Résumé d'expédition


Caving expedition KHAOPHUTHONG KHAOTHAKHANUN 3 17/12 2018-28 / 02/2019



Sunanta LOSUWAN, Didier RATEAU (leader) Speleo club Caniac du Causse (46) 18 the perched groslot 37130 lignieres of Touraine, rateaumines @ orange, fr

Christophe ROGNON caving club Nyctalopotheques Besançon (25)

Gérald JOUILLEROT speleo club ADSC (25)

Khao, Pi DA KARANGS friends (guides), Come THONG (Ban Mong Kala village chief) and villagers, Wat Tham Bat Kiriwong Monks, Ban Pilok Village residents, Ban Mon village chief Ti Noi, and his team who welcomed us to their home, and accompanied in our explorations of cavities on their indications.


Chaiporn SIRIPORNPIBUL who provided us with some geological maps

Thierry TOURNIER who welcomed us warmly and made

Discover the region of Lamphun.



Lighting, Scurion, Petzl, Meandering Technology.

This third expedition, rich in discoveries has confirmed us on the initial choice of our objectives. Most of our exploration took place on the Permian Massif, northwest of Kanchanaburi, between the border of Myanmar (formerly Burma) and the Kwae Yai River, with the famous Kwae Noi River in the middle.

A recognition of the entry siphon of tham Haob Krajok, (diver Christophe Rognon) allowed to advance a little in our hypotheses, the siphon of the resurgence plunges towards the South in a stratum stopping at -20 visibility not top narrow and lacks of material. This is a resurgence of Khao Phu Thong karst located at 200.00m alti;

The whole of the resurgences of this slope gives a flow of the order of 12m³ / s at low water. A progression in surface to 3 days of walking in the interior of the massif, in a thick jungle with very rough relief made it possible to discover many new cavities and to make beautiful firsts, The caves, losses and sinkholes are numerous between 450 and 700m above sea level. There are 5250.00m of premieres and -140 all in the course of exploration.

In December 2018, we were invited by the villagers of Ban Bon Ti Noi, to discover a big massive totally virgin explorations, In Tham Roobe khao kiew, we were shown rock paintings, after information from French scientists (Christophe AVON) and, Thai (Noel Hidalgo THAN) the site was seen by a team of Danish and Thai in February 1962 and partially studied. We have helped to enrich the file, and will return at the request of the village chief.

We are ironed, in January on invitation, explore several cavities on the massif, the potential is important, we quickly explored 1125.00m of galleries, for -28m, it is noteworthy in this sector the presence of three species of cobras and other very dangerous species, accidents are common in the village.

Along the Mae Kwae Noi the prospections allowed to discover 3 unreported resurgences, one erdischarges 2.7m3 / s at low water level (seen from afar in 2018). All of these are on the left bank, dominated by a large plateau that falls to the East on Erawan, on the eastern border several large tourist cavities are known and other darts explored in part by our predecessors (French). 40 years ago, we added more than a first Kilomet. (Tham prathat, Tham néramit ...)

Near the border, on the village of Ban Pilok, several days in bivouacs a few hundred meters from Myanmar, we continued the exploration of ThamPya seaw, raised in artificial waterfall and a second in progress, stop several hundred of meters of the entrance A + 72m and -12m on lack of material presence of draft. . lack of material presence of draft.

We have discovered the biospeleological richness of this network, and isopods of the family Oniscidae, are being identified by Professor Koraon WONGKANHAENG it would be a new species.


Explorations in progress also in Myanmar on another nearby massif.

In this sector, there are totally isolated massifs located on the metamorphic base, where were once exploited many wolfram mines and of course for rubies and sapphires. We had gone the previous years to explore some galleries, and there we spent a few hours again.

one part of the team, returned to the hexagon and continued exploration and prospecting, took place in the provinces of Lampang, where a large massif had a single pointed dome, we discovered and explored over a kilometer galleries, the potential of this massif in the south of the province is very important large volumes, air flow and active network.

Further north, invited by Thierry Tournier, we spent a few days, and I gave him a hand to explore in recognition a sinkhole, and to survey a cave on the Ban NGO karst. At the topography of Tham Tor Nam (village of Mae Tha), we discovered the body of a monk, and thus warned the police, which gave rise to some articles in theThai press.

Even further north, the cave of Chiang Dao whose known development was about 5500metres, has delivered us a beautiful first, the overlying massif suggests a potential of unevenness near the 1000mtres, however the geology of the places seems to tell another story ... It is a very visited tourist cave, and it is imperative to obtain an authorization to explore it.

Thais from the Hydrogeological Research Department have installed devices for measuring CO2 fluctuations inside.

