Introducing Tham Pla Forest Park
This provincial park, 16km north of Mae Hong Son, is centred around Tham Pla, or Fish Cave, a water-filled cavern where hundreds of soro brook carp thrive. The fish grow up to 1m long and are found only in the provinces of Mae Hong Son, Ranong, Chiang Mai, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Kanchanaburi. The fish eat vegetables and insects, although the locals believe them to be vegetarian and feed them only fruit and vegetables, which can be purchased at the park entrance.
A 450m path leads from the park entrance to a suspension bridge that crosses a stream and continues to the cave. A statue of a Hindu rishi called Nara, said to protect the holy fish from danger, stands nearby. It's a bit anticlimactic, but the park grounds are a bucolic, shady place to hang out, and food and picnic tables are available.
Buses to Pai pass by, but renting a motorcycle is the best way to get here.