About Chiang Dao Caves
Chiang Dao Caves are around 100 caves at Chiang Dao Mountain in Pha Daeng National Park (formerly known as Chiang Dao National PArk), 75 km north of Chiang Mai, easily accessible by car. The caves are one of the main attractions of Chiang Mai Province, consists of stalactites and stalagmites in spacious chambers. At 2,175 meters asl, Chiang Dao is the third highest mountin in Thailand, with a beautiful scenic view and home to one of most impressive hiking route in the country.
The main cave is the 5,170 m long Chiang Dao Cave at Ban Tham village accessible from the main passage at Tham Nam (Water Cave) opening, only parts of it accessible by tourists. It has been known for over thousands years, visited by the famous medidation monk Ajarn Lee. The main passage is electrically lit for around 400 meters. Several sub passages will lead to four other entrances on cliff side north, two of the large fossile passages are 40 and 120 meters from the entrance, they are 540 m long Tham Seua Dao and 360 m long Tham Phra Nawn. Occasionally crawling between chambers needed while walking deeper inside the passages.
The admission fee is 40 Baht per person, lantern can be rented for 100 Baht. It is worth to hire a guide to explore deeper inside the cave, there is no fixed price for their service so the guests are free to pay what they think is worth. Tourists are adviced to pay minimum 150 to 200 Baht per group.
The several public transportation options to nearby Chiang Dao Town from Chiang Mai's Chang Puak Bus Station;
Bus - 5am until 5pm every half hour, no a/c, 40 Baht.
Minivan with a/c - 7am until 4:30pm every hour, 150 Baht.
Songtaew - from 6:45 am until 6 pm every half hour, 40 Baht.
In Chiang Dao Town you will be dropped off near Tesco Lotus, there you need to walk a bit to a nearby temple to change to another songtaew operating to Chiang Dao Cave. It is good to know the name of the cave in Thai which is "Tham Chiang Dao" (Tham Chiang Dao, tham means cave). The last songtaew from Chiang Dao Town will depart around 1pm, means, visitors should leave Chiang Mai very early in the morning to be able to get back.
Private taxi can be arranged from most hotels.