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Bua Boke Limestone Cave
This limestone cave on the island of Koh Wua Talap has many strange features and wondrous sights; it’s filled with stalagmites and stalactites with strange formations. One is especially popular and has give the cave its name. Other stalactite has a hollow inside which turns them into natural bells. The cave also contains wide stalactite drapery and large columns.
Stalagmite, from the floor and up.
A formation in a limestone cave that rises from the floor. When water passing true the limestone rocks it dissolves some of the limestone, when this mineralized solutions later drips in a cave it might create a stalagmite. Every tiny drip of water contains a small deposition of calcium carbonate.
Stalactite, from the root and down.
The opposite, hangs from the ceiling in a limestone caves. An average growth rate is 0.13 mm a year. The quickest growing stalactites are those formed by fast-flowing water rich in calcium carbonate and carbon dioxide, these can grow at 3 mm per year.
Given enough time, these formations will meet to create columns.
Ang-Thong National Marine Park
The Ang-Thong archipelago got its name in 1849, it means Golden Bay/Bowl. The marine park covers 42 of the archipelago 60 plus island, and was established 1980. The islands are mostly composed of limestone which rises up 400 meters above sea level and has growing rainforest lined with sandy beaches.
About 300 million years ago a great coral reef, stretched from Thailand to Bali, was pushed up with the tectonic plates to create the Malay Peninsula. Pressure and time transformed the ancient reefs into limestone. Million years of rain over the island has formed the soft limestone in spectacular ways.
The Sunda Shelf and the ice ages
The extension of the continental shelf of Southeast Asia is called The Sunda Shelf. It is now covered partly by the South China Sea which isolates the islands of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and smaller islands. When the northern hemisphere has there ice age periods a lot of water where tight up in the ice shelves, this made the sea level sink. During the Last Glacial Maximum, approximate 20,000 years ago, the sea level sunk between 120-150 meters (390-490 feet). The last ice age is only one in many ice ages, the sea level has rise and sunk many times over this limestone area, and has formed the land.
How to get to the Ang-Thong National Marine Park and the cave
The easiest way to the park is to go with one of the operators who have daily tours. Talk to your hotel or contact a local travel agency. The tour goes from Koh Samui or Koh Pangan. A normal tour includes stop at Koh Wua Talap and Koh Mae Ko.
We went with Highsea Tour. The boat depart from Nathong, Koh Samui, and took one and a half hour.
The path to the cave starts on the left side of the beach, there is a sign. See Additional Waypoints. The path is steep and is equipped with a rope to support the climb, the rope is needed. If you are normally fit there should not be any problems. We took us up with two children, 10 and 12 years, in flip-flops. Better shoes can be recommended. Estimate 30-45 minutes to go up and down, there is a view point on the way with a beautiful view over the beach. See Additional Waypoints.
To log the cache
Answer the following questions and mail the answers to us:
1) The cave has a flower formation that have give the cave its name, what flower is it?
2) How high is the entry/open into the cave? Measure where the rope ends, before the Buaboke Cave sign.
The cache can be logged as soon as the answers are mailed to us; if there is any problems with the answers we will contact you. Feel free to upload your picture with the log. No answers in the log please.
(No hints available.)