 200 baht per person and considering that you still will have to climb 430 m of uneven and steep steps we recommend you save your energy and take this short ride to the cave.

You can also combine a boat trip to the cave with Monkey Island, ask at the pier.

phraya-nakhon-stalagtites, Pranburi Beach Thailand's Hide Away Paradis

Pranburi Beach Thailand’s Hide Away Paradise. Once you’ve reached the beach you’ll notice a large rustic restaurant you’ll be more than happy to use on your way back.

You will need to pay a National Park fee of 200 baht and a guide might be assigned to you as apparently you can’t go there without one, and don’t be surprised if your guide is a tiny 9 year old girl.

From the bottom of the stairs it’s a serious climb, so unless you are fit and used to stair climbing go slowly and take your time: 430 meters seem to be a piece of cake on flat land but when climbing uneven slippery steps, it proves to be a complete different story.

phraya-nakhon-cave-2, Pranburi Beach Thailand's Hide Away Paradis

Pranburi Beach Thailand’s Hide Away Paradis
Close to the top the path progressively eases then starts going down into the first cave.

Don’t go imagining a dark scary pit; the sunlight cascades generously from the open ceiling of the first cave.

This first cave looks beautiful with a natural stone bridge called ‘hell bridge’, but nothing prepares you to the surreal beauty of the second cave, the one you really came to see.

phraya-nakhon-cave-hua-hin, Pranburi Beach Thailand's Hide Away Paradis

Pranburi Beach Thailand’s Hide Away Paradis
A short wooden path connects the two caves and finally it is there: since 1890, the Kuha Kharuehat pavilion stands gloriously in a ray of sunlight falling from a circular hole in the cave ceiling.

If you are lucky to be the only visitor, the unusual silence adds to the majesty of the site… This pavilion stands on a hill surrounded by trees and vegetation.

khao-sam-roi-yot-national-park-2, Pranburi Beach Thailand's Hide Away Paradis

Pranburi Beach Thailand’s Hide Away Paradis
The pavilion was built at the end of the 19th century for the visit of King Chulalongkorn the Great (Rama V). Later, King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) and the present King of Thailand, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) also visited the cave.

Once you have taken enough photos and your legs start to feel less shaky, it is time to go back.

phraya-nakhon-cave-in-hua-hin, Pranburi Beach Thailand's Hide Away Paradis

Pranburi Beach Thailand’s Hide Away Paradis
Walking down is less tiring in some way but beware of the slippery stones! Stop at the restaurant for some well needed refreshments or food. Note: We saw a very skinny dog in the cave, so if you read this, bring him a little something from your breakfast.

phraya-nakhon-cave-640-13498, Pranburi Beach Thailand's Hide Away Paradis

Pranburi Beach Thailand’s Hide Away Paradis
Note also that the light is at it’s best before 11 am!

Pak Nam Pran (Pranburi Estuary)

pak-nam-pran-pranburi-estuary, Pranburi Beach Thailand's Hide Away Paradis

Pranburi Beach Thailand’s Hide Away Paradis
Pak Nam Pran or Pranburi Estuary covers the area from Pranburi Forest Park to Pranburi Beach Thailand’s Hide Away Paradise.

Where Pranburi River flows into the Gulf of Thailand, the area is home to a lush mangrove forest, a small fishing community and a handful of luxury spa resorts with stunning designs and sweeping ocean views.

About 30 minute’s drive from Hua Hin, Pak Nam Pran is blessed with picturesque scenery.

Rows of swaying casuarina trees line the endless miles of white sandy beach stretching towards the south.

Just north of it, a verdant mangrove forest extends from the Pranburi River and merges with Pranburi Forest Park.

pak-nam-pran, Pranburi Beach Thailand's Hide Away Paradis

Pranburi Beach Thailand’s Hide Away Paradis
Pak Nam Pran Highlights The Pranburi River winds through a small fishing village, fruit orchards and beautiful countryside.
Boats are available for hire, and will take you up the river to explore the locals’ way of life.

At the fishing village, there’s a market where you can buy fresh seafood, sundried shrimps, squids and seafood-based condiments. Pranburi Forest Park, close to the fishing village, offers a pleasant escape.

pak-nam-pran-pranburi-estuary-2, Pranburi Beach Thailand's Hide Away Paradis

Pranburi Beach Thailand’s Hide Away Paradise. Take a stroll on a 1km long wooden boardwalk that crisscrosses through a dense mangrove forest and section of the Pranburi River. Emerge at the eastern end of the forest and find the casuarina-fringed beach stretching as far as your eyes can see.

Sunrise Coast – Pranburi Beach Add highlight South of Pak Nam Pran, the quiet two-lane beach road leads to some of the finest spa resorts in the country.

pak-nam-pran-pranburi-estuary-1, Pranburi Beach Thailand's Hide Away Paradise

Pranburi Beach Thailand’s Hide Away Paradise. Set on the beach, overlooking ocean vistas, these resorts offer a range of luxurious experiences from Mediterranean-themed villas (Aleenta) and eco-friendly pool villas (Six Senses) to Moroccan-style villas (Villa Maroc), tropical modern resort (La a natu) and Scandinavian minimalist vacation homes (Le Bayburi).

For those who want to find a secluded beach this is, for the most, nearly always deserted and is also a great place to spot dolphins. Affectionately called the ‘Sunrise Coast’ if you are in the Pak Nam Pran area during the early hours you will certainly see why.


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Sources; bangkok.com, buleskystudio/shutterstock, PK.pawaris/shutterstock
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