Naka Cave

Written by on June 24, 2023

Naka Cave, or Naga Cave, is one of the many wonders in Thailand. Often described as the ‘Snake Cave of Thailand’, Naka Cave owes its name to its snake-like rocks and formations. Because of its unique structure, there are many myths surrounding its history and how the cave came to be. Interestingly, the Naga (and Nagi) are serpent-like mythical creatures significant in several Southasian and Southeast Asian cultures. Moreover, this is also a place of religious significance. In the past several years, Naka Cave has become a major magnet for tourists. The nearest big city is Bueng Kan, the border post city on the country’s border with Laos.

Is Naka Cave man-made?

There are many stories surrounding the Naka Cave, and many more questions the people not yet familiar with it ask. Naturally, many people wonder if the cave is a work of man’s hands. Others wonder if the cave is real at all, and some even claim that the photos of the location are fake. Well, the good news is that the cave is indeed very real, and it is a magnificent work of Mother Nature.

Although scientists are yet to definitely conclude what exactly influenced its appearance, they have debunked one popular theory. Many people believed that the snake rocks of the Naka Cave are remains of a fossilized or petrified giant serpent. However, that story is just a myth, and the scientists have determined what caused the cave’s appearance. You can learn more about it in the text below.

The cave is the most famous of the three snake-like caves, the other two being Nakee Cave and Kinnaree Naka Cave. The reason why Naka Cave is so famous is that not only has the body, but also the head and the scale of a snake. Moreover, the inside white cavern walls resemble the pattern of snakeskin and feature decorations and paintings. As for the origin of the snake-like pattern, geology proved that the combination of thermal expansion and contraction alongside water erosion gave the snake-like effect to the rocks.

Besides being an important natural wonder, the cave is also a sacred place since many South Asian cultures, especially Buddhism and Hinduism, worship nāgashalf-humanhalf-serpent creatures . One of the myths is a love story between the nāga Nakkhrinthranee and Prince Fah Rung. Namely, the protagonists of the myth fell in love and married despite the marriage between nāgas and humans was forbidden. However, her secret of being nāga was revealed and her father burned down the kingdom. The two lovers continued their lives in a small cave which many believe is today’s Naka Cave.

Besides, Naka’s surroundings won’t disappoint you. Namely, the trail to the Naka Cave starts at Chai Mon Kong temple. The path that starts with a characteristic snake-lined staircase continues for 2 km and can be challenging at times. Moreover, it takes around 1-2 hours to reach the cave. Usually, the guide volunteers help the visitors to see all the places. This inevitably includes a rock formation known as Snake’s Head. Before starting the descent visitors stop by two Buddhist pagodas that are on this loop trail. Their names are Chedi Luang Pu Wang and Chedi Luang Puu Sao and offer a panoramic view of the town and the Mekong River. Close to Chedi Luang Puu Sao, there is a great photography location called Phaa Jai Khaat. This “scary cliff” is a rock that juts out from the cliff, so it may be suitable for the braver ones.


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