After learning that the trail we were planning to hike was closed, we made our way to the Chiang Dao Cave at Wat Tham. I’d visited once during the rainy season but the cave was closed and it wouldn’t stop raining enough to enjoy fully exploring the grounds. There was a drastic difference between then and now and this time, the cave was open.
Since it was hot and dry, the water features were particularly appreciated.
Upon entering the cave, there are a few small shrines. There is a natural skylight so visibility is fine in this area.
Technically, the cave is a network of over 100 caves that extend about 8 miles into the mountain. Only a small area is open to the public and a portion of that only with a guide. The guide carries a kerosene lantern and takes you into a few unlit sections. Looking back, I’m not quite sure how I squeezed through the opening on the left. Most of the guides were about the size of my 10 year old students so they managed easily.
The guide pointed out different natural formations that resembled animals, crystals and of course, stalactites and stalagmites but my favorite feature was the floor. The guide was tickled that I enjoyed what she referred to as a tour with “foot spa”. I also liked one of the reclining Buddhas but mostly because it resembled Yoda. My mini Nikon was unable to capture much with any clarity so I can’t share the other shrines or the bat covered ceiling.
Outside, I wondered who would carve statues where a perfectly good route could have been bolted. The poor things are fairly neglected as well.
Last time, the 25 top pagoda was moss covered and the path up the hill completely overgrown.
No temple post is complete without Naga and signs.