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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    THAILAND:- Chiang Dao Caves

    Speaking of exploring caves in Thailand ...

    Some time ago, it was the first time my Partner and I travelled with her Parents and it was to Chiang Mai,
    first time in a plane for them, first time in a Cave for them.

    WHERE:- about 90 mins drive north of the City, almost due east of Pai.



    So, it was me, the gf (Thai) and burdened with the possible future outlaws, no maps and a vague sense of direction
    where to go ... off we set in the hire car.


    Chiang Mai seemed to take for ever to exit away from the built-up area. I was hankering for some of that scenery on offer
    between Chiang Rai and Mai ... all we viewed for what seemed like ages were the usual grey structures slowly decaying,
    enveloped in their entropy.

    Probably wasn't till we were past Mae Taeng that things became more scenic and you started looking through the side
    windows and not focused on the brake lights in the distance.

    By the time you have passed Ban Thap Dua ... it gets really interesting and scenic and, in parts, a gorge road with the
    river/stream below.

    As said, no map, just a sense of direction, the Thai crew were in disbelief when we came to a Police/Immigration checkpoint
    and I requested directions.

    The uniform (BnB) was ever so polite, smiled, shook my hand and confirmed our route.

    ---

    Once we arrived there, my heart sank ... heaps of Tourists buses, meaning 5 or 6 of the coach style buses and a smattering
    of private cars.

    We wandered around the entry to the caves where a very helpful gentleman guided us in the right direction.

    He was, of course a tout of the group photo type, but pleasant, not pushy and no cuss words when we declined his generous offer of a paid photo.



    Cave Entrance

    ---

    Once inside the caves you are greeted by this ...




    Temple inside the cave system near the entrance ...



    Now, once inside the caves, I thought, based on the number of coaches parked outside, the system was swamped ... but no.
    Some groups proceeding though, but you never felt like a sardine.
    Attached Images Attached Images

    “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”

    .

  2. #2
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    harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Been there several times. Several people have disappeared in there, and rumour has it the nips hid stolen gold in it somewhere.

  3. #3
    The poster you can trust Luigi's Avatar
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    ^ I'm pretty sure it's full of ghosts and hidden winning lottery numbers.


    Nice thread Dave, cheers. Looking forward to the rest.

  4. #4
    hangin' around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Been there several times. Several people have disappeared in there, and rumour has it the nips hid stolen gold in it somewhere.
    Yes, I remember reading about that rumour re-surfacing... in the bkk post about 30 years ago.

    Good catch.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    ACCESSIBILITY:-

    Well, yes, it's difficult in places.
    Both my gf's mother and father had some moments of slight discomfort.
    The mother is a Farm Lady, so used to light manual work and is mid 50's

    The father, ex-Navy has an artificial leg below the knee but very physically fit.


    Before ...




    During ...
    (In some places, yes, there were stairs.)



    Thinking back to the recent cave rescue, I can't imagine trying to swim through the narrow tunnels
    connecting the caverns.


    After ...



    In other places ... it was a rock scramble (that's me)

    As you can see ... appropriate clothing, cream shorts and flip flops

    The family report was ... no problem for me (5' 10", supreme athlete) or my lassie (waif like)

    Farm Mother was a little hesitant ... a security thing

    Farm Father, some knee soreness from the downhill legs of the cave where the artificial leg ground
    into his knee a bit.
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  6. #6
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    COSTS:-

    As for the costs, yes, there was a modest entry fee.

    But it's highly recommended that you hire a guide.
    No lack of local/village ladies inside the caves entrance to assist your journey.
    That consisted of a personal tour, commentary and her lantern ... recommended fee ... 100 Baht from memory,
    though probably a little more now.

    In hindsight ... great value.









    About 1/2 way though the tour there was a request from the guide for some extra money, just an explanation
    of costs and an honest request. No sick buffalo story or the like.

    I deferred to the Thai Father as the eldest to decide and I think he slipped her an extra 50 Baht at journeys end,
    might have been more, can't remember exactly.

    If there are a few in your group, we were 5 with the guide, maybe take a small LED torch or the like as it would
    have helped in some situations.

