The Tham Lod Cave features colorful stalactites and stalagmites. It is made up of three connected caves, with the first one being a grotto, the second one containing pre-historic paintings of deer, and the third one containing pre-historic canoe-shaped coffins.
There are mandatory guided tours to all the three caves which also includes an awesome boat ride to the third cave. A girl from my dorm said that it was one of the best caves she’s ever been to and she’s really into caves and outdoors stuff so we trusted her opinion.
After feeling a little more comfortable riding the scooters, I decided to ride my bike to the Lod Cave.
Everyone said it was better to just ride there as it was about an hour and a half away and would be better than paying for a tuk-tuk. In the morning, there were about 10 other people also going to go so Amber, Lindsay and I decided to join them. You know, safety in numbers.
drive to the Tham Lod Cave
The drive to the cave was crazy!! Way harder than I expected as there were tons of sharp curves, hills on steep inclines and declines and halfway through I really felt like turning around.
But we had gotten this far, so I kept reminding myself to just be careful, drive safely and make it to the cave. If anything happened, I had travel insurance so I knew I wouldn’t have to pay but who wants to get injured?! Not me!
P.S: You should always travel with travel insurance!! Anything can happen, even just going for a walk or using the washroom and your bags get stolen. I always use and recommend World Nomads for insurance, I find they are always the cheapest with the most extensive coverage – perfect for adventure trips like South East Asia!
On the drive up to the cave, we made a few stops including a viewpoint where there was a really unique 4-person swing. I was hesitant to try it but I did and it was awesome!
The strangest, yet most interesting swing I’ve ever seen. You definitely need a team of people to get on it, use it and get off it so it was a good thing our group was so large. The view from here and on the top of the swing was amazing.
Arriving at the Tham lod cave
When we arrived at the cave, we grabbed some lunch before hiring our guide. It was a total of 150 baht per person to enter the cave, hire the guide and get the raft through the cave.
The money goes toward the community so I felt good about it and 150 baht is only less than $6 CDN, so really not a big deal.
The cave experience was amazing. Our guide lit her lantern and navigated the cave without a hitch. She spoke enough English to communicate the basics and pointed out the cool figures created overtime throughout the cave.
When we reached the water in the cave, we got on a bamboo raft in groups of 3. The (lake? cave water?) was filled with hundreds of fish and the water was only a few inches deep!
It was so cool to see and also really weird. We got to the other side of the cave, explored a bit more and then made our way back to the front.
Looking out from the inside of the cave was an incredible view.
After completing the cave tour we regrouped and got ready to do the crazy ride back to Pai. Going back was a little better because we knew what to expect and the scenery on the way was so breathtaking.
Unfortunately, I was too busy trying to not die to really take them all in but when we stopped I did and it was beautiful.
Tham Lod Cave is definitely worth the drive up there, but if you’re not used to driving a scooter just go with a tour group.
After we did it I saw one company that had it for 500 baht, which is totally worth it for having peace of mind and arriving there safely!!
Seriously, the anxiety getting there and back was real! The ride is so long that it’s not a happy ride for beginners.
I’m still happy I did it, but I wouldn’t recommend beginner’s ride there if you can avoid it. There are tons of other adventurous things you can do in Pai so don’t worry if you don’t make it up here!
If you don’t have much time, then you may want to consider doing this day trip to Pai. You’ll have full control of the itinerary, and if you’re traveling in a group it’s a pretty great deal!
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