Bat Caves of Khao Yai

On the edge of Khao Yai National Park you can visit these caves and watch from the fields as the bats emerge to hunt at twilight. At first, only a faint trickle of black shapes is discernible from the cliffs, but soon a huge and unmistakable river of bats weaves over the fields like a snake. Like one living creature, the bats contort as a school of tiny fish might from the narrow opening of this cave system. At the entrance to the cave, raptors congregate in anticipation of an easy meal. As they dive toward the bats, the line opens and separates before joining together again in a twisting ribbon.

This unusual cave has created the ideal refuge for many thousands of bats. Feeding on an ample supply of insects in this agricultural region, they act in many ways as a natural form of biological pest control and fertilizer production. Revered and respected by villagers, some of the bat caves are even honored by monks. Hundreds of bats chirp and jostle in their roost, sleeping away the day in anticipation for the night hunt.