Healthy Living at Hin Dad Hot Springs Kanchanaburi

Healthy Living at Hin Dad Hot Springs Kanchanaburi

Stopping by Hin Dad Hot Springs Kanchanaburi is a great option if you are in the vicinity of either Hellfire Pass or Sai Yok Waterfall in Kanchanburi Thailand. The Hindad Hot Spring in Kanchanaburi is set alongside a tree shaded, cool trickeling river. Constructed to contain plentiful quantities of hot water during the World War…

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Why you need the best travel insurance when visiting Asia

Why you need the best travel insurance when visiting Asia

So you have saved for your first trip to Thailand. Maybe it’s a short break for 2 weeks, or you don’t have a return ticket and you want to see how things go. What I want to talk about is why you need the best travel insurance when visiting Asia. Hospitals in Thailand are rough,…

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Queen Sirikit Forest Garden located in Kaeng Som Maew Queen Sirikit national park

Queen Sirikit Forest Garden

Queen Sirikit Forest Garden located in Kaeng Som Maew Queen Sirikit national park is renowned for it’s collection of flora and fauna. Located approximately 85km from Ratchaburi city, inside you will find many trekking routes to explore the natural beauties of the forest park and flower gardens, as well as the ceramics store run by…

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Hellfire Pass Thailand

Top 5 BEST of Kanchanaburi Thailand

Number 1: Wat Tham Khao Noi is located in Kanchanburi next to Wat Tham Sua. This temple is worth witnessing first hand due to it’s unique 100 year old Chinese style architecture, known as Mahayana style. The temple was constructed in 1881, with the first monk to reside in the temple being of Chinese descent…

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Khao Ngu Stone Park

Top 5 Places to visit in Ratchaburi Province

Number 1: Khao Bin Cave is located 20km from the Ratchaburi city, approximately 85km from Bangkok along the road to Chom Bueng. This cave Temple Cave is the largest in the region, with walking paths entering the caverns 300 mtrs into the dimly lit darkness. The price for entry is a mere 20thb and it’s worth every penny….

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Kicking off with some basics, Ayutthaya (officially Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya) is actually a province 80km or 1.5hrs north of Bangkok and is covered by World Heritage listing by UNESCO.  Ayutthaya, was the seat of the Kingdom of Siam and a prosperous trading port from the 14th century until it was razed by the Burmese in 1767. The old city ruins, with Buddhist temples, monasteries and statues, now form Ayutthaya Historical Park.  Somehow after being in Thailand for some time, Ayutthaya alluded me but I have finally made the pilgrimage to the old city after much anticipation.  What I was expecting to see, was a combination of Chiang Mai's city ruins, with perhaps the visual impact of Cambodian ruins. Well I got what I was wishing for. The Historical Park sites on an area of 289 ha. Extremely large, many tourists take the opportunity to rent bicycles to allow them to cover the who area with more ease.   With the area founded c. 1350, Ayutthaya became the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai. It was unfortunately  destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th century. Its remains, characterized by the prang (reliquary towers) and gigantic monasteries, give an idea of its past splendor.  Ayutthaya is usually visited as part of a packaged day trip out of Bangkok, which usually includes stops at the Bang Pa In palace as well as the Bang Sai royal arts center.  You can easily spend a day exploring the whole park, or simply have a quick stop and still feel fulfilled by what you will have seen. The park is relatively low pressure compared to many other tourist places in Thailand.  Being able to photograph the gigantic monasteries as the sun sets gives a whole new perspective to the place, only to be outdone by visiting the outer perimeter and shooting some night photos when all of the temples are light by spotlights bringing out the magnificent shadows and details turning it into quite an eerie place.

