Thai Cave Rescue (ถ้ำหลวง: ภารกิจแห่งความหวัง), a limited series by Netflix, is based on an actual event. The rescue mission of the 13 trapped members of the “Wild Boars” football team played out to the fascination of a global audience in 2018. The series was filmed on site at the real location of Tham Luang-Khun Nam Nang Non National Park in Chiang Rai Province.
With the rustic charm of its mountains and local culture, Chiang Rai is one of Thailand’s tourist hotspots. Many of the province’s attractions are given greater mystery and color by local legends and folklore, including Tham Luang-Khun Nam Nang Non National Park.
Tham Luang-Khun Nam Nang Non National Park is a part of Doi Nang Non Forest Park. Covering more than 5,000 rai, this expansive area of Thai highland incorporates picturesque mountain ranges and is home to thousands of animals. Famous for its natural wonders, the area is also steeped in local folklore about the mountain, which resembles the shape of a pregnant woman lying down.
One of the folktales is about a princess from Chiang Rung who met her bitter demise in the name of love. After becoming pregnant during a forbidden affair with a horse caretaker, her lover was assassinated by her father, the King. Heartbroken by the death of her true love, the princess decided to use her hairpin to end her own life. According to folklore, as her blood flowed, it became the origin of the Mae Sai River.
Apart from this tragic love story, Tham Luang-Khun Nam Nang Non offers an abundance of natural yet potentially dangerous beauty, which helps to understand the perilous story of the 13 trapped members of the Wild Boars Football Team.
Doi Nang Non is the location of Phra That Doi Tung, one of Thailand’s most important temples. For a panoramic view, visit the Chang Mub viewpoint, 830 meters above sea level, which offers a view of the Doi Nang Non mountain range along the Thailand-Myanmar border.
An enormous limestone cavern, Tham Luang is 7 kilometers long and reigns as Thailand’s longest cave system. There are different levels inside along with stalagmites and stalactites, which are formed by wind and water into magnificent shapes that glisten with colorful stone flakes, and streams which run all year round.
This pool has become a must-visit photo spot. Since the rescue mission, a small pond in front of the cave was mixed with calcium carbonate to create a big emerald pool with clear water. The park office developed this place into a tourist attraction named “Khun Nam Emerald Pool.”
Located about 60 kilometers from Chiang Rai town, Tham Luang-Khun Nam Nang Non National Park is open 8 am-5 pm. Follow Phahonyothin Road until you reach KM.882, then take a turn onto Ban Jong, and continue straight on to the park.