A Visit to Phra Nang Cave

I recently went on a fabulous girl’s weekend to Krabi, Thailand. Before you ask, no, I don’t know whose life I am living. No, I do not want to give this up. Yes, I could stay here forever.

Krabi is home to the Phra Nang Princess Cave which is a must-see if you are planning a visit. It’s a quick, 15-minute boat ride from Ao Nang to Railay Beach. From there, you take a very easy trail to Phra Nang Beach on which the cave is situated. When you arrive on Phra Nang Beach you can take a dip in the water, rock climb, or check out the Phra Nang Princess Cave which is filled with phallic offerings as far as the eye can see.

I have found Southeast Asia to be an interesting mix of conservative yet so much more open about sex than you would find in the U.S. In the U.S., we’d rather expose our children to gun violence than have conversations about what a penis is. The Phra Nang Cave is a fantastic representation of the culture of conservative values mingled with a more openness about sex.

(A word of caution before we continue: There will be pictures of the Phra Nang Cave and most definitely pictures of phallic symbols so, if you think that might offend you, clutch your pearls and consider moving to Florida. I hear they’re big on cancelling thousands of years of culture.)

Bedazzled boner

As is the case with trying to understand many things in a new country, the story of Phra Nang Cave is a bit complicated. One story states that a princess goddess, Phra Nang, was killed in a shipwreck near the island. Since that time, fisherman have left phallic shrines as an offering to her to keep them safe at sea. A second story is about a fisherman who drowned at sea and his wife chose the cave to wait for him for all eternity. There is a third story that states the cave is dedicated to a fertility goddess and the offerings are left for the blessing of fertility.

I get the part about using phallic shrines as offerings for a fertility goddess. What I don’t quite understand is how we went from a dead princess or fisherman’s wife to offering phallic symbols. To be honest, I don’t know any woman who would appreciate the gesture; A simple bouquet of flowers would do.

This was just the tip of the phallic offerings.

Another interesting aspect of this particular peninsula are the naturally formed phallic stalagmites and stalactites or, phallictites, if you will (very smug look of satisfaction at that one). Of course, this could be the reason for why the locals chose this area for their offerings to the fertility goddess.

Stalagmite thrust from the ground, along the path to Phra Nang Cave.

If I said this was the first time I saw such suggestive rock formations, I’d be lying. In Sung Sot Cave, Halong Bay, Vietnam, there is a truly impressive cave in which a truly impressive stalactite points the way out. It is all incredibly suggestive and while our tour guide claimed it was a pointing finger…I’ll just leave you with a picture and you can make the decision for yourself.

Sung Sot Cave in Halong Bay, Vietnam. It’s a terrible quality picture so I felt it necessary to circle the rock formation in question.

So, now, my question to you is this: What happens when six, middle-aged women have a girl’s weekend in Thailand? They seek out the Phra Nang Princess Cave. And then they giggle about it. And exclaim over the bedazzled penises (peni?). And marvel at the sheer number of penises. And walk away hoping they didn’t accidentally ask for the blessing of fertility.

Published by Lauren Tepaske

I am a full-time mom and wife with a penchant for writing a humorous point-of-view of daily life.

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