Mae Lana Cave – Mae Hong Son

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:

The track to the cave entrance; thick fog in the surrounding jungle

The track to the cave entrance; thick fog in the surrounding jungle

The stream that flows through the cave system

The stream that flows through the cave system

Headlights in place; Andrew and the guide about to move into the cave

Headlights in place; Andrew and the guide about to move into the cave

Moving from the light zone into the darkness

Moving from the light zone into the darkness

Knee deep in the underground river

Knee deep in the underground river

The open spaces of a wide point in the cave system

The open spaces of a wide point in the cave system

A few minutes rest on the underground beach

A few minutes rest on the underground beach

Checking out the orange colours of the formation

Checking out the orange colours of the formation

More amazing formations

More amazing formations

Shaking the river stones out of the shoes

Shaking the river stones out of the shoes

Brilliant colours high up on the cave ceiling

Brilliant colours high up on the cave ceiling

Another impressive rim stone

Another impressive rim stone

An impressive stalactite at about the half-way point

An impressive stalactite at about the half-way point

Down into the river again

Down into the river again

The needle from the roof

The needle from the roof

Pushing on through the stalactites

Pushing on through the stalactites

More jagged formations protruding down from the cave roof

More jagged formations protruding down from the cave roof

More wading time as we continue on

More wading time as we continue on

A climb up for a closer look

A climb up for a closer look

For all intents and purposes, we could be on another planet

For all intents and purposes, we could be on another planet

Pristine cave pool

Pristine cave pool

The enormous orange rim stone at the end of our trek

The enormous orange rim stone at the end of our trek

The small waterfall we’d come to see; slightly disappointing compared with the journey in

The small waterfall we’d come to see; slightly disappointing compared with the journey in

A bit more time to admire the surroundings before heading out

A bit more time to admire the surroundings before heading out

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

Safe travels,

 

Mega.

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