Photo: Have you seen the light?

Tham Khao Luang

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Streaks of sunlight pierce dramatically into Tham Khao Luang, a large cave containing numerous Buddha images and other statuary in three chambers once frequented by King Rama IV.

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The experience begins with troupes of monkeys begging for bananas sold by vendors at the car park. From there you can walk up the steep 400-metre access road or pay 15 baht to pile into the back of a pick-up. At the top, a few more monkeys hang around concrete steps that descend into the darkness.

Put your head down. Photo taken in or around Tham Khao Luang, Phetchaburi, Thailand by David Luekens.

Put your head down. Photo: David Luekens

Arrive around midday when the sun is out and you might see slender beams of sunlight shining through a large hole in the cave’s limestone roof. The contrast can be so pronounced that it seems like you could grab a ray and use it as a jump rope. Many visitors settle for a “beam me up” selfie.

Frequented by kings Rama IV and Rama V in the 19th century, Khao Luang (“Royal Mountain”) is the name used for the entire 90-metre-high limestone massif, with the cave at its belly. Two holes in different chambers allow for air to flow inside and keep parts of the cave quite cool, explaining why monks have long used it for ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 200 words.)


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