Sangkhlaburi, the unseen border town on the west side of Thailand.
Thailand is well known for all visitors around the world. It is one of the destination in south east Asia which many people dream for. Target of the people focusing in the central of Thailand, Bangkok as the capital city with more varieties of things to do and to see. Chiang Mai comes as the 2nd place to visit with its nature , culture and people. You might have seen and read in our blog ( Chiang Mai Tour Blog) about places and things to do and to see as well as some interests which you could enjoy.
Today we are going to tell you about the small town in the west border of Thailand and Myanmar called “ Sangkhlaburi”, located in Kanchanaburi province. One of our article had written about Kanchanaburi with the most famous attraction such as the 2nd World War Cemetory , the Great Iron Bridge of the River Kwae as well the the Death Railroad from the 2nd World War where many people wish to witness. However it might be some things different. As Sangkhlaburi is a small town and it takes about 3 hours from Kanchanburi city. Many people wouldn’t prefer to spend like that long distance in the vehicle to get there. As we have time and no rush, we spent our trip slow bit by bit for us to enjoy more.
In our idea, Sangkhlaburi is lovely in our mind. It looks like the hidden places away from tourists and peaceful. We started our trip in Bangkok and once when we stopped by Kanchanburi which we had visited very often. We changed our plan and set our new destination to Sangkhlaburi instead. On the way, there is a lovely site with green trees. Before reaching to Sangkhlaburi, we had stopped by the Vajiralongkorn Dam which is formerly known as Khao Laem Dam.
It is a concrete-face rock –fill dame with 1,019 meters in length and 92 meters in hight long stretching across the Kwae Noi River. Overlook from the Dam, you could see the lovely view of the big dam there are 3 of 100MW hydropower generators came on line in October and December 1984 and February 1985 respectively. The reservoir created by the dam has a maximum storage capacity of 8,860 million cubic meters covering a total catchment area of 3,720 square kilometers. Average runoff into the reservoir is approximately 5,500 million cubic meters per year. Not only the view of the reservoir itself. You could also meet the wild monkeys who live up the hill around the dam. They usually come down and looking for the food. Our suggestion is no touching and if they come down, it is better to stay away from them or keep the distance for safety as they are quite aggressive.
From the dam, we continues the road and heading to Sangkhlaburi, you could also stop by the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum which located on the way. There is a walk way where you could walk along to the Hellfire Pass we well. This place ( Hellfire Pass) was built by the Office of Australia Was Graves in the joint project between the Australian Government and the Royal Thai Armed Forces Development Command in order to remember of the POWs who passed away during the 2nd World War.
From the Hellfire Pass to Sangkhlaburi, it takes 2 hours. We took a slow drive and enjoy scenery on the ways as its road lead us through the lovely view of the local village near by the bank of the reservoir which is a pleasant site.
Finally we arrived in Sangkhlaburi, small and quiet. We checked in the small hotel accommodation which there are many for you to choose. Our hotel located in the village with the lovely view. In the evening we spent our time have a walk and find something to eat. There are many local restaurants, but we prefer to have fish as it is a famous dishes here. The night in Sangkhlaburi is very quiet and peaceful. It is suitable for someone who prefer to have a quiet place and relax.
The next morning, we woke up early and headed to the wooden bridge called” Sa-pan-Mon”. This bridge is locally known as Uttamanusorn Bridge or Mon Bridge. The bridge built crossing over Song Kalia River linking Sangkhlaburi market and Mon* Village. (* Mon – the local people are an ethnic group native to Myanmar’s Mon State, Bago Region, the Irrawaddy Delta and the southern border with Thailand. One of the earliest peoples to reside in Southeast Asia, the Mon were responsible for the spread of Theravada Buddhism in Indochina. The Mon were a major source of influence on the culture of Myanmar. They speak the Mon language, an Austroasiatic language, and share a common origin with the Nyah Kur people of Thailand, they are from the Mon mandala (polity) of Dvaravati. The eastern Mon include the current royal family of Thailand who are of Mon ancestry. The Mon assimilated to Thai culture long ago, yet the royal women of the Chakri dynasty perform and keep their Mon heritage alive in the Thai court. The western Mon of Myanmar were largely absorbed by Bamar society. They have worked to preserve their language and culture and to regain a greater degree of political autonomy.)
The bridge is the Thailand’s longest wooden bridge with 850 meters long and it is also the 2nd longest wooden bridges in the world after the U-Beng Bridge in Myanmar. The view in the morning’s very pleasant. Locals and the visitors could join the Morning Alm Offering as well as dressed up in the traditional costume of Mon and put on the Thanaka** power design on the face. ( **a yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark. It is a distinctive feature of the culture of Myanmar, seen commonly applied to the face and sometimes the arms of women and girls, and is used to a lesser extent also by men and boys. The use of thanaka has also spread to neighbouring countries including Thailand.)
For this trip, we spent 2 nights in Sangkhlaburi to enjoy ,recharging our battery and relax from the big busy city. We think Sangkhlaburi would be one of the new unseen spot in Thailand for someone who seeking for the peaceful and stay away from the busy city life style.