Thai rescue cave to open as tourist attraction
Bangkok - The Tham Luang Cave which used to trap a junior football team in Thailand's northern province of Chiang Rai, will officially be opened for tourists from November 1, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment announced in its website on Wednesday.
The once flooded cave is going to be opened more than one year after the footballers and coach of the Wild Boar Academy were rescued by international teams after being trapped for 18 days.
The ministry's Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation said the cave had to be closed to get all the rescue equipment removed, as well as to develop the landscape of the Tham Luang national park for visitors.
It will be the first time visitors have been allowed into the caves since the famous Tham Luang Cave Rescue nearly 18 months ago, The Thaiger reported.
Since then, visitors have only been allowed to the entrance of the cave and but not inside.
On October 27 officials had a test run to allow tourists inside again. The "test" visitors were divided into groups of 25 to 30. Three groups were allowed in at a time.
Shortly after the rescue there was a massive renovation to the cave. All the rescue equipment have been removed and safety rails and decorations have been placed inside to ensure visitors can explore the cave safely.
A museum and the statue of a Thai ex-navy diver, Saman Gunan, who died during the mission, were also built to commemorate the rescue. Tourists will be allowed to tour inside the cave from 9am to 4:30pm from Nov. 1.