Tham Lot or Tham Lod is one of the largest cave systems in Northern Thailand. It is of the length of 1,666m and is located in Pang Mapha District, Mae Hong Son Province, Northern Thailand. It is roughly around 40 minutes drive from Pai Town and is one of must-visit place if you are visiting Northern Thailand. This is a giant limestone cave which has Nam Lang River flowing inside this making it a hostile ecosystem for many plant and animal species and they have adapted to this different ecosystem.
Tham Lot has a rich history where it is to be noted that it has been inhabited by prehistoric man which makes this a hotspot for archaeologists. You can find ancient clay pottery, teak wood which is carved and many other prehistoric collections inside the cave. You can find coffins inside the cave which are taught to be carved by Lawa tribe thousands of years ago which suggests that the cave might have been home for Lawa tribe.
Tham Lot is a cave of stalactites and stalagmites which are formed beautifully. It is home to many bats and swifts and it is to be noted that if you visit this cave during evening times, you might get a chance to notice many swifts flying inside the cave to take rest and resume into a sleeping position. This cave needs a guide to be explored, here they also provide gas lantern to notice the insides of the cave. You can also explore the cave with the help of bamboo rafts that is present inside the cave.
The walls of the cave are covered by various giant formations and columns which are approximately 20 meters high, there are steps here where you can climb and notice a good view of the stalactites and stalagmites. The entrance of the cave is easy to locate as there is a river passing through the cave entrance, this has 3 main caverns. They have 3 different stops where the rafts stop and we can climb the staircase to notice the spectacle of the cave. As we venture further deep it gets dark which is where the gas lanterns come to one’s help.
This area has a huge variety of things to do; caving (alone or guided), kayaking, exploring the beautiful landscape with its valleys and limestone cliffs, visiting remote hill tribe villages, and watching the bird show in nearby Tham Lod cave. The timing of cave is from 09:00 – 18:00hrs, guide fee along with gas lantern costs around 150Baht for a group of 1-3 people. Bamboo raft through the length of cave costs 400 Baht or you can take raft one way for 300Baht and walk while returning.