Monday, January 09, 2006

Fantastic Cave in Pang Mapa, Mae Hong Son

Pi Man Cave, Mae Hong SonNam Lod Cave actually comprises three fantastic caves. As it is a water cave, the only way to explore those caves inside is to raft along on the bamboo raft. Located around 77 kilometers before reaching Mae Hong Son town, Nam Lod Cave is the most well-know water cave in Pang mapa district, Mae Hong Son, North of Thailand.

Nam Lod Cave (ถ้ำน้ำลอด)

Of all caves in Pang Mapa district, Nam Lod Cave is the most beautiful and the easiest to visit. Located at the kilometer marker 141 on highway 1095 (Pai-Pang Mapa Road), turn right and go straight on for 8 kilometers, there you are at Nam Lod Cave. Nam Lod Cave is under Tham Nam Lod Nature and Wildlife Research Center. From the checkpoint, ones need to walk in for 230 meters with guide and lamp. The reason that there are no electric lights in this cave is to maintain the natural condition and the beauty of the cave as much as possible, and to create job for local people as guides for tourists. Nam Lod Cave means a cave with a stream running through. And it is so indeed. From the entrance to the exit, the stream runs in circular route for almost 500 meters high. This route has been eroded by water for more than million years. Nam Lod Cave actually consists of 3 separate caves, Sao Hin Cave, Tukta Cave, and Pi Man Cave. In order to visit these caves, tourists need to board a raft through the cave. The total distance is 1,600 meters.

Sao Hin Cave (ถ้ำเสาหิน)

Only 300 meters from the entrance of Nam Lod Cave, you will find the first cave, Sao Hin Cave. Here there is a beautiful Man – Hin – Yoi (curtain of white stalactites) which is made of calcite from subterranean water. Also in the middle of this cave there is a soaring stone pillar standing 21.45 meters high, formed by stalactite and stalagmite. From this cave you can go further on to two other caves or simply return the same route to the entrance. The raft fee so far is 20 Baht/person.

Tukta Cave (ถ้ำตุ๊กตา)

From Sao Hin Cave, raft further down the stream for around 80 meters, you will find Tukta Cave (meaning a cave with dolls). The most outstanding feature of this cave are, as the name suggests, stalagmites that look just like dolls around the place. Nearby there are some ancient paintings in red and black. Most paintings are of human figure, animals, and plants. The raft fee to this cave is 100 Baht/raft.

Pi Man Cave (ถ้ำผีแมน)

Pi man cave is the last cave in this circular course. It is located around 450 meters from Tukta Cave there are many ancient objects, for instance, pottery, human skeletons, stony tools, and Long-Pi-man (wooden coffins).Pi man Cave is the last cave in Nam Lod Cave, inside there is as ancient coffin called Long Pi-Man. Actually there are as many as 74 caves with similar characteristic to Pi Man Cave, but this cave in Nam Lod Cave is the convenient to visit.

Service Rates in Nam Lod Cave

- Lamp and guide rate: 100 Baht/ 3-5 persons - Raft rate from the entrance to Sao Hin Cave: 20 Baht/ person - Raft rate from Sao Hin Cave to Tuukta Cave: 100 Baht/ 3-4 persons - Raft rate from Tukta Cave to Pi Man Cave: 200 Baht/ 3-4 persons Caution: In rainy season it is not possible to visit Tukta Cave and Pi Man Cave since the water level in the cave will be too high Facilities: Around the parking lots there are food stalls and stores for tourists. You can also pitch a tent for free in the area of Nam Lod Cave Nature and Wildlife Research Center. Contact: Nam Lod Cave Nature and Wildlife Research Center: 0 5361 7218 Get more information about Mae Hong Son - Mae Sa-nga Klang Waterfall, Mae Hong Son Source : Trips Magazine

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