Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bat cave in Ratchaburi

For a change this time a site which was also among the official Unseen Thailand campaign - the bats in Ratchaburi. The most famous place to see them is the Tham Khang Khao (ถ้ำค้างคาว) simply meaning bat cave, located about 20 km north of the town Ratchaburi. Every evening at around sunset the bats stream out of the cave where they have spent the day, and fly to collect their food. And the impressive thing is that they fly in one stream which looks like a column of smoke emerging from the hill.

When we went there we arrived quite early, so had some time to kill before the spectacle started. Right at the parking lot was a market, but that only really started later on when more visitors arrived. At the base of the hill is a temple named Wat Khao Chong Phran (วัดเขาช่องพราน), though it is not really an impressive one. The only thing really special is a Buddha statue within the cave, not because of the statue but because of the bats flying around there. But even more impressive is the floor there - covered with the excrements of the bats and with millions of cockroaches running around. Walking inside is really nothing for people with a weak stomach or scared of these big critters, but actually I haven't stepped on any nor has any walked on my feet.

Much more enjoyable (but of course a bit tiring) is walking up on the hill, passing some monkeys much less naughty than those in Lopburi but still not really scared by humans. From the viewing platform on top one has a nice view over the scenery.

5 comments:

Martyn said...

It all sounds a wonderful place to visit. The bats flight stream, Buddha statue, cockroaches crawling over the cave floor and a market as well. I wish you had taken a few more photos, they would have been delightful to see. I will definitely mark it down as a place to get around to visiting some day.

Andy said...

I wish I had done more photos as well - but this was still with a analog pocket camera. With my digital SLR I would have done much more.

Philip said...

Chong Phrang is an amazing place. I spent 3 months there in 2006 teaching in a small secondary school. Watched the bats most evenings; definitely worth a visit if you get the chance.

ReneThai said...

Just found this site by searching .I was there a few years ago and my pictures were very bad.Thanks for the info .

http://pattaya.startpagina.nl

Robo said...

I live in Ratchaburi I think Ratchaburi is really cool place to spend couple of days just to hang out or visit the famous floating market which is only 20km from the town the bat cave and couple of other caves you actually can go in and explore a bit. You could even stop in Ratchaburi on your way to the beaches in the South since there are buses and trains going down south(suratani, kho samui,phuket etc.) there is even a bus going to Chiang Mai from here so it's perfect for travelers who wants to avoid Bangkok.