This cave is a must for anyone who enjoys caves. It is the largest cave in Thailand and the seventh largest in the world. It was only recently discovered - in 1998 by a monk whilst looking for a place to meditate.
The cave is 50 rai in size (around 20 acres). It is a very beautiful cave which is so cavernous at times with some areas having a really high roof - I would guess 30 or 40 feet.
The cave is named for its sparkling formations. They really do look like diamonds glittering in the white shapes. Tham Phuphaphet means Diamond Mountain Cave. The cave was previously known by a couple of different names - Tham Lot and Tham Lao.
I was surprised at the amount of different formations, their textures, colours and shapes. Steep, but navigable steps rise up to the cave entrance. There is a rest-spot on the way up and most people will need to stop there for a breather.
If you can, take your own torch as they only had two for hire when we were there. They were not really adequate, especially when one of them wasn't working so well. Lighting is being set up in the cave, but I think it will be a while before you don't need torches.
They have a guide, but he only speaks Thai, so unless they get someone who speaks English, you may need to have someone who speaks Thai to translate or do a lot of research before you get there. I would still recommend a guide, just to show you the way in AND out of the cave. It really is very big. The guide costs about 150 baht.
You can walk through the cave for either one hour or two. The one hour walk covers half of it. There is a bit of climbing over some treacherous wooden ladders/steps inside and the floor can also be quite slippery, as you are walking in bat droppings, so a reasonable level of fitness and agility is required.
The physical exertion of climbing the steps to the cave and climbing through the chambers causes you to get very hot. Be sure to wear some cool, lightweight clothes that breathe and take a bottle of water with you.
For more pictures, check my Travelogue.
This National Park extends through the two provinces of Satun and Trang. It consists of a long beach which starts at Amphoe La-Ngu and continues to Amphoe Thung-Wa. It also encompasses the islands of Ko Phetra, Ko Khao Yai, Ko Laiobaentae, Ko Lidid, Ko Bulon, Ko Laoliang and Ko Perama. There are high, steep mountains which open to valleys and plains. You can hike through the jungle which is beautiful, but would require quite a lot of stamina as it gets steep as soon as you're off the beach. I was quite happy with our visit along the shoreline and beautiful island views.
Unfortunately, we visited in the low season and the restaurant was closed. The information centre was closed for renovations due to tsunami damage.
Boats are available for hire to visit surrounding islands in the high season. The restaurant would be an enjoyable spot to have lunch. There is a Tsunami Lookout from which you can get some lovely views.
There is nothing worth to see in this small town of Satun, the best place to hang is the open market. There are 2 types of market here, the dry open market and the wet open market. Both are located near to each other.
The main area for rubber tree plantation. 40% of landuse is occupied by rubber tree estate. The tree is arranged neat and in certain arrangement as showed in the photo.