Tham Lod Cave – Situated 650m above the sea level on the banks of a forgotten little stream, it is just 30 miles to the south of the Salween, one of the longest rivers in Thailand. The cave is more than 1.5 kilometres long and features colourful stalactites and stalagmites.
The river flows through more than a third of the cave’s length. This give you an opportunity to float through on bamboo rafts or if you like you can walk beside the river.
Geologic formations sprouting from the floor and ceiling, and forming flowstone columns where stalactites and stalagmites grew together.
It is made up of three connected caves. The first one being a grotto, the second one containing pre-historic paintings of deer, and the third one containing pre-historic canoe shaped coffins.
I recommend you to take the chance and enjoy the Floating along in the darkness, listening to the bats overhead, for a special experience. The river is filled with hundreds of fish and the water is only a few inches deep. There are guided tours to all the three caves which also includes an awesome boat ride to the third cave. A maximum of three people can use the raft at one time.
Considerably smaller than some other caves in the area, but the main chamber give you an spectacular view, running to a height of 50 metres, from floor to ceiling. Plan your visit around late afternoon as at dusk hundreds of thousands of bats fly out of the cave.
Tham Lod Cave is definitely worth to visit and a real adventure off the beaten track. A complete visit should take about two hours depending on your pace.
How To Get There
Minibuses leave Chiang Mai’s main bus terminal, stopping in Pai, Pang Mapha/Soppong and Mae Hong Son City. The ride costs 250 baht, and takes around four hours. Please note that certain chambers may not be accessible during rainy season.
Tham Lod Cave Facts
Guide with latern fee: 1-3 person 150 Baht (For safety reasons it is not allowed to visit the cave without a guide)
Bamboo Raft service fee for the full trip : 1-3 person 400 Bath