Off the Beaten Track in Mae Hong Son: Part 2

The Underground River

Mae Lana cave

As our guide leads us down the steep track towards the cave entrance the dense, surrounding jungle is still heavy with fog at 0900 am. Andrew and I are on day two of our trip into Mae Hong Son and we were up at first light preparing ourselves for the tour into Mae Lana Cave. The exploration of this cave is the primary reason for my being in Mae Hong Son. For Andrew, the extensive tour into the underground river system will be his first experience of this type of activity. We picked up our local guide, at a check point back along the road, where he advised us that the two kilometer underground trek was 500 THB each and would take approximately four hours to complete the round trip.

After roughly an 800 meter downhill walk from the car park the track levels out to reveal a small stream running under a cliff face. Our guide informs us that we’re at the entry point into the cave and we ready ourselves for the four hour trek underground. A few minutes later, with head lights in place and camera gear set, we work our way through a crevice, in the limestone cliff face, and enter the cave. The following is a picture essay of our trip into Mae Lana Cave:

Moving from the light zone into the darkness

Following the underground river

Checking the cave ceiling for bats

The open spaces of a wide point in the cave system

A few minutes rest on the underground beach

Checking out the orange colours of the formation

More amazing formations

Another impressive rim stone

An impressive stalactite at about the half-way point

Down into the river again

The needle from the roof

More jagged formations protruding down from the cave roof

More wading time as we continue on

Pristine cave pool

The enormous orange flow-stone at the end of our trek

Mae Lana Cave and its underground river; an amazing adventure to say the least.


Safe travels,



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