Chiang Dao Caves, Caves around Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Travel Package Tours, Chiang Mai Attractions, Chiang Mai Adventure Tours, Sightseeing & Things to do in Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Tour Information Discount Hotels Thailand Guide
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Chiang Dao Caves
The Chiang Dao Caves are located 72 km north of Chiang Mai city along the way to Fang and Tha Ton and 5km west of route 107. The cave complex is thought to extend for 10-14km into Doi Chiang Dao Mountain and from the summit of Doi Chiang there are magnificent views. In fact the whole surrounding area is largely unspoiled and quite scenic.
The admission to the overall cave complex is inexpensive at 5 baht. The interior cave formations are very spectacular and over 100 of them have been named. At present only the following caves are open to the public: Tham Maa - 7,365 m, Tham Kaew - 477 m, Tham Phra Nawn - 360 m, Tham Seua Dao - 540 m, Tham Naam - 660 m
The two main caves that are easily explored on one's own are Tham Phra Nawn and Tham Seua Dao, as they are electrically illuminated. Both these caves contain many religious statuary and sacred Buddha images. In order to explore Tham Maa, Tham Kaew or Tham Naam caves visitors must bring or hire their own lights and lanterns as these caves have no electric lightning. Oil lanterns and local guides are available at 20 baht per cavern. To explore the deepest recesses a local guide is essential.
There is a Thai legend that says the Tham Chiang Dao Caves served as the home of a 'reu-sii' (hermit sage) for a thousand years. According to the legend, the sage was on such intimate terms with the deity world that he convinced some 'the-wadaa' (the Buddhist equivalent of angels) to create seven magic wonders inside the caverns: a stream flowing from the pedestal of a solid-gold Buddha, a storehouse of divine textiles, a mystical lake, a city of nagas, a sacred immortal elephant and the hermits own tomb.
The locals say that all the magic wonders are very deep inside the mountain - beyond the furthest illuminated areas, so cannot be found! The locals also say that if anyone removes even a singular small piece of rock from any of the caves, they will forever lose their way inside the eerie passageways.
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