Tham Lot Cave

This was an unexpected adventure. Not the cave, that was expected. The walking conditions were unexpected. First time in a cave where the wet footing, steep stairs with shallow steps and limited lighting meant one either paid attention or risked injury. There were far more available guides and rafts then customers. That’s good because it kept the groups from intruding on each other during the walking portion of the journey.

Too dark to shoot recognizable photos in the cave. Here 2 sets of customers chose to be pulled upstream to the cave entrance rather than make the 10 minute walk back from the exit.

This structure, located just before the river exits the cave, appears to be a catcher of floating objects.

Bridge destroyed by last year’s floods. It smelled of new sawn wood.

Always wear a big brimmed hat in a limestone cave. The unending water drops containing dissolved minerals will turn anything into a stalagmite, give enough time. The impact of birds and bats is on a much briefer time scale.

Took the raft and walking trip through the cave before lunch. Came back around 5 for a different experience.

Swifts. Many swifts. Hung out for about 30 minutes until my neck got sore. The stream of birds never let up. As a former pilot I couldn’t help but try to find the structure of their staging area and final approach from out of the seeming chaos. It was amazing watching the birds at different levels following a general pattern while they still had the rapid ebb and flow of a moving flock. It was part structure, part improvisation, part instinct that together looked like dance.

The swifts are done entering the cave before dark which is good because that’s when the bats begin exiting the cave. Fatigue and knowing how poor I see in the near dark meant I didn’t hang around for the bat show.

The cave is 9 km off the main road through Soppong.


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