Where is the Chiang Dao Cave located?
The Chiang Dao Cave is about 73 km north of the City of Chiang Mai, Thailand. Therefore, it makes for a perfect day trip from Chiang Mai. It is nestled in the mountains of Doi Chiang Dao, outside of the Chiang Dao National Park. The drive to Chiang Dao Cave is on a main highway, so it will take approximately 1 hr 30 minutes to complete. Traffic in the mid afternoon can get a bit busy, so it is recommended to leave as early as possible if you are taking a scooter. You can get to the caves by Taxi, Red Truck, or by scooter.
There is a list of all of the ways to get to Chiang Dao Cave here.
The map above shows the starting point of Chiang Mai city and the destination point of the cave.
History Of Chiang Dao Cave
The history and legends surrounding the Chiang Dao Cave are extensive and consequently fascinating. They include legends of a man who lived in the cave for 1000 years, a soldier who fell on misfortune after stealing from the cave, and hidden secrets in the darkest depths of the cave.
You can find out more about the history and folklore surrounding the Chiang Dao Cave here.
The Golden prosperous bell weighs 200kg. Embedded with the names of the founders of Chiang Dao Cave, Phra Kruba Prathampanyo and Pho Sappeera.
The Chiang Dao Cave hours are 8 am till closing at 5 pm. Much like the traffic, earlier is better for viewing the caves as, throughout the day, more tour groups will arrive at the caves.
The weekends will be the most crowded as it is a popular attraction for local Thai people. While you can view the Cave any time, most attractions in Thailand are best visited in the early morning hours as it gives you the best chance to beat the crowds.
For all pricing and hours for the Chiang Dao Caves you can see the list here.
A bit about the Chiang Dao Cave:
The Chiang Dao Cave network consists of five separate caves in a system. They each are quite unique, and will be perfect for those seeking adventure or a leisurely walk through a large cave. The Caves are Tham Seua Dao (540m), Tham Phra Nawn (360m), Tham Maa (7365m), Tham Naam (660m), and Tham Kaew (477m).
Tham Seua Dao (540m)
This is the first of the two caves that are well lit, and easy to traverse. You Can enjoy this cave without any extra equipment such as a lantern or a flashlight. This part of Chiang Dao Cave has lighting throughout because it is one of the most visited.
Tham Phra Nawn (360m)
In addition Tham Phra Nawn is well lit throughout, and you can easily explore this cave without a guide. Having easy access from the stairs you will be able to go inside and see the statues and images of Buddha.
Tham Maa (7365m)
This cave is the largest in the system of Chiang Dao Cave. It stretches to an impressive 7+ km underground! This cave does not have any lighting deep inside, so a lantern and guide is required.
Tham Naam (660m)
Again part of the cave system that is only for the adventurouse, this cave is not lit inside. You will need to have a lantern to explore this section of the cave.
Tham Kaew (477m)
Similarly to Tham Naam and Tham Maa, this is the 3rd unlit section of the Chiang Dao Cave. You will need a guide and torch to be able to explore this part of the cave system.
What to wear to the Chiang Dao Cave?
The most important part to remember about the cave system is that it is a Buddhist temple. Respectable clothing is required to be worn at all times in and around the temple and caves. The Thai culture requires this because they are a very modest culture.
Modest clothing shows the least amount of open skin. Most of all, you must cover your shoulders at all times. Long pants that cover your legs. Shorts are good for the heat, but in the caves it is quite cool therefor Pants should be worn. This is also more modest than shorts because they do not expose your legs. Renting a shawl to cover your body only costs 20 thb.
In addition to this there are some things you should bring to make sure you have a comfortable trip to the Chiang Dao Cave:
- Long sleeve shirt (for covering up arms)
- Light jacket (the cave is quite cold and moist at times)
- Good shoes