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Khao Luang Cave, Phetchaburi, Thailand

Phetburi (also spelled Phetchaburi) is one of the hidden gems of Thailand. It is located only about 100 miles south of Bangkok, and its laid-back atmosphere makes it an excellent getaway from the noise and pollution of Thailand's capital city. Not only does it offer some tremendous old temples and cave monastaries to explore, but it also boasts Kaeng Krachan National Park, which is Thailand's largest national park.

This is the principal Buddhist statue of Khao Luang Cave Temple, which is located just a few miles north of Phetburi town. This 12-foot-high image is located some 90 feet below the ground in a limestone cavern. Many of the images were placed here by King Mongut (known as Rama IV), who often used the caves and temples of Phetburi for meditation and studying before he ascended the throne.

Still not convinced Phetburi is worth a visit? Well, just keep in mind that it is only about 12 miles north of the beach resort of Cha Am, but that hotels in Phetburi are only about one-third the price of hotels in Cha Am.