As the highly anticipated reopening of the Tham Luang Cave site in Tham Luang-Khun Nam Nang Non National Park, Chiang Rai province, approaches this July, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has revealed the safety measures that will be put in place for visitors. The Tham Luang Cave was propelled into international fame back in 2018 when it was flooded, trapping 12 young Wild Boars football players and their coach for 18 days before their miraculous rescue that captivated the world.
Atthaphon Charoenchansa, director-general of the Marine and Coastal Resources Department, is visiting the Tham Luang-Khun Nam Nang Non National Park this weekend to survey the area. He is joined by Chaiwat Limlikhit-aksorn, director of the National Park Office; Chutidech Kamonnachanut, director of the Conservation Area Administration Office 15 Chiang Rai; and Vernon Unsworth, a British cave diver who was instrumental in the 2018 rescue mission. The group plans an event to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the extraordinary Tham Luang Cave rescue.
Tham Luang has grown in popularity as a tourist destination among international travelers since the 2018 incident. However, the cave’s interior is highly sensitive and challenging to navigate, which presents complications for sightseeing. To address these concerns, authorities will impose measures for visitors wishing to explore the inside of the Tham Luang Cave. At present, only the exhibition zone and the area in front of the cave are open to the public.
Starting in July, the national park will permit entry to the first cave chamber, which stretches approximately 150 meters. Each tour group will be limited to a maximum of 25 people, with each round lasting 30 minutes. In total, only 16 rounds or up to 400 tourists will be allowed in the chamber per day.
For the second cave chamber, daily access will be granted to merely four groups, each consisting of 15 people. These visitors will be required to submit an entry application a minimum of one week in advance. As for the third chamber, entrance will be restricted to researchers and experts who must also submit a letter to the department a minimum of 30 days in advance.
By implementing these safety measures, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation hopes to ensure a safe and enjoyable exploration experience for tourists while preserving the delicate environment of the Tham Luang Cave. The cave’s reopening in July is sure to attract adventurers, eager to discover the hidden wonders and relive history in this remarkable national park.