Photo: From inside looking out.

Chiang Dao Cave

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Chiang Dao’s famous caves, the area’s trademark tourist attraction, consist of more than 12 kilometres of underground passages and caverns, though much of it is not accessible to tourists.

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In fact, the caverns are so numerous, and the passages so complex, that visitors are not allowed to enter without a guide—save for a couple of permanently lit areas—because being lost in a massive system of caves beneath Thailand’s third largest mountain could possibly result in you overstaying your visa ... or worse.

Natural curtains. Photo taken in or around Chiang Dao Cave, Chiang Dao, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Natural curtains. Photo: Mark Ord

That said, there’s a 40 baht entrance fee and the main chamber is well lit and easily visited on your own. Of the twelve kilometres only a few are open to the public and despite the sign outside you won’t get lost unless you start crawling down side passages which we obviously don’t recommend doing.

The main tunnel is clearly marked, well frequented and leads you first past a small cave shrine, then, continuing on you’ll see plenty of stalactites and stalagmites until you reach a second, smaller shrine at the far end of the main tunnel. This is about as far as you can go on your own though there are narrower side passages which are unlit so you’d have to hire a guide and lamp (going rate 100 baht plus tip) if you wish to explore these. Note some of them can be tricky and even if you’ve brought your own torch it would not be wise to wander off-piste without a guide.

A Buddha statue within the cave. Photo taken in or around Chiang Dao Cave, Chiang Dao, Thailand by Mark Ord.

A Buddha statue within the cave. Photo: Mark Ord

The typical limestone features aren’t the most spectacular you’ll find in Thailand so while you wouldn’t need to allow a long time for the cave itself when taken with the adjacent temple, Wat Tham Chiang Dao, the gardens, photogenic old chedis and small market there’s definitely enough to keep you busy ... Travelfish members only (Around 500 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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How to get there
The Caves are located around 6 kilometres west of Chiang Dao Town in Ban Tham. They’re an easy cycle or walk from any of the local guesthouses and resorts or a short ride down Chiang Dao Cave Road, Soi 25, from town. A taxi from town (yellow songthaew) will set you back 150 baht each way but this is for the whole truck.

Chiang Dao Cave
Around 6km west of Chiang Dao town
Mo–Su: 07:00–17:00
Admission: 40 baht entrance, 20 baht for a sarong (if needed) and 100 baht for a guide (for up to five people)

Location map for Chiang Dao Cave

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Popular attractions in Chiang Dao

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Chiang Dao.

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A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Chiang Dao.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Chiang Dao.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Chiang Dao.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Chiang Dao.
 Read up on how to get to Chiang Dao, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Chiang Dao? Please read this.
 Buy a SIM card for Thailand—pick it up at the airport when you arrive.
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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Chiang Dao? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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