Doi Nang Non

Doi Nang Non (Thai: ดอยนางนอน, pronounced [dɔ̄ːj nāːŋ nɔ̄ːn]; 'Mountain of the Sleeping Lady') is a mountain range in the Thai highlands in Chiang Rai Province, Thailand. It is a karstic formation with numerous waterfalls and caves rising at the southern end of the Daen Lao Range. Part of its area is managed as the Tham Luang–Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park (Thai: วนอุทยานถ้ำหลวง-ขุนน้ำนางนอน).

Doi Nang Non
Doi Nang Non.JPG
The Doi Nang Non mountain range. When viewed from this angle, it is said to resemble a lady lying on her back.
Highest point
PeakDoi Tung
Elevation1,389 m (4,557 ft) [1]
ListingList of mountain ranges in the world named The Sleeping Lady
Coordinates20°21′06″N 99°50′30″E / 20.35167°N 99.84167°E / 20.35167; 99.84167Coordinates: 20°21′06″N 99°50′30″E / 20.35167°N 99.84167°E / 20.35167; 99.84167
Length30 km (19 mi) NNE/SSW
Width7 km (4.3 mi) WNW/ESE
Doi Nang Non is located in Thailand
Doi Nang Non
Doi Nang Non
LocationMae Sai District, Chiang Rai Province, Thailand
Parent rangeDaen Lao Range
Type of rockLimestone
Easiest routeFrom Mae Sai or Mae Chan


Doi Nang Non consists of a long hill tract that lies on the west side of the highway between Chiang Rai and Mae Sai. The greater part of the range is in Mae Sai District, extending west and southwest of Pong Pha along the border with Myanmar.[2] The mountain range is an unusual land feature when seen from certain angles as its silhouette takes the shape of a reclining woman with long hair. Its highest point is Doi Tung, which corresponds to the belly of the lady.[1]


There are a number of caves and underground water courses in the range area.

  • Tham Luang Nang Non (Thai: ถ้ำหลวงนางนอน; 'Great Cave of the Sleeping Lady') is a semi-dry[a] limestone cave in the Doi Nang Non range.[3] It is 10.3 kilometres (6.4 mi) long, and has many deep recesses, narrow passages and tunnels winding under hundreds of meters of limestone strata.[4] There are numerous stalactites and stalagmites in some parts of the system.[4] In 2018, Tham Luang was the site of a rescue operation to find and evacuate a local junior football team trapped inside. The cave was damaged during the operation. Authorities plan to rehabilitate the cave and its surrounding landscape, and have discussed plans of turning the area into a national park due to the increased tourist interest in it.[5][6]
  • Khun Nam Nang Non (Thai: ขุนน้ำนางนอน; 'Headwaters of the Sleeping Lady') is a natural pond into which water flows from the rocks above. This water is said to be the tears of the legendary lady's ghost.


In 1986 an eight km2 sector of the range which included the entrance to the main cave was declared the Tham Luang–Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park.[7]

2018 rescue operationEdit

On 23 June 2018, a group of twelve boys aged between 11 and 16, who went to explore Tham Luang Nang Non with their assistant football coach, aged 25, went missing. The group was found 10 days later. They were part of a local junior football team. The cave they entered became flooded. Thai Navy SEAL divers had been searching the caves ever since.[8] Owing to heavy rain which further flooded the cave entrance, searches were periodically interrupted.[9] Thai NAVY divers soon got help from American, Australian, British, and Chinese divers, military members, and emergency personnel.[10][11]

The group was found alive on Monday evening, 2 July, according to a press release at 22:30. All 12 boys along with their coach were reported alive.[12][13] They were found by British volunteer divers around 400 metres away from a spot nicknamed "Pattaya Beach", an elevated mound in the cave.[14] Food and medical supplies were delivered but a three-hour-long journey, continued rains and mountainous terrain above the cave delayed their escape.[13] On 8 July at 19:00 four of the boys had been rescued.[15] By 10 July at 19:00, all of the boys and their coach had been rescued from the cave.[16]


One of the legends goes that in ancient times a beautiful princess fell in love with a stable boy and became pregnant. Knowing their love was forbidden, they fled and went in the cave to rest. When the boy went in search of food, he was caught by the princess' father's army and killed. The distraught princess stabbed herself to death and the legend says her blood became the water that flows through the cave, while her body is the surrounding mountains, said to look like a sleeping woman.[17]


Some of the caves in the hill area have been developed as a tourist attraction. There is a viewpoint at Mae Chan District, from where the "sleeping lady" can best be observed.[18] Local tour guides joke that Doi Nang Non would be "the highest mountain in the world", if only the supposed lady would get up and stand on her feet.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The cave is mostly dry throughout most of the year, but fills with water during the rainy season.


  1. ^ a b Google Earth
  2. ^ Doi Nang Non (ดอยนางนอน) - Location Archived 2011-07-10 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ ถ้ำหลวงขุนน้ำนางนอน - เชียงราย [Tham Luang Nang Non] (in Thai). Office of the Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand. Archived from the original on 2018-07-05.
  4. ^ a b ถ้ำหลวงขุนน้ำนางนอน - เชียงราย [Tham Luang Khun Nam Nang Non - Chiang Rai] (in Thai). Office of the Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand. Archived from the original on 2018-07-05.
  5. ^ "Tham Luang cave to be rehabilitated and upgraded into a national park". Thai PBS. 4 July 2018. Archived from the original on 8 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  6. ^ McKenzie, Sheena (4 July 2018). "Thai rescue drama cave likely to become tourist destination, officials say". CNN.
  7. ^ ถ้ำหลวง-ขุนน้ำนางนอน (วน.) (Tham Luang - Khun Nam Nang Non) Archived 2017-09-08 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Flooding complicates cave search for Thai soccer team" Washington Post, 26 June 2018 Archived 2018-07-05 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Search Suspended for Boys in Flooded Cave in Thailand" The Weather Channel, 26 June 2018 Archived 29 June 2018 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "No rest for Aussie rescue divers". PerthNow. 2018-07-09. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  11. ^ "Thai Navy SEAL team posts touching photo during international effort to rescue boys from cave". CBS News. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  12. ^ "Live!! 22.25 น. เจอแล้วจ้า เก็บภาพ ... ทุกอย่างไว้..." [Live !! 22:25 and then collect the picture ... everything ...] (in Thai). PR.Chiangrai ประชาสัมพันธ์จังหวัดเชียงราย [Chiangrai Public Relation Office]. 2 July 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  13. ^ a b Smith, Nicola; Ward, Victoria; Crilly, Rob (3 July 2018). "Thailand cave rescue: Junior football team found by British divers could remain underground for months". The Telegraph.
  14. ^ "Rescuers hack through rock less than 500m from 'Pattaya beach'". Bangkok Post. 2 July 2018.
  15. ^ "Six Thai schoolboys rescued from flooded cave". Reuters. 8 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Four more boys rescued from Thai cave". BBC News. 2018-07-09. Retrieved 2018-07-10.
  17. ^ "Spirit of mythical princess looms over Thai cave crisis". Washington Post.
  18. ^ Doi Nang Non View Point Archived 2011-07-12 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit