Cave tragedy: Thai man’s final journey into the depths of despair

Photo via Facebook/ สื่อมวลชนพรหมคีรี นครศรีธรรมราช

A man reportedly committed suicide inside the sacred Khao Khun Panom cave in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat, allegedly motivated by a serious illness.

A monk from Khao Khun Panom Temple, where the cave was situated, discovered the lifeless body of a man while entering the cave for his daily meditation. Subsequently, the monk contacted officers from the Phrom Khiri Police Station and sought assistance from the Pracha Ruamjai Foundation.

Police officers and rescuers had to ascend over 200 stairs to reach the cave and then carefully carry the body down for further examination at a hospital.

Police reported that the deceased was between 55 and 60 years old. He was wearing a white T-shirt and grey shorts. He was very thin, and his face and skin were pale, leading police to suspect that the man may have been suffering from a serious illness, which could have motivated his decision to take his own life.

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Police were unable to identify the man, as he had no personal documents with him. It is believed that he entered the cave in the early hours of the day or late at night and jumped off a cliff within the cave.

Officers will review security cameras inside the temple and the cave to identify him and contact his family or relatives.

In a related report in 2020, a 30 year old monk died at Khao Khun Panom cave. The monk had travelled from a temple in Nakhon Si Thammarat’s city centre to meditate in the cave. It is believed that the monk may have been exploring the cave in the dark and accidentally fell from a cliff.

Khao Khun Panom cave is a significant tourist attraction in Nakhon Si Thammarat. Multiple Buddha statues revered by locals are located in the cave, and many historical antiques have been found there.

The cave is believed to be the perfect place for meditation as locals believed that Somdet Phra Chao Taksin Maharat, also known as the King of Thonburi, meditated and spent time here until his death.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai), or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai). Please also contact your friends or relatives at this time if you have feelings of loneliness, stress, or depression. Seek help.

South Thailand NewsThailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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