sign in a cave in Laos

29 January 2012

Tham Krachaeng-Lod, Yala, Thailand

In the 1990s I went caving in Yala province on several occasions. One cave I visited several times was Tham Krachaeng.

At the time (1993) Tham Krachaeng was the 6th longest cave in Thailand (now it is 7th) at 5,633m. It is located near Ban Than To in Yala province. Ban Than To is roughly halfway between Yala and Betong on route 410[6].

There are two main entrances, the side entrance sink, Tham Lod, and the
resurgence, Tham Krachaeng. By road these are 10 km apart.

To reach Tham Krachaeng resurgence, you walk through Krachaeng Arch which is a 100m long natural arch.

View from inside

Having gone through this cave, turning to the right, steps lead up to the Buddhist temple which was constructed in 1995. The cave consists of one large chamber, and a climb at the back leads up to a tunnel about 20m long.

However Tham Krachaeng is straight ahead following the river. The entrance is blocked by gours so you have to climb up and over them. The large river passage can be followed to a boulder choke and a route up leads to the continuation of the passage and then the confluence with Tham Lod.

Tham Lod is a sink and a 620m long passage leads to the main confluence. This passage is very flood prone and great care should be taken during the rainy season.

There are huge tree trunks and branches and other debris. I even saw banana plants struggling to survive

and coconuts that were shooting - note they have been deposited on a high ledge at least 2 m above the floor

The water is deep in some areas

The place where the water sinks is some distance away and is impenetrable

See more on the ACG expedition 2000.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

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