Not worth the price
Published/Last edited or updated: 23rd October, 2018
While the cave shrine at Haad Phra Nang is the best known, Railay has a bunch of other caves and the most notable is Tham Phra Nang Nai, also known as Diamond Cave.
Located a 10-minute walk inland from either Railay West or East, the cave entrance appears at a national park station after you stroll alongside much of the imposing cliff that contains it. On the way there you’ll pass tree roots clutching the limestone as gnarly “fingers” of rock protrude from the cliffs. A spirit shrine sits in one of the many dark crevices.
After paying a park ranger for the recently hiked ticket price, you’ll enter the cave on a walkway with railings set slightly above the ground. Dim lamps illuminate the 100-metre walkway and there are no tight pinches or side caverns leading to subterranean oblivion, making this a safe cave to explore.
Before long the walkway opens to the largest chambers, where stalactites and stalagmites join other striking rock formations among the high ceilings and sloped walls. The sparkling aspect that makes the “diamond” name make sense is only visible when the cave is wet, but you’ll always see stones with shades ranging from orange to light blue.
Since our last visit, park officials raised the posted price to a ridiculous 200 baht per foreign adult, although they were ready to charge us only 100 baht (normally the kids price) when we inquired. That’s still fairly steep for a relatively small cave that cost only 40 baht to enter when we last visited.
Though worth a peek if you don’t mind coughing up the entrance fee, this is far from the most awe-inspiring cave in Thailand—don’t lose sleep if you miss it. Those who do go in usually spend only 15 to 20 minutes inside.
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.