Please note the cave has now returned to a natural state so bring all lights and do not expect to find any guides or lamps for rent. Thanks Khun Duangjai of update Dec 2009
LUANG PHA WIANG CAVE
is one of Northern Thailand's largest caves and by far one of the most interesting.
I had the pleasure of visiting this cave with the previous governor prior to it's official opening. Since then, I had the pleasure of returning on at least three more occasions. Although I am not an avid "plunker" I have found this cave with its stalagmites and stalactites to be very interesting and beautiful as have all the people I have taken there.
The Luang Phawieng cave is located about 45 minutes from Lamphun and just past Ban Hong. ( a good day trip out of Chiang Mai, Thailand) As you leave the main road you will travel on a dirt road that runs through a rock quarry. This road runs across a stream and you are at the cave site. You will find food and drink available in the parking area. Accessibility to the cave has been one of the reasons in the past, that it has not been developed into a tourist attraction although it was discovered about 400 years ago.
Legend says that this cave was carved out of the hillside approximately 500 million years ago and a noted place in the past for the robbers of the area to stash their booty, as well at certain periods a storage area for the Lanna royalty to store their gems. It also has been and still is a favorite place for Thai monks as they journey to stop and rest overnight, or for a day or two of meditation.
In comparison to the Cave at Chiang Dao which may leave you, feeling a little claustrophobic the Tham Luang Pha Wiang cave is an open and spacious cave. There are some bats but not too many.
The "shimmering curtain" and "precious stones" are highlighted buy signs at present only in Thai. There is a total of 9 chambers in the cave. There are guardrails present where need. The stalagmites and stalactites are in a continual state of creating this natural scene.
If you're going to visit this cave you should dress appropriately and be prepared to pace yourself. It is a fifteen minute climb to the top of the hill in order to enter the cave. You should also carry a bottle of water. There is a handrail along the path to the top to help those individuals who need that little extra boost.
There is being prepared a booklet and signs for the cave in English to match the ones in Thai.
Come and experience Tham Luang Pha Wiang Cave, I know, you'll be happy you did.