We watched as the two older Thai women lit the lanterns. Then we followed as they led us to the cave entrance.
You cannot enter Tham Lod (Lod Cave) without a guide. There are no electric lights in this largely undeveloped cave. The lanterns would be our only source of light. After we crossed the boardwalk at the entrance there didn’t seem to be a path, but the guides knew the way.
We were led through the cave, dodging stalagmites and ducking under stalactites. We saw huge spiders and small snakes. The smell of guano filled the air. We could hear the echo of fluttering bats, but couldn’t see them until our eyes adjusted to the dark. Then we saw hundreds of bats hanging on the ceiling of the cave.
About half way through the cave, we boarded bamboo rafts. We glided through the river flowing through the middle of the cavern until we reached the cave exit.
After exploring this end of the cave, we were taken back to the entrance on the bamboo raft (even though we had only paid for a one way trip).
We were staying just down the road from Tham Lod at Cave Lodge. Rand had read about this place online and was excited to stay so close to the caves and other outdoor adventures.
We stayed in a family sized cabin over looking a river. Two of the girls slept in a loft. And the shower even had hot water, sometimes.
We ate some of our meals at the Cave Lodge restaurant, which had good, but slightly overpriced food. And ate some meals at little shops down the road here we ate cheaper local food.
In addition to visiting Tham Lod, we also did a kayaking/caving trip offered by Cave Lodge. We had a great time kayaking through a cave and running a few small rapids.
We stopped and visited a side cave where we had to squeeze through the entrance to get in. And I only felt a little bit claustrophobic.
Inside the cave we got to see a baby bat hanging from a stalactite. Kali named it Iggy and wanted to take it home as a pet.
Back on the river, we got to kayak down two waterfalls created by dams. The guides shoved us from the top and our inflatable duck kayaks slid down the falls with a splash. It was exciting and fun.
We have discovered during our travels that our family really likes activities that are a little bit adventurous and active, but not too strenuous. Caving and kayaking in Soppong fit this description perfectly.
Cave Lodge also offers an early morning trip to the Sea of Clouds. We took a truck at 5 am up into the hills to an overlook to watch the sunrise. As we waited for the sun, we were swarmed by moths. But it was worth it.
As the sun peeked over the horizon, the clouds below us became visible. A white, fluffy blanket covered the valley.
We stood drinking hot chocolate and enjoying the view until the sun rose into the sky.
Caving, kayaking, and a sea of clouds. The few days we spent at Cave Lodge are among the favorite of our travels so far.