The Thai cave where 12 boys and their football coach were trapped underground for 17 days is now surrounded by tourists.
The attraction reopened last month and now hundreds of stalls line the road to the cave, selling souvenirs including t-shirts.
The entrance to the Tham Luang cave is barred but tourists have been gawping at the entrance which has food stalls outside, lottery tickets and Buddhist monks handing out trinkets, the Guardian reports.
This photo shows Buddhist monks and tourists gathered close to the barred entrance to the Tham Luang cave which has become renowned across the globe after 12 Thai boys and their football coach became trapped after monsoon rains in June
On the railings pictures of the rescue effort and the boys can be seen alongside signs warning people of the danger
A tourist takes a selfie in the Tham Luang-Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park which now attracts more visitors than ever before
In addition to taking selfies by the cave, tourists can pay sombre tribute to former Thai Navy SEAL, Sergeant Saman Kunan, who sadly drowned as he heroically delivered oxygen in the underwater passage on July 6.
The story of the football team and their coach captivated the world when they went into the cave after practice and were trapped after dangerous Monsoon rains caused the cave to flood in June.
After they failed to return home, a massive search and rescue operation involving more than 1,000 rescuers and volunteers was launched after the team’s head coach Nopparat Kathawong found their bikes and bags near the cavern entrance but without a trace of them in sight.
Heavy rains, along with the fact that not all of the boys could swim, complicated the efforts greatly, and they were not discovered until nine days in the cave.
Finally, after a high-stakes rescue operation, which involved expert divers from Britain and Australia, all 12 boys and their coach were saved.
In this photo from July 15 taken in hospital shortly after the ‘Wild Boars’ football team were freed they hold a portrait of former Thai Navy SEAL, Sergeant Saman Kunan, who drowned trying to save them
Tourists cross the bridge close to the cave in the Tham Luang-Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park
A photo released on 3 July 2018 shows the boys as they were discovered in the cave after 17 days
Upon their discovery by two British divers, Rick Stanton and John Volanthen, the trapped team sent an uplifting message to the outside world via a handwritten letters passed along by rescue divers.
A joint message by the boys said: ‘Please don’t worry. We’re all healthy and strong. There’s so much food we want to eat when we get out. We want to go straight home. And we beg the teacher not to give us a lot of homework.’
The story of the Thai cave boys was such that Hollywood was quick to announce they would be featuring their own portrayal of the ordeal.
A local woman Vipa Romaneechutima told the Guardian: ‘This is an amazing thing that has happened for the people in this area.’
She sells lottery tickets by the entrance and told the paper: ‘People tried to make Tham Luang a tourist attraction before, many times, but it never became popular.
‘Now it is famous all over the world because of the boys saved from the cave.’
She said she was not just happy for the extra money but also that more people can appreciate the geographic beauty of the forest and its unique network of tunnels.