The old city ruins of Ayutthaya Historical Park

Kicking off with some basics, Ayutthaya (officially Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya) is actually a province 80km or 1.5hrs north of Bangkok and is covered by World Heritage listing by UNESCO, located on an island surrounded by three rivers. Ayutthaya, was the seat of the Kingdom of Siam and a prosperous trading port from the 14th…

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I woke up today thinking I want to go somewhere new, but most of my local Thailand bucket list was ticket off. Well so I had thought anyway. I decided to jump on the bike and head towards Ratchaburi and make a 'B' line for the mountains in behind it. With no real expectation I just rode and enjoyed the scenery. Well that was until I saw a sign for the Khao Bin Cave, I didn't know the name and was quite sure I hadn't been there previously. As it turned out I hadn't been there and WOW just really sums up this place. Khao Bin Cave is located 20km from the Ratchaburi city, approximately 85km from Bangkok along the road to Chom Bueng. You turn off the main road and travel along a 2km along an access road, be wary on this road as sections will be at a crawl as it is littered with monkey's. I parked the bike in the carpark and walked towards the entrance of the cave, and was ushered back down the path to a ticket window. Now if you have followed my posts, you will know I have a Thai drivers licence. This comes in handy sometimes and this is one of those times. Farangs pay 200THB to go into the cave, but with me speaking Thai and having a Thai licence I am essentially a Thai in their eyes so I got in for the princely sum of 20THB. Now to suggest that Khao Bin Cave is just another cave is an understatement. You walk down some small tight tiled stairs into the first cavern, if you have even the slightest hint of claustrophobia this may not be the place to go. Once you enter the main cavern, you will notice that the humidity is horrible, you will be dripping in sweat within minutes of exploring. There are no holes in the ceiling letting light in, no ventilation aside from the occasional electric pedestal fan. The moisture on the ground, walls and stalactites (stones hanging from the ceiling caused by water dripping over limestone for many years) gives it a very damp and dank feel. All of that aside, the cave, which extends a massive 300mtrs from the main mouth offer some truly amazing sights and experiences. If your game to explore all the pathways, you will almost find yourself crawling through small spaces into more caverns that seem to go on forever. It is a beautiful cave and it extends 300m from the mouth and offers truly amazing scenes of plentiful stalactite and stalagmite formations. Warning: The air inside is quite heavy and humid, by the end of the walk (approximately 45minutes) I was out of breath, dripping in sweat and eager to exit.

Sucking up the humidity at Khao Bin Cave

I woke up today thinking I want to go somewhere new on the bike, but most of my local Thailand bucket list was ticket off. Well so I had thought anyway. I decided to jump on the bike and head towards Ratchaburi and make a ‘B’ line for the mountains in behind it. With no…

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Being chased through the carpark by an overly agressive monkey wanting to bite my ankles was not a good start to arriving at Khao Yoi Cave in Phetchaburi. Lucky for me a local Thai lady was present with a large piece of bamboo swinging it around like John Snow wields a sword. The Tham Khao Yoi Cave is located on the hill, which is clearly visible from the main highway heading to Hau Hin from Bangkok, just behind the railway station of Khao Yoi, approximately 22km north of Phetchaburi town itself. It was the place where King Rama VI practiced meditation while he was ordained. Today, it houses several Buddha images and is home to Buddhist Monks. Ducking your head to enter the main door of the cave, you are first presented with a reclining Golden Buddha, which many locals take time to light candles and pay homage. Following the pathways through the marble tiled caverns, which are see sunlight peaking through the holes in the ceiling, you are presented with crevices filled various Buddhism statues over the many levels. If you were to compare this cave to Khoa Luang Cave, you would be sorely disappointed, but for me the entrance to the cave is one of the best presented.

Monkeys trying to bit me at Tham Khao Yoi Cave Phetchaburi

Being chased through the carpark by an overly aggressive male monkey wanting to bite my ankles was not a good start to arriving at Khao Yoi Cave in Phetchaburi. Lucky for me a elderly local Thai lady was present with a large piece of bamboo swinging it around like John Snow wields a sword. The…

