Lost In the Forest at Cave Lodge

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Lost In the Forest at Cave Lodge

The deeper into Thailand I get and the further off the tourist trail, the more I appreciate its natural beauty and intriguing culture. Pai was a wonderful change of pace from city life, but Cave Lodge took it two steps further. Located in the mountainous forest not far from the Myanmar border it was so peaceful here I decided to spend three nights.


I really enjoy having no plans and not knowing where I’m going to sleep the next night. If I really like a place I’ll stay more time. Just take it one day at a time. It’s a great feeling. I’ve never felt so free.

At Cave Lodge I did a lot of just hanging out and catching up on US tv shows, processing photos, and of course I went on a few hikes.

100,000 Bats

After arriving Sunday afternoon and hearing about the daily migration of bats out of the nearly cave at sunset I decided to see for myself if the claims of 100,000 bats and swifts was really true. I didn’t actually count, but I can definitely believe that figure after seeing this in person. Just make sure you take cover under a rock outcropping because everything else gets covered in bat poop.


I made a new friend and hiking partner also. Don’t worry Shiba you’re still a way better hiker and I wish you could be here.


High Ridge and Hill Tribe Village

John, the owner of Cave Lodge, an Australian, who has been living in Thailand for 30 years and knows the forests in the area better than most puts together a detailed map so his guests can take themselves on a hike appropriate for their level of experience. Many places in SE Asia are very hard to hike alone since trails are not marked and you can get lost very quickly. This was one of the reasons I decided to go to Cave Lodge since guides can get expensive.

Monday, the morning after my arrival I set off for an 18 mile hike along a ridge that is supposed to have great views. From there I decended into a Karen tribal village called Ban Muang Paem. It was very interesting to see how these people live, but I was a little disappointed. There is electricity in the village and most of the residents were wearing basketball jerseys and trying to sell me things. I guess I should have known better.





Big Knob

The next day I picked a slightly shorter, but just as difficult hike up the highest peak around. They call it high knob and you’ll see what they mean by that in the pictures. It was a very steep climb strait up the hill. There was not really much of a trail but you couldn’t get lost either; just keep going up.

After reaching the top, I realized the views were not as impressive as I thought they might be, but that wasn’t really the point. At least now I can say I hiked up the high knob, which is one of the harder climbs I’ve done. It was only about 2,500 vertical feet, but that was covered in a relatively short distance. Plus the views of the knob from the bottom after I came back down were definitely worth it.


I can highly recommend staying at Cave Lodge for the staffs expertise of the local area and generous hospitality. I stayed for 3 nights, and ate most of my meals here. The bill still came in at just under $50

I left this morning to continue along my route. I am staying in Mae Hong Son tonight and will probably move on tomorrow afternoon. More about the Mae Hong Son loop in my next post…



I am traveling the world focusing on adventure and photography.


  • Cara

    Super fun Brooks!!! Did you get pooped on? Did those people in the picture? LOL

    November 18, 2015 at 3:36 pm
    • Brooks

      Haha no I avoided it, but my camera got a little. Its taking plenty of abuse though.

      November 19, 2015 at 12:38 am
  • Peg

    Brooks…so you didn’t see the authentic hilltribe people with the bands around there neck? I think they are northwest tho. Sounds like you are having an awesome trip and meeting really nice people; good on ya! Karly and I are mostly meeting sheep:)

    November 18, 2015 at 8:16 pm
    • Brooks

      Hey, what’s wrong with sheep? I did not see any longneck villagers, other than the photos in the lodge. I think there are very few left, mostly in the more remote villages.

      November 19, 2015 at 12:42 am

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