ถ้ำหลวงนางนอน

Tham Luang Nang Non - Great Cave of the Sleeping Lady


Useful Information

Location: Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park.
(20.381667, 99.868333)
Open: NOV to JUN daily 8-17.
[2020]
Fee: free.
[2020]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
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Address: Tham Luang Nang Non, Pong Pha, Mae Sai District, Chiang Rai 57130, Tel: +66-, Fax: +66-,
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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History


Description

ถ้ำหลวงนางนอน (Tham Luang Nang Non - Great Cave of the Sleeping Lady) or short Tham Luang (Great Cave) is internationally known for the cave rescue in June and July 2018. Twelve members of a junior football team between eleven and sixteen years old and their 25-year-old assistant coach were trapped inside the cave. Soon after they entered the cave heavy rains partially flooded the cave, blocking their way out.

The cave is located in the Tham Luang–Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park. While it is not developed there is a parking lot, a visitor center and the cave is quite popular. During rainy season the cave floods and is closed to visitors.

Tham Luang is an arbitrary name which simply means Great Cave or Big Cave. The full name Tham Luang Nang Non (Great Cave of the Sleeping Lady) is derived from the hills where it is located. Doi Nang Non is the mythical mountain of the sleeping princess. Actually the hills when seen from the road driving up from Chiang Rai look like the silhouette of a pregnant lady lying on her back, facing the sky. The according legend goes:

There was once a beautiful Princess in the ancient Northern Kingdom who fell in love with a stable boy. She became pregnant, and they fled from the wrath of her father to the mountain. Exhausted from the journey, the princess rested in a cave while her lover went out searching for food. He was discovered by the royal soldiers who killed him. When the princess learned that her love was dead, she stabbed herself with a hairpin. Her blood streamed down the mountain turning into Mae Sai River, and her lifeless body turned into that mountain range.