A cave in northern Chiang Rai province where 12 young soccer players and their coach were trapped 18 days before their miraculous rescue will reopen Friday to the public.
The limestone cave of Tham Luang Nang Non, where the team became trapped deep within by rising water levels, will welcome visitors into its entrance for the first time since the 2018 rescue. The above-ground facility, where a museum and statue had been erected to rescue hero Sgt. Saman Kunan, had been closed since April due to the pandemic.
Apart from the beauty of the natural landscape, visitors can also walk along a new trail 200 meters into the cave to see the outermost chamber used by foreign volunteers and Navy Seal divers to carry out the rescue mission.
The emerald Khun Nam Nang Non pool, located about 2 kilometers from the cave, will also open – but swimming will remain prohibited.
Visitors won’t be able to trek the 2.4 kilometers in to the Noen Nom Sao chamber, where the 13 members of the Wild Boars football team were trapped.
Admission is free. Visitors must be fully vaccinated. With the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, the attraction is capped to 40 visitors at a time. Guided tours take roughly 30 minutes.
Saman, who drowned while resupplying oxygen along the route to reach the boys, was the only casualty of the massive rescue operation which seized the world’s attention.
Nang Non Cave is located in the Pong Pha subdistrict of Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district just a few kilometers from the border with Myanmar.