Loads to do

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What we say: 4 stars

Pang Mapah district has more than 200 caves, five of which are over four kilometres long with world class formations. It's a terrific area for exploring if you're a caving enthusiast. Tham Lod is one of the highlights, but there are plenty of other treats.

Tham Pi Man, or Spirit Caves, contain prehistoric coffins that have been carbon dated to approximately 1,700 years old. There are 83 Pi Man caves in Pang Mapah, and little is known about the civilisation that built them. In seven of the caves in the area, two species of the uncommon eyeless cave fish have been found (one cave has both varieties in one stream). One of these uses their fins to 'walk' up waterfalls. Pictures can be found on the walls at Cave Lodge, if you don't want to spend the time searching.

Fossil Cave has 280 million-year-old fossilised shells and Waterfall Cave has beautiful formations and an awesome 30m-high waterfall.

Cave Lodge offers a few day tours of combined walking and caving starting at 450B for four people. Specialist caving expeditions cost 650B for transport, expert guide, caving light, helmet and lunch. They also advocate independent exploration, and provide a very busy map to all the sites of interest in the area, but recommend that you don't go out alone, and always let them know your intended route and time of return.

The unusual Coffin Caves, on the side of the main road a few kilometres out of town on the way to Mae Hong Son, are now open for guided visits at 30B per person. These contain wooden coffins dating from 2,500 years ago, as well as the usual stalactites and stalagmites.

Last updated: 14th August, 2009

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