Thailand Cave Diving

Song Hong Cave

cave diving courses thailand

Location:          Tung Yai, Krabi, Thailand

Depth:              0 – 150m/500ft
Training reqs:  Lake; OWD – Trimix
Cave; Cavern – Full cave
Access:             Park next to entrance
Permissions:    None
Discoverer:      Matt London, 2001
Last Dived by:  Bruce Konefe, 2010

 

This is one of the most amazing caves that I have seen. It doesn’t have the most beautiful stalagmites or stalactites. It is the size that puts me at awe. Song Hong is about 120km drive from Krabi, the nearest town would be Thung Yai.

song_hong_cave_thailand cave diving courses                               cave diving courses thailand

Song Hong lake is only about 75 meters across and 75 meters wide. In the middle of the lake you can reach 110 meters from what I have been told.  I have managed to get down to about 125 meters in the cave  a couple times. One time I had a pressure gauge implode at max depth of 125 meters  on are way to 130 m. Think we were going to 130 m when that happened.

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Both inside the cave and in the lake you will find survey lines at depths like 10 m, 20 m, 40 m etc going all around the lake and cave. You will also see lines that follow the wall down deep.

Viz can actually get  to be about 20 meters. Sometimes you have better viz inside the cave then you do outside. When you go inside the cave entrance it is amazing because you cannot see any of the other walls. There is supposed to be a passageway somewhere around the 140 meters deep.

One diver by the name Mike Gadd had penetrated these passageways for about 800 meters. Actually one of my life adventures is to film this passageway and try to add a bit more line to the existing one. Mike had done this with the help of Matt partridge and Ben Reymenants a year or two back.

How to get there:-

Directions  to Song Hong – Take 4 going east . Go past the airport til you get to 4037 then turn left. Drive till you reach 4156 and make a right turn. Drive 39 km and this will take you to a hotel (which about one of the only ones around.) 400 baht per night. 0765368619  0898717043

To get to Song Hong from the hotel make a left on 4156 and drive to 4038. Head down 4038 until you  see a yellow school bus stop on the left side. It is exactly 12.9 km once you get on 4038. Turn left and drive 3 km until you come to a T junction . Turn right at the T junction and drive 4 7/10 km . There will be a road turning to the right and a market there on the corner. Turn right before the road to the right, there is a car path leading back to Song Hong.  Probable the nearest place to get tanks filled would be the One Stop Shop near Ao-Nang.

Tel: +66 (0) 75 637 926/7

Can speak to Dave at 0815358782  One Stop Shop


Sre Keow Cave

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Location:          Sre Keow, Krabi, Thailand
Depth:              0 – 240m/800ft
Training reqs:  Intro to Cave – Full cave
Access:             National Park, Travel by elephant
Permissions:    Ask the local ‘Gamnan’ or ‘Puu-Yai-Baan’(Head Villager)Discoverer:      Matt London, 2001
Last Dived by:  Bruce Konefe, 2009

 

 

 

map_srikaew_cave_thailandThis is the deepest cave that I know of and have dove in Thailand. This cave looks like a small pond but what you do not know is that small entrance will take you a long ways in. I have made numerous trips down to this cave on different occasions. There are two ponds that you can see and they will both join up at about 80 meters depth. The first pond you come  to has the best viz of the two. Be careful when you go because the viz can turn real bad and real quick.

The second pond there is what looks like to be training lines all over the place. Every time I went in this pond the viz we lousy right from  start. The viz does get good once you get past the 80 m mark to where it actually gets quite clear. This must have something to do with the rain and the mountains surrounding the caves.

 

cave diving exploration trips thailandOn numerous trips I helped other team members by staging tanks down to the 120 meter depth range. Some of the divers had gone down to 150 m on one trip and 200 m the next. One time I had to be the clean up diver hitting the surface with 8 tanks clipped on. That was fun right up to the 20 m mark where there was a line trap and had to try and navigate around .This cave bottoms out at 240 m. A group of guys living in Thailand had gone and bottomed out the cave on one trip. Around the back side of sure Keow if you follow the small road around you will come across a small pond.

The viz was not so good but if you follow the line that is already laid you will come up to a small restriction Just about big enough to squeeze through with a set of twins.

 

 

cave diving class thailandOnce you get through this passage way the cave goes down at about 45 degree angle I have down to only 40 meters or so but have been told that it goes beyond 90 m. This passageway is at an angle heading right towards the main cave system. the start. The viz does get good once you get past the 80 m mark to where it actually gets quite clear. This must have something to do with the rain and the mountains surrounding the caves. On numerous trips I helped other team members by staging tanks down to the 120 meter depth range. Some of the divers had gone down to 150 m on one trip and 200 m the next. One time I had to be the clean up diver hitting the surface with 8 tanks clipped on. That was fun right up to the 20 m mark where there was a line trap and had to try and navigate around .

