In Costa Rica I learned my lesson about leaving a good place too early. The second night I was at Cave Lodge I was looking for an excuse to stay. Literally enter Glenn, out searching for and in caves by himself he made it back to Cave Lodge well into the dark. He was planning another expedition for the following day and welcomed company. Other than the light exploration during the Kayak trip I hadn't been into any of the caves the area had to offer. Chiang Rai can wait!

We met up and made our way up to the local spot for breakfast/lunch. There are very technical cooking facilities. Everything costs around 40 baht, unless you're Glenn and order the BIG serving and then around 50. AKA $1.65
I'm going to only lightly make reference to stereotypes and men asking for directions. Even with lots of stopping and asking for the caves we ended up doing quite a bit of exploring.
The cattle gates here are very interesting. I've seen several different formats but they all are lacking one thing... hinges.
After wandering around for awhile, Glenn enlisted one of the farm workers to guide us to the Tham Chadi for 100 baht. The guide was from the Karen tribe and spoke english well enough to communicate with us. Along the way we passed this school of fish in the river. According to the guide, these fish are not caught and are fed everyday. Quite the life. I don't think I've ever seen fish school in a river before.
I learn something everyday, this is a Chedi, hence the name of a cave. I've seen quite a few during my Wat visits but never caught on the name. Note the offering of orange flavored drink.
The cave wasn't very big. Apparently it's a popular meditation spot, we found chairs way in the back and a monk's robe.
Next up was Tham Long Yaow. It was referenced on the Cave Lodge map and Glenn had a GPS point from, a website dedicated to collecting and distributing information about caves in Thailand.

Of course having a GPS point and finding the trail are two very different things. We ended up bushwhacking quite a bit. And eventually found it... too bad we were above it on a cliff band. However we did eventually find the entrance.

However we did eventually find the entrance.
The cave goes back quite a bit and a stream wound it's way in and out in the back. At one point we shucked our shoes and walked through the stream instead of the main route. Wadding through 6 inches of mud is an exercise in ignoring all the thoughts of creepy crawlies in your head. There's not much living in caves but still...

And then we came across these guys hiding up in a crack. Green isn't a color you see in caves and these guys seemed a bit lost.
There were lots of side routes to explore, by this point I was pretty tired and hungry and I left the climbing to Glenn.

We headed back with a quick dunk in a stream to try to wash out the mud that we had accumulated along the way. It made for a chilly ride back on the bike but it also dried us out a bit faster. A quick dinner at the local spot again and then a nice long hot shower. A good day and a good reason to delay Chiang Rai for a day.


Duke said...

I'm not sure what the green things were but the whole experience sounds like it was a blast.

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