Phu Pha Phet Cave in Satun Thailand

Phuphaphet Cave

Phu Pha Phet Cave in Thailand is one of the must visit places when you visit Manang district in Satun, Southern Thailand. This well kept secret has only recently been exposed to international tourism in 2010 and is now one of the most visited caves in Thailand.

The name Phu Pha Phet also translated as the Diamond Mountain Caves and is the largest cave in Thailand. It is also the third largest in the world and apparently no information is available in most international travel guide books.

I had the pleasure of exploring these caves with the help of Tourism Authority of Thailand in June 2010 and it was a very interesting experience, considering that only local Thai people were the only ones who visited here. 

Cave Lights for rent at the entrance

Phu Pha Phet Cave in Satun Thailand

Phupha Phet Caves are located about 80 kilometers from Hat Yai and is about an hour and a half drive there. On arrival at the caves, you need to pay a 30 Baht entrance if you are going without a guide.

In this case, I would recommend you book one of the tours with a proper English speaking guide as it will make things so much easier for your cave trip here. As we arrived at the large car park outside, there were toilets and stalls selling local Thai snacks, souvenirs and drinks.

Well, the caves have been popular with the locals hence the local taste here and tall rainforest trees obstruct your view to the caves. After walking in about 100 meters, we reach a hut where locals rent out Cave Headlights at 20 Baht each set. You will need one of these for your caving trip here. 

335 steps leading up to the Phu Pha Phet Cave
From after renting the cave headlights, we start the climb up to the caves. A path through the rainforest with occasional concrete steps along the way provides those visiting an easier passage. Don't forget to look around when heading up the 335 steps as you may encounter some unique bugs and insects.

Arriving at the Phupha Phet Cave entrance, a local cave guide which is included in the entrance fees will be there to take you the rest of the way inside considering you would not want to get lost inside the largest cave in Thailand.

A Monk exiting the cave entrance

The cave entrance was rather unique as it was just a small hole enough for a person to crouch in and out. When we arrived there, a group of monks we seen exiting the cave therefore we had to wait for everyone to come out.  

Satun cave monks
Thai Monks after exiting the Phuphaphet Cave

I asked my guide how come monks were moving in and out of the caves and was told that a lot of monks from around the district would come here and pray inside the caves. This is another unique factor that made the cave even more interesting. 

PuhphaPhet Photo
Stairs lead to different levels of the Puhpha Phet Cave

Crawling through the little cave entrance, I felt a strong gush of cold cave wind escaping through the hole. Once inside, I was instantly greeted by a spectacular sight of the Phuphaphet Caves. Out of the entire 18 acres and seven floors of caves here, only 2 floors are opened to the public for exploration. (As in 2010)

There are also a total of 20 cave rooms to visit at the two floors and this alone will easily take you about one to two hours. So take note of the time spent here as you need to make time to explore the entire area. 

Cave in Satun Thailand
Inside the massive cave system
From here on, it was wooden walkways up and down throughout the caves. At certain sections, you were lead onto the main cave grounds without any walkway therefore you should follow your guide closely. 

The cave floors can be slippery so it is best to wear some proper sports shoes with a good grip.  You will see extremely huge stalagmites and even the beautiful cave corals and possibly some cave life like spiders, frogs and other cave dwelling creatures. Please do not try to touch them as they can be poisonous. 

Jade Rock Phu Pha Phet Cave
Natural light shining on Jade Rock

After about 10 minutes of walking and checking out the various stalagmites and stalactites, we reached the area where a famous Phuphaphet Jade Stone with natural sunlight hitting it from above.

This was the highlight for most of the local tourist that came here, mainly to take photos of this natural phenomena. 

Phu Pha Phet Jade Rock
Giant 'Jade' Rock inside Phupha Phet Cave

You need to walk down the wooden stairs before you reach the Jade Rock of Phuphaphet. A wooden barrier surrounds this unique stone while locals are seen throwing money on to the stone for good luck

From there we ventured into many other cave rooms where more stories was told by the local guide an then translated to us. Some of them pretty interesting, considering that this place is still relatively new. 

Photo of Large Cave Frog
A giant cave frog about 10 inches long

 Shimmering bits on the cave walls give the Diamond Mountain Cave name

Interesting rock formations inside the cave

Rock in the shape of a Penis
Penis shaped stalagmite structure

One of the unique stalagmite formations include a penis shaped structure standing at about 12 inches tall. What impressed me more was the fact that people actually offered flowers and prayers to this one of a kind structure here in the caves.

This was located in one of the rooms bypassing a small cave pool and located in the dark. There are no lights therefore you should be extra careful here and possibly bring a torch or rent one of those head torches from the cave entrance. 

Visiting Phuphaphet Caves;
  • Walking shoes with good grip is a must
  • Water bottle
  • Powerful torchlight
  • Head Lamps are available for rental
Info on Phuphaphet Cave Thailand
Phuphaphet Information just before you enter

Phu Pha Phet Caves in Satun Thailand Information
  • Phu Pha Phet is also known as Diamond Mountain Cave due to the shimmering particles inside the cave
  • Largest Cave in Thailand
  • 3rd Largest Cave in the World
  • 18 acres in total size
  • 7 cave floors (only 2 floors for visiting)
  • 20 cave rooms to visit on the 2 floors
  • Opening times - 8.30 am till 4.30 pm daily
  • Entrance Fee - 30 Baht
  • Cave Lights Rental - 20 Baht
  • Total time at caves - About 2 hours
  • Total time including journey - About 3-4 hours
This place is suitable for those who enjoy cave visits, Eco-Tourism or want something different. My trip here was made possible with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) from the Malaysian office.

For those who plan to visit the southern part of Thailand, do plan your visit to the Phu Pha Phet Cave in the Satun district. If you love the outdoors and adventure, you will not regret this experience here. 

10 comments