ถ้ำลอด

Tham Lod - Tham Lot - Tham Nam Lot - Nam Lod Cave


Useful Information

photography
Tham Lod, Thailand. Public Domain.
photography
Tham Lod, Thailand. Public Domain.
Location: Tham Lod.
10 km upstream Lang River from Soppong. Pangmapha Amphoe. 77 km from Mae Hong Son city. Route 1095, turn off between Km.138 and Km.139, small road 9 km to cave.
(19.564979, 98.278948)
Open: All year daily 8-16.
[2022]
Fee: Guide and Lamp (3-5 persons) THB 100.
Raft to Sao Hin Cave: Person THB 20.
Raft from Sao Hin Cave to Dukkata Cave: Group (3-4) THB 100.
Raft from Dukkata Cave to Pi Man Cave: Group (3-4) THB 100.
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=1,000 m.
Guided tours: L=1,000 m.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Pindar Sidisunthorn, Simon Gardener, Dean Smart (2006): Caves Of Northern Thailand, 392 pp, over 900 colour photos, 106 caves described and surveyed. This book brings together these diverse aspects of caves in northern Thailand for the first time, with chapters on geology, archaeology, temples and folklore.
Address: Tham Lod, Tham Nam Lod Nature and Wildlife Education Centre, Tham Lot, Pang Mapha District, Mae Hong Son 58150, Tel. +66-53-617-218.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1960s excavated by Chester Gorman.

Description

photography
Tham Lod, Thailand. Public Domain.

ถ้ำลอด (Tham Lod) is a river cave and through cave, the Lang River flows through. It is visited either by boat or by foot, in the latter case visitors get wet. Shan villagers guide visitors through the cave, providing the bamboo rafts and petrol lamps. The Shan are a tribe living in the northern part of Thailand.

Tham Lod translates through cave, the full name of the cave system is ถ้ำน้ำลอด (Tham Nam Lot), or Tham Lot Pang Mapha, as it is located in the Pang Mapha county. The first chamber, which is reached after 300 m called ถ้ำเสาหิน (Tham Sao Hin, Stone Cullom Cave), named after numerous pillars or columns, which are up to 20 m. The second chamber 80 m further, is named ถ้ำตุ๊กตา (Tham Dukkata, Tukta Cave, Dolls Cave). It was named after stalagmites which resemble dolls. In this chamber pre-historic wall paintings were discovered. The third chamber after 540 m is the ถ้ำผีแมน (Tham Phi Maen, Spirit Cave, Ghost Cave), named after 2000-year-old teak wood coffins with skeletons and some stone equipment. The archaeological remains are from the Hoabinhan people, which lived here between 9,000 and 5,500 BC. It was excavated in the 1960s by Chester Gorman.

Beneath the through cave with its speleothems, several other parts of the cave system can be visited with local guides. The entrances are not signposted, only narrow trails lead there, so a local guide is definitely necessary. During rainy season it is not possible to visit Dukkata Cave and Pi Man Cave since the water level in this part of the cave will be too high. Around the parking lots there are food stalls and stores for tourists.

This cave receives of 100,000 visitors a year and is the main stay of the local economy. A well-organised system of local guides with lights are available. See the caves awesome caverns, prehistoric 1,700-year-old coffins and bamboo rafting. Experience the amazing Bird Show when 300,000 swifts return to nest in the cave each evening.


Text by Tony Oldham (2007). With kind permission.