Area outside before entering the caves.
Chiang Dao Caves are situated approx 70 klms north of Chiang Mai on a good
highway through rolling hillsides. The Caves are one of the main attractions in
the Chiang Dao National Park. From Chiang Mai the
trip takes about one and a quarter hours by car and as you approach closer you
will see the scenic Doi Chiang Dao mountain range, we booked an excursion and
was very lucky to have only two or was it three other tourist with us on the
bus, so we really like having your very own guide.
The Chaing Dao Caves itself is supposed to consist of over 100 caves which extend for some 10-12 kilometres inside the mountain range but there are only five main caves which are currently open to the public.
The admittance fee is only 20 THB per person. Once paid go up the steps to the cave entrance, then descend into a large cavern where there are numerous Buddha images. A bit further on is the guide station. From here you have two choices. You can freely explore two caves by yourself as they are lit with electric lights; they are Tham Seua Dao (540 m) and Tham Phra
Nawn (360 m). Both of these caves contain many shrines, statues and Buddha
We went to, Tham Maa (7365m), Tham Naam (660m) and Tham Kaew
(477m) you can either hire a gas lantern and do it yourself or hire one of the local guides with a lantern. Highly recommend the latter. Cost is 100
THB (about $3) for a gas lantern and an “up to you” cost for the guide. Easily
worth at least an extra 100 THB but, “up to you”. If you go it alone be very
careful as you can get easily lost and there are some very deep unmarked holes, plus you will miss most of the highlights. The guides will easily navigate you
around safely at your own pace and point out all the sights and avoid the
It is not all walking, in places you have to duck down to crawl through small
openings and then clamber into large caverns. Some areas have little walkways
others just natural rock flooring, others have up and down steps cut into the
These are numerous natural formations of limestone and crystal that you
will see, along with stalactites and stalagmites. If you go during the
rainy season some areas near the underground river might contain water. Other
times the floor in those areas is just all sandy. Check out the water level
marks on the walls to see how high up it can get.
Below the formations, was so nice to see the structures of inside the cave, def is worth a visit to these caves.