Asia 2016: Kanchanaburi


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As planned we walked to the pier 13 and took the express boat to thon buri pier 11 for 26 bhats and walked to the train station for a 100bt (£2) ticket to Kanchanaburi. It is a long journey but worth it by train as the countryside is lovely and genuine. Looks so much prettier than last time when it was all flooded. The train left on time and arrived just a little late and then a short walk to our guesthouse – IMG_20160121_181216Tara B&B. Great room and service but the staff don’t look the happiest for some reason.

Kanchanaburi seems to have far too many single white guys with thai friends. Bars here are full of single thai females. One bar called “Luckys” should really be called “Dead cert if you can afford it”. Seems to be all ages of guys from 20s-60s+ – a little bit too obvious sadly. On one of our walks Mel looked a bit tomboy ish (cap, shorts, tshirt and short hair) and one bar tried to get us to go in and join them! Would’ve been interesting but we declined….

We visited the good Thai-Burma railway museum we’d been to DSCN0359before, still very moving and interesting. The wat-based Jeath museum was a few km further south and was a bit meh as expected. Got a lift back for 10bt each hanging on the back of a pickup truck.

Last time we were here we didn’t make the Hellfire pass, hin dat hot spring or the sai yok noi waterfall as they are difficult to get to. This time we copped out and sorted a tour to do them in a day……. Only easy feasible way really. As they include entry fees its actually not that expensive. DSCN0371

The trip pickup was on time though to be fair the waterfall and the hot springs were not that special. Glad we made no real effort to visit them previously. However the main reason for the tour was to visit hellfire pass, and that made it worth while. Interesting museum of high quality overlapping a bit with the thai-burma railway museum, but both still worth seeing. The pass itself is worth seeing and trying to imagine what it must’ve been like back in the war, but in truth it is unimaginable. A moving place to visit.

The trip also included a quick train ride over one of the wooden bridges which we’ve done before.DSCN0364

Interesting we helped a guy on/off the train, a frail-ish guy either 89 or 90 backpacking in Thailand! He seems to live the summer in Wales and winter Goa so used to the heat, but full respect to him!

Our final full day in Kanchanaburi we went back to the Erewan waterfalls. Many trips go here but the DIY route is jumping on an ancient but fun local bus 8170 from the main road. They don’t really have bus stops, but the bus will beep anyone who looks like they may be interestedDSCN0398 and will pick up anywhere. Even when full they squeeze you on.

Erewan is a 7-layer waterfall, very pretty and spectacular and a bit of a climb to the top over rough ground, and we saw someone being helped down with a broken arm. Oops. I fell a couple of times as its very slippery but got away with grazes. You can swim in each layer with DSCN0393the fish that then come and nibble you! Apparently feasting off dead skin.

Last time we came just after the Thai floods so the waterfalls were much more impressive then, but still worth seeing even if a bit less awesome. It wasn’t the hottest day and the evening turned cool, but 20+ still better than the UK I guess!

Our next stop is Ayutthaya which isn’t easily reached from Kanchanaburi, we’ll blame my parents for that 🙂 There are public busses requiring a stop and 4-5 hours, but there is a daily minivan. The problem is it only goes from Kanchanaburi to Ayutthaya DSCN0401once a day but only if enough people wanted to go from Ayutthaya to Kanchanaburi earlier in the day! So it may not run…. We have bought tickets and have a plan B just in case….

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