Naga Cave closed indefinitely after being defaced by visitors

Naga Cave closed indefinitely after being defaced by visitors

A picture from the
A picture from the "Buengkan day" Facebook page shows Thai graffiti scratched into the 100,000-year-old "snake scales" at the Naga Cave in Bung Kan province.

The environment minister has ordered the indefinite closure of Phu Langka national park and the recently discovered Naga Cave, which features rock formations like giant snake scales that have recently been disfigured by visitors looking for lucky lottery numbers.

Minister Varawut Silpa-archa announced the closure of the park and cave in Bung Khong Long district of Bung Kan on Wednesday.

He said visitors had damaged the rock formations by rubbing at the surface, hoping to find lucky lottery numbers. Others had gouged rude graffiti into the rock.

The Naga Cave would be closed until officials come up with effective measures to protect the important geological resources of the country.

He condemned the vandalism and said people with such bad habits were not welcome.

Mr Varawut apologised to those people who planned to visit the northeastern tourist spot and had already reserved accommodation.

He said he had to order the immediate closure of the site. Allowing a grace period would also mean allowing vandals time to cause more damage.

The minister said he would discuss with relevant officials the best way to erase the unwanted inscriptions and prevent visitors from touching the rock formations.

The Naga Cave is a new attraction, discovered only this year near Wat Tham Chai Mongkol. It features rock formations that resemble a mythological giant snake known as Naga.

According to officials at Phu Langkha National Park, the "snake scales" are about 100,000 years old and are actually sun-cracked rock.

Sharp temperature differences between day and night caused the rock to expand and contract, and it cracked. Water eroded the edges of the cracks and caused the rock to look like snake scales.


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