Tham Malai

Tham Malai

Don’t wake the bats

More on Phattalung

Tham Malai Cave works well with Khao Ok Thalu as part of a day of exploring the limestone crags to the northeast of Phattalung. Accessed by stairs and lit up by dim lamps at all hours, it’s an easily accessible cave that will take you deep inside the menacing rock. Steer clear if bats freak you out.

Travelfish says:
Eerie to say the least. Photo by: David Luekens.
Eerie to say the least. Photo: David Luekens

The place is creepy. We got the feeling that a wall in the lowest corner might roll back to reveal Batman’s Batcave or Dr Evil’s underground lair. When we arrived just before sunset, dozens of bats were beginning to twirl around, some fluttering wildly within a metre of our heads. Many others kept snoozing upside down from the roof, appearing like a hundred black dots on a fire-orange canvass.

The cave is accessed by a series of concrete walkways beginning behind a large chedi set up on a hill; climb up to the platform to see some interesting Chinese-style statues in the adjoining cloisters. Once on the walkway, take the first right to reach Tham Malai, or keep straight to the smaller Tham Khu-rum.

More than just a cave. Photo by: David Luekens.
More than just a cave. Photo: David Luekens

The cave can be conveniently visited after Khao Ok Thalu. Afterwards, you could continue north for 500 metres and take a right to check out more cliff-top chedis at Wat ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 100 words.)

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Reviewed by

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.

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Our top 5 other sights and activities in and around Phattalung

Khao Ok Thalu
Khao Ok Thalu

The symbol of Phattalung

Thale Noi Waterbird Sanctuary
Thale Noi Waterbird Sanctuary

A highlight of Phattalung

Wat Khuha Sawan
Wat Khuha Sawan

Buddha caves and viewpoints

Ban Lam Pan
Ban Lam Pan

Old palaces and lakeside scenery

The Khao Chaison loop
The Khao Chaison loop

An offbeat day trip