|Location:||Between Chiang Dao and Fang, 3km off road 107, 25km north of Chiang Dao, Northern Thailand.|
|Classification:||Karst cave Cave Church|
J P Telling, S L Smith (2004):
UBSS Expedition to Northern Thailand 2003: Breaking the bad air barrier,
Proc Univ Bristol Spelaeol Soc Vol 23 (2) 87-95
|Address:||Tham Tab Tao, Tel: +66-, Fax: +66-,|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Tham Tab Tao is a dry fossil resurgence, which has been adapted to the Buddhist Temple Wat Tham Tab Tao. At the foot of the limestone cliffs are two stone staircases leading up to two caverns. On the left is Tham Pha Chak (Dark Cave). It is lit by electric light and contains many gold leaf covered statues of Buddha, including a large reclining Buddha with disciples.
On the right is Tham Pha Kha (Light Cave), which is illuminated by a shaft of daylight from the ceiling, hence the name. This is the show cave, and it is also electrically lit, some steep walls are equipped with ladders. However, there are several spots where the cave seems rather difficult and it is not suitable for the average tourist. Please use your brain and turn around before ave an accident.
At the foot is the active resurgence which feeds a large fish pond inside the monastery grounds. Actually all three caves are connected.
Tham Tab Tao was visited by Hallett in 1876, and it was already a cave temple at this time. He describes his trip into the cave and the large reclining Buddha, so this statue is at least 130 years old. According to legend Lord Buddha eat a surfeit of pork which caused his death. When he became sick after the meal he rested in the cave. Actually we could only find a short version of the legend, so we are not sure if he died inside the cave.