CHIANG RAI: The Ministry of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation confirmed yesterday (May 22) that safety measures will be implemented in preparation for the reopening of Tham Luang Cave in Chiang Rai in July.
The cave gained global attention in 2018 when floodwaters trapped 12 young Wild Boars football players and their coach for 18 days, leading to a successful rescue operation.
Atthaphon Charoenchansa, director-general of the Ministry of Marine and Coastal Resources, and other officials; Chaiwat Limlikhit-aksorn, director of the National Park Office; Chutidech Kamonnachanut, director of the Chiang Rai 15 Reserve Management Office; Cave diver Vernon Unsworth plans to visit the Tham Luang-Khun Nam Nang non-national park this weekend.
At present, only the exhibition area and the area in front of the cave are open to the public. From July, the first cavern of about 150 meters will be open to tourists. The number of each visiting group is limited to 25 people, and the exploration time for each round is 30 minutes.
To manage the flow of tourists, authorities have imposed a limit of 16 rounds per day, with a maximum of 400 tourists per day allowed in the first hall. For the second conference hall, only 4 groups of 15 people are allowed to enter each day. To ensure admission, applications must be submitted at least one week in advance. The third room will be reserved exclusively for researchers and specialists, who must submit a letter to the department at least 30 days before their visit.
These safety measures are in place to ensure that Tham Luang Cave is protected, while also allowing limited public access for sightseeing and exploration. By carefully managing visitor numbers and controlling the duration of each visit, authorities strive to maintain a balance between safety and providing people with the opportunity to experience the natural wonders of the cave.