Another neighboring and imposing massif is untouched by explorations.

A quick passage to the cave of Tham Luang object of all fires following the rescue in July 2018 of the team of wild boars, remained trapped in the flood for ten days, allowed us to see the scope of work underway for, making it a tourist and lighthouse study site in thailand.

To conclude, this expedition took place in an extraordinary atmosphere, rich of meetings, consolidating the friendships with the inhabitants of the visited villages, of course we are invited to come back, it is the objective of the next expedition, which will take place from the end of December 2019 to February 15, 2020. All the participants join the project, just before our return to France we had lunch with Chaiporn in Bangkok, it is of course to join us a few days during our next explorations on khao Phu thong.We now have a good knowledge of the local geology and are probably in the presence of a large synclinal gutter that feeds a deep water table.

Thus, 27km of galleries have been explored, more than 8 kilometers of firsts and 4200m of topographies, ie just over 80 new cavities, a third of which remains to be explored.


Didier rateau





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  ( en cours de construction milles excuses)

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Carte géologique de la région , carte TAVOY (BURMA)  1/250 000

Royal THAI Survey Division

Departement of Minéral Ressources 1976 et 1985


Le secteur qui intérresse l'expédition est la zone en orange , calcaires du permien, en forme de boomerang  au centre de la zone colorée , la partie en blanc non étudiée est en Birmanie.(myanmar).



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Carte de situation du projet (us army 1956) ci dessous et au dessus carte fournie par les Russes cette derniere est au 1/50 000, et celle US un agrandissement de celle de TAVOY originellement au 1/250 000 eme a


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La région de THONGPHAPHUM dans la Province de KANCHANABURI

                       Ci dessus un plat qui témoigne de la finesse des Thailandais, une explosion de saveurs!   


                                                             Bienvenue à THONGPHAPHUM



L'Amphoe de thongphaphum , est traversé par la riviére Mae nam Khwae Noi (kwai), qui s'écoule du nord vers le sud.(district de KANCHANABURI).



La région est un parc national du nom de la ville, a 40km de la frontière du Myanmar (on accéde à la frontière par Ban Pilok et la fameuse route aux nombreux virages).

La petite ville est située sur la route reliant KANCHANABURI à SHANGKLABURI .


Entourée de massifs de montagnes, et d'une jungle épaisse trés difficile à explorer .


Les massifs karstiques qui interréssent notre projet sont situés a l 'ouest de la riviére Khwae, et s'étalent sur une trentaine de kilomètres vers le Sud .

Le niveau de la rivière se situe à l'altitude moyénne de 180mètres, les pitons rocheux de KHAO THA KHANUN culminent à 1000 métres environ.


Le massif objet de l 'expédition , est representé par un plateau situé aux alentours de 600 à 800 métres d'altitude percé de nombreuses dolines, et de nombreuses cavités encore inexplorées, il est bordé et défendu par d'impressionantes falaises calcaires!!


Pour y accéder il faut plusieurs jours de marche, aucun chemin ne traverse la montagne, le relief est trés accentué .


Marché de THONGPHAPHUM  avec au fond les pitons calcaires  de KHAOTHA KHANUN, la photographie est en direction de l'ouest , le massif s'étale vers le sud pour former quelques kilomètres  plus au sur un plateau karstifié d'ou emerge KHAOPHUTHONG.




Un temple dans la jungle à l'Est de la rivière! vue de Thongphaphum


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Sunanta LOSUWAN  44 ans
Thaïlandaise , spéléologue  au S3C Caniac du Causse
Traductrice  Née a Kanchanaburi, assure la liaison avec les contacts locaux, participe aux explorations.

Sunanta LOSUWAN 44 ans
Thaïlandaise , spéléologue au S3C Caniac du Causse
Traductrice Née a Kanchanaburi, assure la liaison avec les contacts locaux, participe aux explorations.

Didier Rateau 55 ans
spéléologue S3C Caniac du Causse, cristallier, alpiniste et spéléologue depuis 1979.
chef d'entreprise ingénieur géotechnicien , artificier.
Chef d’expédition

Didier Rateau 55 ans
spéléologue S3C Caniac du Causse, cristallier, alpiniste et spéléologue depuis 1979.
chef d'entreprise ingénieur géotechnicien , artificier.
Chef d’expédition

Christophe Rognon 51  ans
Spéléo Plongeur, artificier, géologue, hydrogéologue
chef d'entreprise. SSF

Christophe Rognon 51 ans
Spéléo Plongeur, artificier, géologue, hydrogéologue
chef d'entreprise. SSF

Gérald Jouillerot  38 ans
spéléo plongeur

Gérald Jouillerot 38 ans
spéléo plongeur

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