BUENG KAN — A cave at Phulangka National Park was closed from the public on Wednesday after officials found signs of vandalism on its inner cave wall.
The cave wall, which went viral online due to its resemblance to scales of the mythical serpent the Naga, bore signs of scratches and touches from the visitors, who likely did so to ask for the Naga’s blessings, officials said.
“Naga cave will be temporarily closed from Sept 9 until the park will introduce measures that will protect it from being damaged,” the park’s Facebook page announced.
The announcement also quoted Natural Resources and Environmental Minister Varawut Silpa-archa, who ordered the temporary closure, as saying, “If you can’t come as a good tourist, then please don’t come.”
Tourists wanting to visit Naga Cave and have already booked a hotel and flown to the province as of Wednesday will be required to present hotel bookings and plane tickets in order to be taken for an accompanied tour.
Panyot Ratipongsakda, chief of Phulanka National Park, said on Wednesday that some visitors may have been searching the cave walls for signs of lottery numbers due to the site’s association with Naga.
At one spot, a deep mark in a Thai word for “dick” was also inscribed by a vandal.
The national park is planning to build a gate at the cave opening in order to prevent intruders, officials said.