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No matter where you go in the Phetchaburi province, all Wats seem to be filled with inquisitive monkeys. Khao Luang Cave is no exception to the rule. Located in Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi, Khao Luang Cave is one of the largest in the region. The caves are set in Khao Luang hill which is almost 100 meters high. They consist of a number of caverns filled with beautifully illuminated golden Buddha images. King Mongkut (Rama IV) who's reign of the Kingdom started in 1851 until 1868, used the cave to study Buddhism and to meditate. Upon arriving at the foot of the hill, locals have put in place a barricade blocking the road up to the cave, thus enabling them to run a business charging 20THB to ferry you in a Tuk Tuk up the hill. Give it to the Thai's, if there's an opportunity no matter how sketchy, they will make money from tourists. From where you are dropped off, it's a short walk up a concrete staircase to the mouth of the cave. This pathway is home to many of the monkeys in the region, and taking care while walking is needed to ensure your own personal safety. Opting to purchase food at the bottom to feed the monkeys may just see you make the situation worse by encouraging many more to jump from the tree's in an effort to fill their belly's. As always, my biggest warning is to keep an eye out for the dominant male monkey, he will normally cause trouble if you are choosing to feed them. Walking down the steep stairs that lead into the cave, there is a strong smell of dank concrete and rock, but once you enter the main cavern, this smell subsides with the distraction of the sheer size of the cave. The cave is filled with Buddha images, several chedis and a great number of stalactites hanging from the ceiling. Also included is a Buddha image cast by order of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V). The atmosphere within the cave is serene and peaceful, it is a quiet place for reflection. Buddhist people will pay respect to the Buddha statues by burning candles and incense sticks. There are about 170 Buddha figures in Khao Luang cave. One of the most empowering is a large reclining Buddha, symbolizing the passing of the Buddha into final Nirvana. With the rays of the sun shining through holes in the ceiling, the caves are illuminated, giving the gold colored Buddha images a mystical appearance. You will also find rock like stalactites hanging from the caves ceiling, formed over the centuries by slow dripping water. Many of the caverns are lit by colourful florescent tubes, illuminating the walls in some surreal colours. How to get there: Khao Luang cave is located just North of Petchaburi, and a few kilometers away from Phra Nakhon Khiri historical park. The best way to get there is by private taxi or mini-bus. Time from Bangkok is around two hours, or shorter if you are coming from Hua Hin.

Exploring deep inside Khao Luang Cave Phetchaburi

No matter where you go in the Phetchaburi province, all Wats seem to be filled with inquisitive monkeys. Khao Luang Cave is no exception to the rule. Located in Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi, Khao Luang Cave is one of the largest in the region. The caves are set in Khao Luang hill which is almost 100 meters…

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Now I'm fortunate enough that I am currently living within 1 hour of many spectacular Wats and shrines. Phra Nakhon Khiri is one said place, being a historical park in Phetchaburi, Thailand. Originally built by King Rama IV (King Mongkut), it is a testament to the wealth that has previously been seen in Thailand. It is located on a hill overlooking the city and can be seen from the highway if you are heading south towards Hua Hin. The name of Phra Nakhon Khiri translates to Holy City Hill, Thai locals know it better as Khao Wang, meaning hill with palace. Upon arriving at the temple, you will gain access to the top of the hill via a very modern looking cable car. You ascend quickly in the cable car up onto the 92m high hill. The entry price for a farang is 200thb, and on first inspection of the temple from the ground this looks like it is well over priced. It is not until you reach the top, that you are over whelmed by the amount of ground the palace actually takes up. There are many warning signs when you first get to the top indicating that you need to be very wary of the monkey's with the grounds. Take heed of this, as with most places that have a monkey colony. They can sometimes be aggressive, especially if provoked. The historical park consists of three structure groups, located on three separate peaks joined by manicured gardens and paved walking paths. The site itself was registered as a historical park in August 1979, with two of the palaces housing a branch of the Thai National Museum. On the peaks, you will find several Wats, the central peak houses a large chedi named Phra That Chom Phet, with the eastern peak housing Wat Phra Kaeo, the royal temple, built in similar fashion to the Wat Phra Kaeo in Bangkok.

Is Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park the best in Thailand?

Now I’m fortunate enough that I am currently living within 1 hour of many spectacular Wats and shrines. Phra Nakhon Khiri is one said place, being an historical park situated on a forested hillside at the edge of Phetchaburi, overlooking the city and can be seen from the highway if you are heading south towards Hua Hin. Originally…

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