The cave in Thailand from which 12 children and their coach were rescued earlier this year has become a major tourist attraction for the country.
Earlier this year, the entire world was gripped by the news that a boys soccer team was trapped in a cave in Thailand due to flooding. The team was comprised of 12 young boys and their coach, and the world watched as rescue teams desperately tried to get them out. It took an incredibly smart and brave team 18 days to free all 13 of them.
Sadly, even though all the children and the coach survived the two and a half week long ordeal, one of their rescuers did not. A diver and former Thai navy seal named Saman Kunan died while helping save those who were trapped. He and the entire operation will not be soon forgotten, though.
That's because since the rescue had the world captivated, Tham Luang Nang Non cave has become one of Thailand's most popular tourist attractions, as reported by The Telegraph. Thousands of people from around the world have been flocking to the cave in the Chang Rai province to see exactly where the heroics took place. Prior to that, locals had been trying to attract more tourists to the area with little success.
While much of the area can currently be explored, the cave in which the rescue took place is still closed as its safety continues to be assessed. Honestly, even if it was open, you would have to be pretty crazy to want to go in there considering what happened just months ago. Meanwhile, outside the cave, there are now stalls selling souvenirs and food lining the trail that leads up to it.
The area's newfound popularity is not simply being viewed as a cash cow to take advantage of, but as a beautiful park that locals want to share and promote to the world. As mentioned above, the bravery shown by the rescuers and the fact that a life was lost has not been forgotten. Work has already begun on a museum which will be dedicated to what happened during those 18 days, and also act as a memory to Saman Kunan.