language Amazing Thailand
คายัค แคนู

Since ancient times, caves have long been in the life of Thai people due to their dependence on natural resources. According to historical evidence, caves were inhabited by humans or “cave men” and were used for many purposes. Because of their distinctive characteristics and myths, caves have inevitably become attractive destinations for tourists who thirst for adventure and challenge.

Formation of a Cave

Plate tectonics have caused the change in sedimentary structures; such as, the rock uplift and joints (known as fractures in rock) or large faults, which later became caves once these cracks expanded. Furthermore, rainwater seeped through the bedding planes, faults and joints. Mild carbonic acid in rainwater dissolved the limestone, creating solutional caves with strange-shaped rocks inside. The dripping of mineralised water and the deposition of calcium carbonate has created spectacular stalactites and stalagmites.

Invisible Danger

For deep caves or unexplored caves, the air circulation within the cave is extremely important. If you breathe in the air with over 5.5% of carbon dioxide, you will experience difficulty in breathing, dizziness, confusion, and loss of consciousness, which could result in death within a few minutes. The safest way to check the air inside the cave is to use an electronic carbon dioxide detector. It is designed to sound an alarm once it detects dangerous levels of carbon dioxide accumulated in the air. Alternatively, body symptoms can be used as an indicator of the carbon dioxide level, but this requires caving experience to be able to tell correctly.

The low temperature inside the cave is another danger for a cave exploration. Normally, water in the cave is colder than water outside. Standing in the water for a long period of time can cause Hypothermia – the condition of abnormally low body temperature. The symptoms are shivering, slow and laboured movements, difficulty in speaking, sluggish thinking, compromised vision and mental confusion. If the body temperature drops 5-6 degrees Celsius, you can experience a loss of consciousness, which might result in death. Therefore, appropriate clothes and equipment are highly necessary in retaining your body temperature.


Caving Gear

cave eqiupment
  • A climbing or caving helmet with a headlamp.
  • Sturdy shoes preferably with knobby bottoms are a must.
  • Backup lights with batteries.
  • Jeans and a sweatshirt over another long-sleeved sweatshirt works fine.
  • A good pair of gloves keep your hands happy.
  • A cave pack and a large plastic trash bag.
  • Knee and elbow pads, first aid kit, compass or GPS device are nice to have.

Safety Measures

Cavers around the world - amateurs, professionals, tourists - use the same safety measures to protect themselves during a cave exploration.

Great Caves of Thailand

  Place Province Season
To Visit
Cave Type
50 Tham Nam Lot
Mae Hong Son
All year long Limestone Cave
51 Hup Pa Tat Uthai Thani All year long Limestone Cave
52 Tham Than Lot Kanchanaburi All year long Limestone Cave
53 Tham Nok Nang Aen Kanchanaburi Mar - May Limestone Cave
54 Tham Sao Hin Kanchanaburi Mar - May Limestone Cave
55 Tham Thi Phu Che Kanchanaburi Oct - Jun Limestone Cave
56 Tham Lawa Kanchanaburi All year long
Limestone Cave
57 Tham Le Khao Kop Trang All year long
Limestone Cave
58 Tham Morakot Trang All year long Sea Cave
59 Tham Chet Khot Satun All year long Limestone Cave