Chao Ram Cave
Chao Ram Cave is significant both for historical and environmental aspects. A stone inscription of King Ramkhamhaeng The Great is found here. The Sila Buddha image is currently housed at Wat Thung Saliam at Thung Saliam district. In terms of environmental attractions at sunset thousands of bats emerge from the cave to feed.
Located in Tham Chao Ram Non-Hunting area, this cave is now Chao Ram Cave Wildlife Sanctuary due to its abundant plants and wild animals, and great eco-diversity. This is possibly one of the best ecotourism places in Thailand.
It is quite difficult to reach. A four-wheel drive vehicle and a pick-up are recommended and visit during the cold season with dry road surface conditions.
To get there by car, start at Thung Saliam district and carry on to Thoen district. Then, take Highway No. 1327 twenty kilometres to Ban Choke Puay and Ban Huay Ta Klai. When Ban Huay Ta Klai public health center located at the corner is seen, turn right to the rural road and go straight to Nam Hnong Kao reservoir at about ten kilometres. There are guide signs all along the way to Tham Chao Ram checkpoint. Proceed to a road in the forest for four kilometres to reach Chao Ram cave. The road is mainly non-asphalt, thus driving a sedan, especially in the rainy season, is not recommended. Sometimes it is hard to reach even by a four-wheel drive vehicle.
If taking the bus, tourists have to take Sukhothai – Sri Samrong – Sawankhalok – Sri Satchanalai – Uttaradit route.
Around 6 p.m., nearly a million bats pour out of the cave entrance and fly across the horizon in a display lasting more than two hours. From time to time, an exciting scene of falcons hunting the bats can be seen. According to researches of Royal Forest Department wildlife scholars, the bats are insect eating including large bent-winged bat, horsfield's leaf-nosed bat, wrinkle-lipped bat, shield-faced leaf-nosed bat, theobold's tomb bat and dawn bat or nectar-feeding bat.