Tham Pla | The Fish Cave near Mae Hong Son

When you have almost completed your 1864 curves to Mae Hong Son there is a nice place to stretch the legs before you arrive, the Fish Cave. It is a nice short nature trail with a coffee shop, a camping ground and a traditional Thai house and a statue of a hermit in the small cave. Nara is a Hindu patron and he protected the fish from getting harmed.

The sage Nara. A statue of a hermit protecting the fish in the Fish Cave Mae Hong Son.
The guardian of the cave and fish.

The wooden trail is very well arranged and in October it is particularly green and lush being at the end of the rainy season and all.

When you are inside, there is the 450 metres trail that goes like a circle. First, you pass a small bridge and then follow the river up to the cave and finally walk through a small forested part on the way back. That part is a cemented path.

The fish in the Fish Cave in Mae Hong Son

 Along the trail, there are fish of the Soro Brook (Neolissochilus Soroides) carps species. Extremely plentiful and expecting food.

The Sort Brook carps species in the fish cave in Mae Hong Son
Hard to see the water because of all the fish.

Also, the fish grow up to a meter long and are deep blue in colour. Furthermore, the fish seem to like to cool the water of the cave, and they fill up the small spaces near the holy site. There are vendors both outside the entrance and just by the cave that sells fish food.

Rice fields in rainy season. Green and yellow.
Green season scenary. Yes, it started to rain.

Plenty of parking space and few local restaurants surrounding the parking that provides your daily ration of grilled pork, papaya salad and sticky rice.

Pork for sale at the local restaurants outside the fish cave.
The pork was excellent
Tree overtaken by strangler figs.
A tree overtaken by strangler figs.
Sign of The Thampla fish cave
Thampla forest park
Signs telling you where to go in the forest park.
Arriving, you can’t walk the wrong way.
The bridge in the Forest park of the Fish Cave in Mae Hong Son.
Passing the bridge
Walking back in the forested area in the fish cave forest park in Mae Hong Son.
Walking back

Location of the Fish Cave, opening hours and camping.

The Fish Cave is on your right side 17 kilometres before arriving in Mae Hong Son. You will see road signs announcing it. What you can expect here is a nice and pleasant walk. So, this is not a deep cave experience with stalagmites and stalactites like in Chiang Dao.

The Fish Cave forest park is open from 8 am to 6 pm and the charge for adult foreigners is 100 baht. For kids 50 baht. If you decide to camp the price is 30 baht per tent and night.

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