In the Prachuap Khiri Khan district of the central region of Thailand is the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, which was founded in 1966 – literally translated as 300 mountain peaks. Inside is the Phraya Nakhon Cave, one of the most mystical and mysterious landmarks in the country.
It is undoubtedly one of the most exciting places to visit in Thailand, but few vacationers make the effort to reach the secluded cave. The park borders the ocean to the east, where the ascent to the cave is located at Bang Pu in the southeast. This is about 40 km south of Hua Hin near a small bay directly on the coast and is best reached via a hiking trail from Leam Sala Beach. The easy paths and climbs as well as the viewing platforms from which you can admire the charming landscape are a welcome addition.
The cave actually consists of several individual caves or “burglaries”, which were created by the collapse of the cave ceiling. After crossing a ridge, the path leads down to the first larger, green cave.
In the next cave there is Kuha Karuha’s pavilion and the so-called “death bridge” overgrown with bushes. The pavilion was built in 1890 for the visit of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V). The caves are open at the top and allow daylight to illuminate the cave all day. The unique stalactites and stalagmites created by nature for centuries are the main ornaments of Phraya Nakhon. At dawn, the rising sun projects incredible landscapes into the cave: it is best to visit the cave in the morning from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. when the pavilion is illuminated by the sunlight.
Ko-Surin Archipelago – Thailand
The Ko-Surin Archipelago is located around 55 kilometers from mainland Thailand in the Andaman Sea. To the northwest of the tourist stronghold of Phuket, the region extends over five islands and a rock. The two main inhabited islands are Ko-Surin Nuea, the North Island and Ko-Surin Tai. The entire area is part of the Thai national park “Mu-Ko-Surin” with an area of around 140 square kilometers.
Nature conservation and originality
In contrast to many other holiday destinations in Thailand, the archipelago is not yet so overcrowded, on the one hand because popular diving trips to the fabulous underwater world of the national park have to be organized from the mainland and on the other hand because of the special protection and living conditions in the national park the archipelago. The original inhabitants of the region are the Moken sea nomads, park administration and almost all tourist facilities can be found in two villages on the main island of Ko-Surin Nuea not far from the boat landing stage. Day tours and trips to the bay of “Ao Bon Yai” and the adjoining village “Ban Moken” to visit the original way of life can be booked from here.
An impressive natural spectacle reveals itself to the interested traveler. In addition to the spectacular shapes of pointed headlands and abysses created from dark purple, light yellow sandy beaches and turquoise-green shimmering waters accompany the eye of the beholder and are not easily forgotten. The wild landscape and the deep forest are habitat for a species-rich fauna and flora, some of which only occur in this region of the Andaman Sea, the marginal sea of the eastern Indian Ocean. The archipelago offers challenging hiking trails but also numerous opportunities for peace and quiet. You can book overnight accommodation in simple bungalows or on one of the campsites on site with the nature park administration or in good time, as the number of visitors is limited to around 300 guests.
Most of Bangkok’s new landmark has opened
ICONSIAM is a mixed-use consumption temple on the banks of Chao Phraya in Bangkok, Thailand that opened to the public on November 10, 2018. Considered Thailand’s largest commercial real estate project of all time, the new shopping paradise includes hotels, residences and two large shopping centers. When fully completed, the complex will include two of the tallest buildings in Bangkok: the Mandarin Oriental Residences and the 70-story Magnolias Waterfront Residences. However, the long-awaited mega-project is not quite finished yet. An IMAX cinema is expected to open in December 2018. In July 2019, a huge auditorium will be opened for meetings and congresses of the city of Bangkok. The “River Museum Bangkok”, of which the developers say that it will include world-leading traveling exhibitions will not open until next year. You can see from these planning concepts that Iconsiam is not simply intended to become another “shopping center” in the metropolis.
Shopping – culture – lifestyle and luxury hotels
Iconsiam has eight floors of more than 100 restaurants and 7,000 Thai and international stores, including Thailand’s first Apple Store. The mall also contains Thailand’s first Takashimaya – a well-known Japanese department store and Asia’s largest Adidas store. In the “Iconluxe” adventure zone, wealthy buyers will find all the usual high-end brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Hermes. But there is also a lot to see for those who are not looking for the next luxury handbag.
One of the additional highlights is SookSiam, a huge 16,000-square-foot themed zone on the ground floor that aims to promote art, culture and food in 77 provinces of Thailand and has its own small floating market. There’s also the Outdoor River Park – a 10,000-square-foot public space on the riverside – and Southeast Asia’s largest multimedia water feature. Artworks and architecture by more than 100 Thai and international artists can also be found throughout the complex.