    Commentary was all in Thai, of which I knew (then) enough to get a feed and a f*** ... but the visuals didn't
    require translation.
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  7. #7
    hangin' around cyrille's Avatar
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    jeezuz...bandwagon jumping par excellence.

    you even put your trust in someone due to his age...wannabe!

  8. #8
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    You can't beat the glow worm caves in NZ, amazing and worth the money to go in

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    WHAT TO SEE 1:-







    ... and into the darkness we plunged ... following the Lady with the Lantern.


    Squeezy in parts ...

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  10. #10
    hangin' around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly94 View Post
    You can't beat the glow worm caves in NZ, amazing and worth the money to go in
    You can't beat 'Wookey Hole' as a name for a cave complex, though.

  11. #11
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    How contemporarily fashionable and trendy.

    Thailand cave exploration.

  12. #12
    hangin' around cyrille's Avatar
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    When packing a sub has nothing to do with lunch.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    WHAT TO SEE 2:- A Titeing, a Miteing and some Curtains to boot

    A Titeing




    a Miteing




    ... and some Curtains to boot







    Holy Batman ...

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  14. #14
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luigi View Post
    ^ I'm pretty sure it's full of ghosts and hidden winning lottery numbers.

    Nice thread Dave, cheers. Looking forward to the rest.
    Thanks.

    Up your (previous) neck of the Woods ... I know you used to ride the bike (and the Town Bike) round those parts,
    did the caves ever tempt you?


    My one disappointment was, in hindsight, we didn't visit Pai.

    So close during the Cave visit.

    I'm still yet to see it.

  15. #15
    Semi member
    Jack meoff's Avatar
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    Thanks David


    Your MIL is hot

  16. #16
    The poster you can trust Luigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David48atTD View Post
    did the caves ever tempt you?
    Not really, never really been into caves, a bit dank and un-enjoyable. Rather be riding the hills around them.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    How contemporarily fashionable and trendy.

    Thailand cave exploration.
    It's fun Jeff. If you ever get to Thailand, you should try it.

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    ALMOST OUT:-


    ^ ^^ Bit of a moonscape in parts





    (2nd) Last chance to thanks the cave Gods


    And we're out






    Last chance to thanks the cave Gods
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  19. #19
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Thai Signage

    Out and need a pit stop?







    And merit was suitably made


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  20. #20
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    TWENTY FIVE TOP PAGODA:-

    Close to the cave entrance ...




    For scale

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  21. #21
    The poster you can trust Luigi's Avatar
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    ^ Very nice. Old temples, chedis and pagodas in the middle of nowhere is more my kinda thing.

    Will check this place out, cheers.

  22. #22
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    Neverna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    How contemporarily fashionable and trendy.

    Thailand cave exploration.
    I was in a Thai cave last month, before it became a "thing".


  23. #23
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    Great stuff David. I noted that you got there by following your nose.
    When you do another trip consider planning it on google maps.

    If you havent used them before open Google and type google maps, click on the result and you will get a map in Thai. You can change this to any language you want by clicking on the three bars at the top left. This gives you a menu, follow down till you get to passa (in Thai) click and up comes a list of languages choose and click. You will then have a map with a menu on the left type where you want to go in 'choose destination' you will get a red thingie on the map, click directions and enter your location. You will then have lines drawn on the map blue for shortest way and grey for others with times and distances, save to your machine at this point. You can then zoom in and get the numbers of the roads and click anywhere on the road to get Google Earth this gives a picture of the road which you can follow even seeing road signs along the way (brilliant).
    You can also get a GPS number if you have one.

    Before we had GPS I would write in a book every junction and turnoff on the way to where we wanted to go. But beware sometimes the roads on the maps do not correspond to what is on the ground we have been told to drive into a klong and have ended up on farm tracks (using GPS) also the shortest way is not always the quickest as it can lead you through city areas while one of the grey ones may take you round.

  24. #24
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverna View Post
    I was in a Thai cave last month, before it became a "thing".

    Yes, as have most locals [less touristed spots] forever - without issue or fanfare.

    Caving has been a curious activity forever.


  25. #25
    Semi member
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    Quote Originally Posted by birding View Post
    Before we had GPS I would write in a book every junction and turnoff on the way to where we wanted to go.
    What like when you went the local shop to get some baccy & a newspaper.

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