Tham Nam Lod

Tham Lod is the premier attraction in Pang Mapha. This enormous river tunnel was carved over millions of years by the Nam Lang, the river that flows past the River Inn. It is located just 9 km from the Soppong River Inn on a good sealed road. The local Shan villagers have an excellent guiding service with lanterns and a bamboo raft journey through the cave, visiting the three major side caverns along the way. The big column cavern is a huge chamber dominated by a limestone column over 20 meters high. Doll cave has a number of beautifully decorated caves at the top of a steep set of teak stairs. The final cavern, Tham Pi Man, is near the enormous exit of the cave and it contains the remains of several prehistoric coffins about 1600 years old. Not to be missed is the extraordinary site of hundreds of thousands of cave-adapted fork-tailed swifts which fly into the cave to rest for the night at dusk, after sunset, before nightfall. In the early morning, the birds leave the cave to feed on insects and the nocturnal bats return to the cave to rest for the day.

Tham Lod is open to visitors every day from 8 am to 5 pm. Lantern guides cost 150 baht for up to three people and the bamboo rafts cost 400 baht (maximum three people per raft). Tham Lod is a community-based eco-tourism site where the fees go directly to villagers who have been able to not only support their families but reduce the amount of destructive farming that impacts on the forest. The locals have also protected the fish inside the cave and the river is teeming with huge fish. There is no charge to walk to through the beautiful forest to the cave exit (outflow) and visit the bird show.