Would you dare venture into Tham Luang Cave?

Travel Wire Asia
By Travel Wire Asia July 5, 2018 04:00

Would you dare venture into Tham Luang Cave?

WHEN A FOOTBALL team of 12 young boys and their coach were found alive in a northern Thailand cave earlier this week, the world rejoiced.

They had been stranded in Chiang Rai’s Tham Luang Cave for 10 days and the search and rescue team, as well as spectators who were following the news from around the globe, were beginning to lose hope.

More than 1,000 people from all over the world were involved in the efforts to find them, but it was British A-team divers John Volanthen and Rick Stanton who made first contact.

“According to a briefing note from the British Cave Rescue Council, the group are stuck around two kilometers into the cave and somewhere between 800 meters and one kilometer below the surface. The two divers who discovered them had to fight strong currents and negotiate complicated cave systems in pitch black conditions in order to make first contact. The round trip to the boys’ location reportedly takes 3 hours,” Asian Correspondent reported.

“To get 12 young boys, many of whom cannot swim and none of whom know how to dive, through these conditions safely is incredibly risky.”

However, the group isn’t out of the woods (or rather, cave) just yet. High powered are currently working around the clock to drain enough water to allow a way out.

Meanwhile, the young football team is relatively safe, having been given food and medical supplies – including high-calorie gels and paracetamol.

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Now, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced plans to promote the cave as a key attraction after days in the spotlight.

“After the rescue team found the 12 young football players and their coach on Monday night, the cave has become of interest for both local and foreign travelers,” TAT Chiang Rai director Karuna Dechatiwong said, adding that they will work with local authorities and the private sector to promote the cave and other attractive nearby venues.

Tham Luang Cave is located in the Doi Nang Non (Mountain of the Sleeping Lady) mountain range.

The cave complex has a very long cave system with numerous stalactites and stalagmites, and branches that go on for several kilometers.

It’s where the young football team and their coach were stranded for 10 days. Source: Shutterstock.

Legend has it that a beautiful princess fell in love with a stable boy and became pregnant. As their love was forbidden, they fled and went into the Tham Luang Cave to rest.

When the boy went in search of food, he was caught by the royal army and killed. The distraught princess stabbed herself to death.

Her blood became the water that flows through the cave, while her body is the surrounding mountains, said to look like a sleeping woman.

Hence its name, “Mountain of the Sleeping Lady”.

Tham Luang cave is a sprawling complex beneath the Doi Nang Non mountain on the border between Thailand and Myanmar. Source: Shutterstock.

TAT is considering creating a new route not only to promote the cave but also nearby communities such as the many small villages filled with local experiences.

There, visitors can experience cultures inspired by Lanna, Karen, and other indigenous ethnic groups.

This includes opportunities to make 100 percent handcrafted mulberry paper with the Karen community and to lead the simple life for an afternoon with the Lanna people, a community that produces seed tea.

Additionally, TAT will also ask local administrations to prepare tourism management, improve safety standards and upgrade services.

Last year, Chiang Rai attracted 2.7 million tourists and generated a tourism income of nearly THB 30 billion (US$905 million).

The number of visitors is expected to increase gradually as the province also plans to promote elderly tourism along with adventure and cross-border tourism.

The post Would you dare venture into Tham Luang Cave? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Source: Travels travelwireasia.com

Travel Wire Asia
By Travel Wire Asia July 5, 2018 04:00
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