Sao Hin Cave
Sao Hin Cave
Lam Klong Ngu national park is situated on an approximate area of 375,000 Rai or 600 square kilometers and covers a second plot of conserved forest of Khao Pra Rusi in Thong Pha Phum district. The national park is a fertile forest complex in the Tanao-sri mountain ranges which are next to Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary, Khao Lam national park and Sri Nakharin Dam national park. It is a great place for adventurers and naturalists because of its rich diversity of florae and fauna, as well as geological attractions. There are several waterfalls and picturesque caves, especially Nang Kruan waterfall and Sao Hin cave where visitors can experience the natural wonder of the world’s tallest natural rock column. This trip can be a once in a lifetime experience to admire one of the world’s records which is actually in our home country.
If you are planning to explore the cave, then a prior arrangement needs to be made with the park authorities and guidance from a national park ranger is necessary. You need to make sure that you are at a certain level of fitness because there are some physical challenges along the way. The journey starts by car to Phu Toey village, and then you have to come upon a slightly tiring walk trail. There are exotic plants, scenic valleys and cliffs to enjoy en route, but just before arriving at Sao Hin cave, you may face a challenge – crossing over the brook in front of the cave. So it is important that you only visit the cave during summer as there are strong currents at other times of the year.
Once you reach the destination, life vests will be provided by national park staff, as you are required to swim for 700 meters, as inside there is a watercourse flowing from Lam Klong Ngu throughout the year. When making your way to the heart of the cave, you will find the spectacle of a majestic limestone column towering as high as 61 meters.
Sao Hin is one of the caves in Lam Klong Ngu national park. The main features are the water from Lam Klong Ngu flowing through the cave, and the cavern that houses the soaring rock column. Discovered by Mr. Capeman, a well-known cave explorer, it is regarded as the tallest rock column ever found and is almost twice as high compared to the second tallest rock column in China. Additionally, there are stalagmites, stalactites and stones with wood patterns to admire.
The seasonal constraint of Sao Hin cave is that it is only possible to visit during summer. However, Lam Klong Ngu provides another attraction suitable for the rainy season and winter. It is called Nok Nang Aen cave and is about 4 kilometers away from Khao Pra Indra national park. Although it may be similar to Sao Hin in the way that the waterway from Lam Klong Ngu flows through all year round, there are a lot more ways to enjoy the beauty inside the cave all sorts of adventurous activities can be experienced here in one place throughout the year; including trekking, rafting, swimming and rope climbing. Not only stalagmites and stalactites that are full of glittering calcite, but inside the cave there is a stone that shapes like the World Cup trophy, as well as limestone outspreading as if it is a picturesque waterfall.
Not too far from Nok Nang Aen cave is another cavern worth visiting. It is called Yai cave and it is as big as the name suggests. (The word ‘yai’ in Thai means ‘big’). The last one to recommend is named Namtok cave, which is quite small, but it also contains stalagmites and stalactites. Towards the deepest end of the cave, tourists can find a waterfall to swim to end this underground sightseeing programme.
After visiting all the caves and getting back to the office of Lam Klong Ngu national park, Nang Khruan waterfall, the only waterfall within the area awaits everyone. It is 700 meters away from the office and consists of four layers, but the most beautiful one is layer three as the waterfall pours from a 30-meter high cliff to a basin underneath in which tourists can swim.
How to get there
Drive from Kanchana Buri along highway No. 323 heading to Thong Pha Phum district. At about sixteen kilometers before Buddho T-junction, turn right and drive for twelve kilometers until you find the four-kilometer long crossroad. This is the entrance to Lam Klong Ngu national park where you can book accommodation and ask a national park ranger for navigation to Sao Hin cave twenty kilometers away.