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Foreign cave exploration in Thailand

Foreign cave exploration in Thailand

Introduction

Many of the early travelers to Thailand mentioned caves and limestone hills in their journals. John Crawfurd mentions caves on Ko Si Chang (Chonburi) in 1821 (Crawfurd 1828) while Captain James Low recorded a bird’s-nest cave at Hat Chao Mai in Trang in 1826 (Low 1833). Being close to Bangkok Tham Khao Luang in Phetchaburi was visited frequently by 19th century European travelers with one of the earliest visitors being Robert Schomburgk in May 1860  (Schomburgk 1861).

The Tham Phra Sai Ngam Rescue 6-7 April 2021

On Sunday 4 April 2021, 46 year old monk Phra Ajarn Manas, on his annual pilgrimage from Nakhon Sawan province, entered Tham Phra Sai Ngam to meditate. This 3 km long cave is on the western edge of the Thung Salaeng Luang National Park, 6 km north of Noen Maprang in Phitsanulok province. While he was in the cave a heavy thunderstorm caused a seasonal sump, 400 m from the entrance, to close trapping him in the cave. As the monk was planning to spend a long time in the cave (he reportedly had some food with him) the alarm wasn’t raised until noon on Tuesday 6 April.

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