CAVE DIVING Why Thailand?
The cave diving world in Thailand invites you to come and have a look in a safe manner with the use of lines, reels, lights and twin tanks. Some people/divers say that the caves in Thailand are bad and compare them to Mexico or FLorida. No we do not have many light penetrations to make it appear more crystal clear. But we do have real deep black caves, with 40 meters viz, which go down to 249 meters depth.
In caves Color ceases to exist, daylight no longer penetrates and nature has set aside a biological clock, especially made for the slow ticking world of overhead environments. Discover with your own eyes thousands of years of natures handcraft in submerged cave systems, encounter species that have never been exposed to light like small shrimps, blind cave fish, stalactites and other breathtaking monuments of the dark underwater world.
Explore the last frontiers of our planet; CAVES offer excellent opportunities for training and exploration.
Besides the Cave TRIPS we run Courses like DPV, Stage and Mixed gas cave courses on a regular basis in southern Thailand. The caves in Thailand are perfect for new and experienced cave divers of all levels.
About The Caves in Thailand
Thailand has vast limestone formations and one can find throughout the country numerous caves to wander through. Some of them go on for miles. Most have water in them, but still doable without the need of scuba equipment.
Sra Keow Cave
This does not go up for all Thai cave systems though. Some of the deepest caves in Asia have been dived in Thailand. Krabi province offers a variety of limestone caves as well as more towards the South, In Trang Province. Cave Diving in Krabi became famous a few years ago when a deep cave was bottomed out after nearly 10 years of exploration; Sra Keow cave system, which consists out of two small ponds, drops down to a mere 240metres/660 feet below the jungle floor.
Caves are most of the time formed by water eating away softer stone, like limestone. This process can take thousands of years and usually results in a true piece of art. Caves formed by acidic rainwater carving out soft limestone are called solution caves.
There are different cave systems throughout the world, some are huge and very deep. Others are narrow and shallow but continue for miles.
This is usually what Lime stone solution caves are about. Quite shallow (meaning, shallower than 40m/120Ft) and they go on for miles and miles. The caves in Mexico, also called cenotes by the ancient Mayan culture, have an average depth of around 12m/40Ft. Explorers have now laid more than 150Km/ 100Miles of line. The underground in the Yucatan peninsula is comparable to a giant Emmentaler cheese.
Sra Keow Cave Details:
- Distance from Phuket: 2.5 hours drive by car
- Transportation: By car. The lake is 10×10 meters diameter.
- Closest town: Ao Nang
- Depth: 249 meters 829 feet
- Visibility: Between 3-20 meters
- Temperature: Between 23-29 Celsius
- Entrance: 2 small lakes connected to each other at 70 meters depth.
- Accommodation: We normally drive back to Phuket or if combined with Song Hong we stay at the accommodation there.
Song Hong Cave
Another cave system in Thailand, which have had a few earlier diving expeditions, was explored mid November 2006 is called Song Hong (2 rooms). Song Hong Cave system is a sinkhole. Sinkholes appear when an underground cave system comes closer to the surface. The ceiling becomes weak and collapses, leaving a small pong or a large lake. This happened in Song Hong, a small village in the middle of the jungle, Trang Province in South Thailand.
The Song Hong Cave, meaning two rooms in Thai language, probably because there are two lakes not far away from each other. The main lake spans about 150m in diameter and is surrounded by Jungle. Cave Diving in Song Hong means, a water temperature of 26 degrees Celsius and the visibility is around 5-10 meters in the shallows and up to 30m at depth inside the caves.
The lake drops quickly to 100m straight off the shore. This is one of the reasons Blue Label Diving also runs its Trimix Courses in this lake. On both sides of the lake a large tunnel drops down, starting at 60m of depth. Both tunnels have a gentle flow of water, suggesting that they were connected ages ago when the lake was not formed yet. To date, only a handful of expeditions had gone to explore. The problem with Diving Song Hong cave is the distance from any civilisation. There is a small town nearby, but if one needs lodgings and medical care or gas filling facilities, you are looking at a 2-hour drive to Krabi province.
Early expeditions laid lines around the lake and several routes in the upstream section. With each expedition pushing further, there were now to be 2 main lines, stretching in as far as 500m/1500Ft inside the cave. Because of the steep drop, logistics offer a real challenge in terms of long decompression, moving through the cave at a fast pace carrying a large amount of gear and cylinders. The end of the line was 110 meters of depth, 800m inside the cave.
The 2nd last expedition in Song Hong, pushed by Ben Reymenants and Pekka Hartikainen , pushed the line an extra 19m up to a depth of 155m. After this Ben went again, but this time alone on the 2nd of January 2014 to the max depth of 177.5 meters.
Song Hong Cave Details:
- Distance from Phuket: 4 hours drive by car
- Transportation: By car. The lake is about 50×50 meters diameter.
- Closest town: Thung Yai
- Depth: 177 meters 589 feet
- Visibility: Between 10-80 meters
- Temperature: Between 23-29 Celsius
- Entrance: 2 small lakes connected to each other at 40 meters depth. One entrance at the north-east side at 80 meters depth. (unexplored yet)
- Accommodation: About 20 minutes away from the lake we stay in a guesthouse kind accommodation.
KHAO SOK Caves
The most popular cave system however is based in the enormous Khao Sok National park; here a valley flooded some 25 years ago , forming a lake, powering a hydrodam.
The rising water cause some pristine cave systems to flood, now only accessible to divers. Temple cave being the most famous, but cavern divers can swim through hundreds of stalactites in Phra Daeng cave or squeeze into Peters cave.
Most of the caves are shallower than 20m/60ft, offering plenty of time to wander through or conduct any cave course of choice.
Accommodation is on the lake in floating bamboo houses and local food is served 3 times a day.
Khao Sok caves Details:
- Distance from Phuket: 3 hours drive by car
- Transportation: By car and boat. The lake is 250 square km.
- Closest town: Suratthani
- Depth Lake: 80 meters 266 feet
- Deepest Cave: 40 meters 133 feet
- Visibility in the caves: Between 10-30 meters
- Temperature: Between 23-29 Celsius
- Entrance: Blue Label Diving uses around 4 caves for the Cavern and Intro to cave diving Training. These caves are located approx. 30 min boat drive away
- Accommodation: Floating Bamboo/wooden bungalows on the lake itself.
All the cave diving courses in the Blue Label Diving curriculum can be run almost anywhere on the globe, a body of water is all that is needed. If you like traveling to exotic places, we can highly recommend joining a course at one of our prime technical diving locations in Thailand. Cave Training can be done in Phuket, Phi Phi, Khao Sok or Krabi.
We like to keep up a steep learning curve at Blue Label Diving. The diving agencies specific academics are partly completed through home study and finalised early in the course. This allows us to offer you more hands-on information, time for practical dive planning and workshops.
Because these diving locations are very remote, Blue Label Diving ALWAYS carries oxygen and an extensive First Aid Kit around and our instructors are all fully qualified DIVE MEDIC TECHNICIANS.
Looking forward to show you the different side of diving; the DARK side in Thailand.