Our #Thailand #ChiangMai Trip (Part 5 – #ThamChiangDaoCaves)
When mention in Caves of adventures, darkness and curiosity will appear in the minds of many of us. For our continue trip, we will go a caves which is natural and hidden in the Chiang Dao.
Chiang Dao lies above the Menam Ping gorge on the green slopes of Doi Chiang Dao Mountain. The name means “City of Stars”, limestone peaks reaching a height of 2,186 m (7,174 ft) make Chiang Dao is the third highest mountain in Thailand.
Hahaha, For this time it got public transport go to Chiang Dao. From Chiang Mai you can go to Chang Phueak bus station, it has the public bus go to Chiang Dao. It gets two types of public transport; there are air conditioned mini vans and orange buses without air conditioned that make the trip daily with every 30 minutes. You can hire a taxi from one of the travel agencies in Chiang Mai or same as us rent a motorcycle or car.
From Chiang Mai driving less than 75 kilometers, Chiang Doi is set amid bucolic mountain scenery. First, just head North from Chiang Mai towards Fang. Although on the way, driving on the wide of the asphalt road but the road is curved on the 25km from the distance of Chiang Dai. NOTE: You must be carefully because the road is very curved especially driving the motorcycle plus strong wind. Once you’re alongside the looming cliffs of Chiang Dao Mountain, you’ll see the signs for the Tham Chiang Dao cave. Go on up the road and you’ll see the cave entrance.
Wherein there is a unique water flow from inside the cave it is out of the cave. This happens for years until the water flow becomes a pond, a habitat of various fish. The Chiang Dao Caves complex itself is supposed to consist of over 100 caves which extend for some 10-12 kilometers inside the mountain range but there are only five main caves which are currently open to the public.
We are delight for adventure in the ancient cave with beautiful stalagmite and the stalactite. There are actually two routes to explore in the cave. Paid 40 Baht for the first route entrance fees is illuminated by electric lights and easy to walk path about 200m. Just walk inside the entrance, we are view the Buddhist statuary and you will find a natural skylight. After pass the Buddhist statuary, continues walk with the colorful lights we are clearly see plenty of stalactites and stalagmites.
The second route is more adventurous and involved going into the deep dark caverns for a 725m trek. For second route you must hire a guide to take you through the cave as you won’t be able to go on your own and the cave is deep, dark and the caverns are so numerous and easy being lost in caves. You will find the guides and mostly women waiting for you in the entrance of cave. The cost is 200 Baht including hire a guide in a group and renting the old-fashioned kerosene lantern.
The guide can just speak limit English, she communicate with us by pointing out how some of the stalagmites and stalactites look like. Sometimes we have to admire the power of nature. After thousands of years, these stalagmites and stalactites have formed different shapes stun us by their natural beauty. Hey, everyone please guess, we take the photo with stalagmites look like what? That is baby elephant.
Inside of the curve, we also can view the hanging bats in certain areas and bugs too. The guided portion of the cave has a couple of tight squeezes that you may need to get down on your hands and knees for with once or twice and sometime we need to walk down a steep incline. The rocks on the ground can be slippery and you have to be mindful of your steps. It gives us feel like take a small adventure.
Inside the dark portion, the cave gives us feel hollow and cool. The guide will end up in the lit portion of the “first route”. For our opinion although we are first time go to deep cave, It wasn’t very hardest and we can walk in leisure. But for those who are too fat, we don’t know you can pass some narrow cave.
You can enjoy your food nearly of the carve either in the food stall or cafe restaurant. If you lucky, on the way go back to the Chiang Mai, on you left hand side stall have sell 6 coconut just only 100 Baht. Wow, very Cheap Price.
P/S; the caves are treated as sacred places, so wear decent clothes – no short sleeves, no miniskirts or shorts. If you happen to wear clothes inappropriate you can rent a scarf for 20 Baht
How to go:
First choice : You can same as us drive the motorcycle
Second choice:From the Chang Puak Bus Station, orange bus (non air-condition) cost 40 bath and run every 30 minutes. You can get on the bus on the Platform 4 and Chiang Dao is the first stop along a route that will continue to Fang and then end at Taton. So while you take the bus make sure ask the driver. For air conditioned mini vans is 150 bath for one way ticket and the vans leaves every hour. The location of mini vans is just a stone’s throw from the behind the bus station. The selling ticket agency is directly across from a cluster of white vans under the green awnings. All of the public transport would arrive at the orange Chiang Dao Bus Station.
Entry Fees: 40 Baht for the first route
: 200 Baht for the second route including hire a guide in a group and renting the old-fashioned kerosene lantern.