The Caves of Thailand
John Dunkley's listing of Thailand's speleological sites, 'Caves of Thailand', was published in 1995. This gazetteer had 2,045 entries and a 1997 update added a further 238 sites. However, this book is now out of print.
Since 2009 a new 'Caves of Thailand' series of guidebooks have been published to update and expand on the information in John Dunkley's original one volume 'Caves of Thailand'. For each cave and speleological site all available information is given along with a bibliography and survey (if the cave has been surveyed).
As of November 2012 nine volumes in the series have been published. To purchase the guidebooks please use the links below.
Volume 1 – The Caves of Krabi
Second edition July 2009. 121 pages
205 caves, 22 surveys and 19 maps
Krabi is a popular tourist destination in the south of Thailand which is famous for its outstanding karst scenery. Although it has seen many visits by speleologists there are still plenty of unexplored, unrecorded and unsurveyed caves. In addition there is the -240 m deep dive site of Sra Kaeo and several submarine caves on the offshore islands.
Longest cave: Tham Luem (approx. 2,500 m – unsurveyed); Tham Phaya Nak (405 m – surveyed)
Deepest cave: Tham Sra Kaeo (-240 m)
This volume is published in full colour and has 19 topographic maps showing cave locations.
Volume 2 – The Caves of Loei
Second edition August 2009. 89 pages
121 caves, 8 surveys and 26 maps
Off the beaten path in North-east Thailand, Loei has many caves scattered amongst the karst in the west of the province. Although none of these caves have, so far, been explored to any great length or depth they are still of interest and show a complex geomorphological history.
Longest cave: Tham Khuha Wari (625 m)
Deepest cave: Tham Pha Dam (+89 m)
This volume is published in full colour and has 26 topographic maps showing cave locations.
Volume 3 – The Caves of Chaiyaphum
Third edition August 2011, 71 pages
99 caves, 23 surveys
This large province on the western side of the Khorat Plateau in North-eastern Thailand has some extensive karst areas. The karst to the south-west of Khon San has not been extensively explored, but the few caves that have been explored show the potential of this area. The karst of the Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary has some major caves, but access to this region is difficult to obtain.
Longest cave: Tham Phu Khieo (2,866 m)
Deepest cave: Tham Phu Khieo (-130 m)
Volume 4 – The Caves of Khon Kaen
Third edition August 2011, 44 pages
87 caves, 8 surveys
The Phu Pha Man National Park on the western border of Khon Kaen province has some impressive limestone hills and a few caves. In the rest of the province there are many sandstone rock shelters which are of archaeological interest.
Longest cave: Tham Pha Ya Nakharat (668 m)
Deepest cave: Tham Phra Wattanaram (-136 m)
Volume 5 – The Caves of Chiang Mai
First edition January 2011, 170 pages
229 caves, 61 surveys
Chiang Mai is a large province in the north of Thailand with many karst areas. As well as the well known Tham Chiang Dao show cave there are some deep, vertical systems at Doi Ang Khang on the Myanmar border and more extensive horizontal caves in the Pha Daeng National Park.
Longest cave: Tham Chiang Dao (5,170 m)
Deepest cave: Tham Pha Daeng (approx. -300 m – unsurveyed) Tham Ban Luang (-199 m - surveyed)
Volume 6 – The Caves of Nan & Phrae
First edition February 2011, 70 pages
151 caves, 16 surveys
This volume covers two provinces in Northern Thailand. In Nan recent explorations by the Shepton Mallet Caving Club have extended Tham Pha Phueng to -367 m, confirming it as the deepest known cave in Thailand. Two other caves in this region have been explored to depths of -178 m and -138 m. Phrae is almost unexplored and only one cave has been surveyed.
Longest cave: Tham Pha Phueng (3,218 m)
Deepest cave: Tham Pha Phueng (-367 m)
Volume 7 – The Caves of Phetchabun
First edition August 2011, 74 pages
126 caves, 18 surveys
This large province is at the crossroads between Central and Northern Thailand and between Central Thailand and the North-east. Isolated limestone outcrops are scattered at the edges of the Pa Sak river valley, but the main karst area is in the Nam Nao National Park in the north of the province. The third longest known cave in Thailand, the 10.2 km long Tham Yai Nam Nao, is the major cave system.
Longest cave: Tham Yai Nam Nao (10,422 m)
Deepest cave: Tham Phaya Naak (-133 m)
Volume 8 – The Caves of Phuket & Phang Nga
First edition August 2012, 73 pages
123 caves, 22 surveys
Phuket and Phang Nga, two popular tourist destinations on the Andaman Sea coast of southern Thailand, have large areas of karst topography and world famous scenery in Phang Nga Bay. On the mainland, around and to the north of Phang Nga town, there are several long stream caves.
Longest cave: Tham Racha Phuttha (1,504 m)
Deepest cave: Tham Racha Phuttha & Tham Phet (-21 m)
Volume 9 – The Caves of Chiang Rai, Lampang, Lamphun & Phayao
First edition November 2012, 105 pages
185 caves, 23 surveys
This volume of the Caves of Thailand series describes 185 caves and other sites of speleological interest in the northern provinces of Chiang Rai (70 caves), Lampang (78 caves), Lamphun (37 caves) and Phayao (31 caves).
Longest cave: Tham Luang, Chiang Rai (6,220 m)
Deepest cave: Tham Pha Khan, Lampang (-118 m)