 

 

cave diver course thailandThis cave bottoms out at 240 m. A group of guys living in Thailand had gone and bottomed out the cave on one trip. Around the back side of sure Keow if you follow the small road around you will come across a small pond. The viz was not so good but if you follow the line that is already laid you will come up to a small restriction Just about big enough to squeeze through with a set of twins. Once you get through this passage way the cave goes down at about 45 degree angle I have down to only 40 meters or so but have been told that it goes beyond 90 m. This passageway is at an angle heading right towards the main cave system. I believe it joins up at some point. Maybe next trip

 

 

 How to get there:-

Take 4203 which is just north of Ao-Nang Thailand heading east. Make a left on 4033 and go approximately 1 ½ km then turn right on 1003. Drive about 3/10 km and turn right on a small road leading to a elephant farm. You will drive 1 4/10 km down this road and turn left. You will turn left right before the road turns into a dirt road. This road will take you to the two main ponds of Song Sre keow.

GPS to Sre keow – 8 degrees 10’7.99 N   98 degrees 48’25.89 E

Hotels – There are plenty of hotels about 20 km west of Sre Keow of all prices ranges in Krabi and Aow Nang

Nearest Fill station – ONE STOP SHOP located on Moo 2 right off of 4201. GPS – 8 degrees 02’29 N, 98 degrees 50’22 E

One Stop shop : Tel: +66 (0) 75 637 926/7

Can speak to Dave at 0815358782  One Stop Shop


Thong Pha Phum Cave

tong_paa_phum cave exploration thailandLocation:          Thong Pha Phum, Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Depth:              0 – 60m/200ft
Training reqs:  Cavern – Full cave
Access:             Long tail boat from local fishing village
Permissions:    None
Discoverer:      Bruce Konefe, 2005
Last Dived by:  Bruce Konefe, 2009

Thong Pha Phum – located about 120 km north of Kanchanaburi. This is where I first started searching for caves, I think I have come across about  6 different caverns and two very nice caves.

The first cave that I dove in up north was when a Thai policeman took me up there to show me its location. It was a beautiful 40 minute long tail boat ride. When you arrive you will just see a small island in the middle of this lake.

If you scale down the one wall you will find the entrance. Going straight will take you through the cavern and right out the other side.

A great place to take cavern students for their first cavern dive. Safe and easy to navigate.

 

 

tong_paa_phum_cave diving courses thailandThere is a nice passage that follows the left wall around that will either take you outside or turn right and take you to the main passageway through the middle.  In this cave I have seen schools of baby cat fish and also some of the biggest catfish alive. The biggest catfish was about 1 ½ meters long.

This fish definitely was not scared of me, he kept staring at me and never swam away. The bottom depth of this cave is around 15-18 meters. This is hard to judge sometimes since the water level varies a lot during the year.

Not far from the village where we leave from are two other caverns. The one cavern is one of my favorites since there are a lot of turn and boulders in there that make good practice for the students practicing laying lines. The cavern gives you the feeling like you are way back in a big cave system but if you look close you can see the light from the entrance. During the low level water season someone had parked a small boat inside. The water had risen and the boat was left in there.

 

cave exploration and training thailandTo our surprise we looked up and there was this boat inside the cavern.  Just around the corner from this cavern is another one.

Nothing spectacular but a descent place to dive and practice skills. I believe these two caverns do connect somewhere in the middle. I have not been able to connect them up as of yet since I am normally with students when I go.

One of these days I will take my OMS side mount kit and see if they really do connect. Not  far from a floating restaurant there are a bunch of caves along this big tall mountain wall.

 

Thailand Cave Diving CoursesTwo caves there really stick out in my head. One of them the entrance is not very deep maybe 6 meters or so. When you enter you turn to the left and follow the wall.

Once you get in there are a couple different directions that you could go. There is a nice passageway  you follow with spots all over the wall. IF you do go the other way there are places that you can poke your head up out of the water.

There is one place you can actually get up and take your equipment off. I never did but there was a passage way going somewhere. The viz in this cave is totally awesome, never been there with bad viz.

cat_fish_cave diving thailand

 

There are some permanent lines laid in this cave with some jumps put in for the students to practice with. Not far from this cave is another island that has a real descent cave.

Once laid out more than a whole reel and it kept going back in. Stupid me reeled out and have not been able to find the passageway again which is somewhere against the back wall.

 

 

cave diving expeditions thailandI have been told that there is a large Buddha image still left in this cave. I did find a large wooden table in the middle of the cave.

This table was used to put Buddha images and such when they come to the cave. This lake  is all fresh water.

