Visiting the border town at the centre of the Thai cave rescue

Tham Luang Forest Park is located in Mae Sai, in the far north of Chiang Rai Province.
Tham Luang Forest Park is located in Mae Sai, in the far north of Chiang Rai Province.PHOTO: RONAN O'CONNELL

MAE SAI (THAILAND) - I am standing in the grounds of a Buddhist temple, at the entrance to a dark cave, when I hear a male voice from behind me. "They say that cave goes all the way from Thailand to Myanmar."

I turn around to be greeted by a Swiss monk who is living here at Wat Tham Pha Chom, an ancient Thai temple located just 200m from the Ruak River, which forms a natural border between Myanmar and Thailand's Chiang Rai Province.

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