Friday, January 27, 2012

But It Was A Good Cave

Usually I decline opportunities to visit caves. This is based on hard experience, I feel lucky that I haven't been hurt so far. But this was a good cave.

More importantly, it was a very well set-up tourist destination. I've been to a couple of caves before. There are usually no facilities at all, and the inevitable stairs leading up to the caves have been very rough, slanting in all directions, of uneven height, and without handrails. Here was very different. The stairs were great, the handrails solid, and there were bathrooms and some personnel around. With your admission, you even got the loan of a flashlight for the cave part.

The attendants were pretty nice too. The price was twenty Baht for Thais and three hundred Baht for foreigners. Usually I just shut up and pay the Farang price, but then usually it's more gentle on the difference than this place. Plus, my friend was paying. So I piped up and told the guy, in Thai, very politely, that really I was not a tourist, I was Farang-Thai, and I showed him my business card, which is all in Thai and identifies my Thai university affiliation. He smiled and went for it, I got the Thai price. By then a couple of interested people had gathered around. This is pretty far off the beaten path, and I think they were surprised to find a Farang who could speak a little.

Best of all, the cave part was over very soon, and what came after was beautiful. It wasn't so much a cave as a passage, a passage to some kind of cone shaped lost world. And, as you can see in the cave picture, the floor of the place was very even and dry. The picture of my friend and his family is inside this cone formation, and that rock faced wall behind them enclosed an area about a hundred and fifty feet across.

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