The whole area used to be dry until they built the dams about 30 years ago and flooded the whole town. This same cave the viz can get quite low however I like this cave the most and give the student some excellent training. I did lay some primary lines through the cave but they probable should be re-laid.

 

How to get there:-

Directions to Thong Pha phum – Take 323 out of Kanchanburi . approximately 130 km north of kanchanaburi.

You do need a long tail to get to the caves. Caves range from a 10 minute boat ride to 1 hour. Excellent boat ride getting there.

30 meter cave – 14.54.722 North  98.31.054 East

Depth got to be 30 m, great for training, can have very low viz, there is a wooden table inside where the people would put Buddha images on before the flood. This cave is a traverse. I did lay some lines through the cave but after diving a couple times I thought they could be laid much better. First time through you have no ideal where to go.

Long Cave – 14.57.180 North   98.29.289 East

Shallow cave with some awesome visibility. I laid some lines through and set up some jump s for students to practice on plus there were other passages there. Very nice tunnel with spots on the walls as you get near the end. There are places inside this cave that you can surface and even get out of the water. You can spend a hour playing around in this cave and have a lot of fun. The cave entrance is directly across from a floating huts.

2 Caves – 14.56.792 North   98.29.504 East

Bat Cave 14.51.988 North    98.29.429 East

I wrote down nick-names for the caves trying to remember why I named them that. Been awhile since I have been up there.


Khao Sok Cave

bruce konefe cave instructor thailand

 

Location:          Khao Sok National Park,  Surathani, Thailand
Depth:              0 – 100m/330ft
Training reqs:  Lake; OWD – Trimix
Cave; Cavern – Full cave
Access:             Park next to entrance
Permissions:    Must pay THB200 to enter the national park
Discoverer:       Bruce Konefe, Temple Cave, 2006
Last Dived by:  Bruce Konefe, 2010

 

 

cave diving expeditions thailandKhao Sok National park (Rachabrappha Dam) – This again is a fresh water lake. Probable the most well known cave in the lake is Temple cave. We  dove this cave for the first time back in 2006. I think everybody and there brother has been in here.

There are about 3 or 4 places that you can enter into this cave. This cave is probable the most beautiful cave I have seen in Thailand. If you dive the shallow sections of the cave is awesome to be able to see all of the stalactites.

This cave is good for doing training courses in. We have actually laid lines at different levels of the cave allowing the students more to see.

 

cave diving certification lessons thailandThe max depth of this cave is around 24 meters, Again this can change with the time of the year. Not far from Temple cave is Peters cave.

Not sure who was the first one to dive this cave, it might have been either Erik or Milo.

The cave entrance is quite shallow maybe 6 meters or so. There is a primary line laid all the way around this cave. The max depth may be right around 15-18 meters.

There is a second entrance to this cave which I like to use for training of restrictions. Down and off to the left of the main entrance is a second entrance.

You  can barely squeeze through with a set of twins on, if you have a deco tank you will probably have to take it off and shove it through the whole. One you go inside after about 10 meters it will go to the left. There is a nice restriction that you have to go through and it will come out right in the bottom of Peters cave. This I like to do blacked out mask, out of air and touch contact.

cave exploration and diver training courses thailandNam Dang is another place for training. Probable best for doing the first couple dives of the cavern course. Easy and safe to dive.

I like to get people to practice laying line through here where if they make a mistake they can easily get out. You can see the entrance most of the way around the cave. There is one small whole that Peter showed me and he said that it went up and in a good ways. I was playing around to see if I could fit through the whole with my rebreather on.

Actually had my 02 valve roll shit , wondering why my po2 was getting low. Lol. I believe there are good possibilities of finding more caverns and caves in this lake. I know a lot of the guys from the south have been always checking out new spots.

How to get there:-

Directions to Khao Sok National Park – 41 to 401 Head west on 401. Drive till the village Ban Ta khun. There is a sign that says Ratchaprapha dam. Turn left and drive about  13 km and the road will come to a T. Turn left at the T and go through the guard shack. Once through the guard shack  make a immediate right and this road will take you to the main pier

GPS location to temple cave – 9.2.12 N, 98.40.33 E

Long Tail boat – Owners name is Vell and can be reached at 0847458632


Phi Phi

Many moons ago I did my cavern course on Phi Phi with Matt London. We did dive in a cave called Maia cave or something like that. Actually thought it was a good cavern to dive it. This cavern is right near the beach where they filmed the movie ‘The Beach‘ , There are some sea caves down off of PHI PHI that I have not had the chance to dive in. I have been told that they go in about 120 m or so. Hopefully I will get the opportunity to dive these caves in the near future..


Thailand Cave Diving Project TCDP

Historic Cave Diving research data carried out by Thailand Cave Diving pioneer – Matt London.