ON THE WAY TO HUAY TOH WATERFALL, EXPLORE KHAO PHUNG CAVES FIRST!
I just went back to this rather unknown Krabi cave system today for the first time in years and I was surprised to find there was a woman there, who is deaf, and she offers tours up into the cave system at two different spots. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Takes about 1 hour.
Kow Phung is a small mountain that is filled with caves along the ground level – and, if you’re adventurous, you could climb up into others that are higher. The woman there can take you up – she is quite agile for 55 years of age!
There was once a walkway around the bottom of the mountain which led to the caves and a great swimming spot, but it has rotted away. Not sure why the parks department insists on using wood for walkways in the province – they all fall apart after a few years because of the humidity, rain, and heat.
The caves at Khao Phung are fairly deep, they go in about 50 meters or so before you reach either the end of one channel or a spot with chest-deep water that you probably don’t want to get into. But, there are multiple directions you can go in each cave, so it takes a little time to get through them if you’re scanning the walls for geckos, snakes, bats, whip scorpions, spiders, and the large cave-dwelling toads that are on the cave floor. Do be careful not to step on any toads!!
There are some HUGE rooms inside the cave system – but, you’ll need a flashlight (torch) – and bring a couple just in case the one you have dies. If you use the tour guide – she has wearable headlamps for you to use. No sense getting caught deep in a pitch-black cave without a flashlight (torch). Can you IMAGINE THAT? That would be a serious nightmare and you might not get out anytime soon either. My flashlight broke when I dropped it no more than 5 inches onto the cave floor today. I was in pitch blackness – and luckily I have a flashlight app. on my phone that I was able to use to guide me back to where my friend and this woman guide were.
Kow Phung cave is near Huay Toh National Park Waterfall which is just another half-kilometer down the road. There is no charge here for exploring the cave, but the staff at the Huay Toh Waterfall will charge foreigners 200 baht if you want to head there afterward – worth it in the rainy season.
One caveat, the mosquitoes here during the rainy season (May through December) are plentiful and you’d do well to bring some DEET 28 or stronger bug spray to keep them off you. Today there were very few mosquitos at all – and the walk through the cave was much more enjoyable than when the mozzies are swarming.
- Bring your own flashlights if possible in case the guide isn’t there.
- Not for anyone under 13 years old.
- Not for anyone with problems climbing very steep rocks and slippery dirt.
- There are many bats. They never touch you – but some people may be afraid anyway.
- Bring water, you’ll sweat!
- Don’t step on the toads or geckos in the caves!
- Bring 100 THB each for the guide – she probably doesn’t have change.
DIRECTIONS TO KOW PHUNG CAVE
From Krabi town – the police checkpoint by the river, go upstream away from town and toward the mountains. At the intersection with Highway 4 (huge intersection) at the traffic light make a right turn. On your left within 1 km, possibly 1.5 km is a small sign for Huay Toh Waterfall. Make a left there and drive about 18 km until you see the sign on the right for Huay Toh Wildlife Safari (Elephant Trekking). See photo below:
Go down this road maybe 100 meters and down a little hill. On the left, you will see a small white sign for Khao Phung Cave pointing to the right down a palm-covered dirt road that looks like the photo below.
Make a right and go down this dirt road for 200 m. and there will be bench where you should park next to. See photo:
DONT FORGET – CAVES AROUND BOTTOM OF MOUNTAIN
In length, the Khao Phung path around the bottom of the mountain to explore the cave system at ground level is around 300 meters long. It will be slippery during the rainy season, but most people could make the trek if they wanted to.
DONT FORGET – SWIMMING IS 50 METERS AWAY!
When you’re done and all sweaty, you might want to pull your motorbike out of the parking area and head left down the dirt path – you will see a stream crossing where people swim year-round. During the dry season, it is very shallow, but during the rainy season, it could be quite a strong current. Have a look and see what it looks like before you go.