EuroSpeleo 2016 Sessions

Myanmar 2010-2016

Session code: OE30

Oral / Exploration, Main EuroSpeleo Conference

Mr Pete Talling


Myanmar is an exceptionally beautiful and friendly destination with plenty of limestone, which is opening up for travel and cave exploration. The tropical karst plateau on its eastern side is over 400 km long. This talk will summarise results from five expeditions by small teams to Myanmar since 2010/11. These expeditions include recent trips to the Ywangan area in the Southern Shan State, which discovered the longest (~5 km; Stone Bird Cave) and deepest (~300 m; Ju's Gu) caves in the country. The talk will show how the area was found, and bones were lost or rearranged. It will finish with the 2015/16 expedition that explored a large resurgence cave, and then a pitch-series on the side of a plateau with 1,400 m of depth potential. We will outline ideas for future expeditions, and include tales of falling rocks, golden stupas, teak crutches, why cigarettes failed to light, and accidental meetings with the local tribal armies. Hopefully, we can explain why Myanmar is a tremendous country with huge potential for much longer and deeper cave systems.


Pete has escaped his job and office to go on over 20 caving expeditions worldwide, including to Myanmar (5 times), East Timor, China (9 times), Philippines, Yemen, New Zealand, Croatia, Spain, and Austria.


Ben Wright, Fleur Loveridge, Chris Densham, and Cat Hulse (2015/16 expedition team). Plus thanks to Joerg Dreyboldt, Liu Hong, Tim Guilford, Lou Maurice, Phil Rowsell, Paul Mackrill, and previous expedition members.