Cave once trapped Thai footballers packed with tourists on opening day

2019-11-04 10:32:59China Daily Editor : Gu Liping ECNS App Download

Throngs of tourists on Friday were packed at the entrance site of the famous cave which once trapped 12 Thai footballers in Thailand's Northern Province of Chiang Rai.

Friday was the grand opening of the Tham Luang Cave one year after park officials removed all the equipment left behind after the rescue mission.

"It took a little more than a year to open the cave to tourists because we had to rearrange the landscape and ensure that the Tham Luang Cave is able to accommodate a huge influx of tourists," said Jongklai Worapongsathork, the deputy director-general of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

Park officials told the press that before the gates were opened at 8.30 am on Friday, about 2000 visitors were queuing up at the park's entrance.

The Tham Luang Cave has been upgraded from a forest park to a national park last month after it became the focus of an international rescue effort to retrieve the young players and their trainer. The successful mission was one of the biggest international news stories of last year.

"The cave is unable to accommodate such a huge number of visitors at once, so we will allow only 20 people at a time to see the three significant spots in the cave," said Jongklai.

About 1.5 million people visited the cave in the last fiscal year, despite not being allowed to enter the cave as the area was still being restored as part of an upgrade.


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