Encounter Baan E-Tong – Pilok Mine, the mountainous wonderland and sea of fog
Amidst deep valley and sea of mist at the western terminal of Thailand is a charming village called “E-Tong” in Thong Pha Phum district, Kanchanaburi. The glory of this significant mine district with up to 60 mines resulted in the name “Pilok Mine.” Nonetheless, nowadays, the location already closed and leave only remains of the past and stories to tell. But this a good start to begin a journey to this charming community that attracts many tourists who want to touch fresh air and the rustic ambiance of the site.
About Baan E-Tong – Pilok Mine
Baan E-Tong, a small village with only a pond, market, temple, mine, restaurant, and homestay. No such things that would spark you as other popular attractions in Kanchanaburi but believe or not it’s so amazing and lovely enough to bring many people to visit this place. Also, neighboring attractions, including Noen Chang Suek Viewpoint, Noen Saothong, Somsak Mine, Thong Pha Phum National Park, and Jokkradin Waterfall are extra points for your trip, too. Additionally, the village itself is a starting point to ascend to the famous trail “Khao Chang Phueak” of Kanchanaburi, as well.
Baan E-Tong in the past
Baan E-Tong or E-Tong Village is the venue of Pilok Mine that flourished in the old time. In 1940, the cassiterite mine with almost 600 workers in total had progressed until tin ore price declined worldwide, caused by the reducing rate of China. Finally, in 1984 – 1985 in the estimate, the glory of Pilok Mine ended. The land that was progressed, vibrant markets with two cineplexes within the village started to be quiet. The mines continued to close one by one, as well as the workers moved to different places.
Currently, the primary income of the community is tourism, homestay accommodation. This is perfect place for one who nature calls as the location is fresh air, situated about 1,000 meters above the sea level, covering with the sea of fog. It could say that Baan E-Tong is another dream destination for numerous travelers, both Thai and abroad.
E-Tong Village is a small village located next to the boundary of Thai – Myanmar in Kanchanaburi province. The location is an old community where the place is a mining site since the past. The mining village, which renowned as “Pilok,” contained many mining operators and operated by the Ministry of Industry. In 1940 was the peak time of mining here before closed down since the decline of ore price in estimate 1984 – 1985.
Nowadays, the mining district remains only E-Tong Village for the outsider to visit. Significantly, the land behinds the dramatic curtain of mist is one of the most fantastic Unseen Thailand in Kanchanaburi and Thailand.
Path to this place from the town of Kanchanaburi on route Kanchanaburi – Thong Pha Phum is the good condition of paved road. However, some parts of the way are quite dangerous, which means who plan to drive to the destination should be very carefully and skillful driving.
Baan E-Tong – Pilok, the wonderland in the mountains and sea of fog
Although the journey to Baan E-Tong is wild with about 399 curves to pass, plus, it takes time for a long while from the city town to the countryside village. Many travelers do not give up on winning the destination. What makes E-Tong Village becomes the dream destination. Firstly, its beautiful nature, along the way to the village tourist, will feel pure nature and abundant forest. All through the way needs you to pass about 399 curves blanketed by verdant trees and lace of fog floating over the road. The pleasant drive leads you to the destination where you can park your car at the helipad. Once you stepped out of the car, it’s time that you figure out you already cuddled by cooling mist.
Baan E-Tong, a lovely tourist attraction in Kanchanaburi, offers many accommodations. Mostly, tourists choose to stay in the area nearby a pool in the center of the village, so-called landmark here. Such a wonderful place, indeed.
All through a day, the visitors will witness the gentle sea of fog is floating beyond the water surface. Sometimes it is a sprinkle of rain and leaves only freshness when the rain stops. Perfect of anyone who yearns for fresh air to take a deep breath, indeed. That is to say, visiting E-Tong Village, you can sense ozone actually. And another highlight of the place that you should not miss, especially for photograph fans, is at Pilok Mine. An old mining site which presently is an ancient tool and utilities and vehicles for mining presenting the remains of the past days. They’re fantastic as a prop to take pictures.
Furthermore, a small cascade runs through a pond in the wood. The picturesque circumstance features lush trees and greenish grasses cuddled by the gentle sea of fog thoroughly to the waterfall area. A small waterfall descends into a basin with transparent and freshwater, home of carp, is so lovely and will calm your mind.
Just like heaven, this place makes us feel like stepping into another world. The magnificent canopy of the trees together with layers of mist makes it even more amazing.
Feel the simple way of life at E-Tong Village
Leave the mine behind, then we will lead you to the local market of E-Tong village. However, this is not just strolling about as usual when you go to any other attraction. Remarkably, it’s kinda like “a walk in the clouds.” Unbelievably, it’s dense of fog around the space during afternoon time. The E-Tong market is many shops that offer a variety of goods and foods, included restaurants and trendy café.
On the other hand, for one who wants to cook, many items of fresh food and ingredient are waiting for you to shop, too. If you walk to the terminal of the market, you will meet another landmark of this community that is “wood padlocks point” where you can see a lovely view of the pond in the center of the village covered by thick fog at the moment.
Casually stroll around this place with pleasant weather is a perfect idea to chillax and calm down from a busy life. Additionally, there are many more tourists sightseeing in this town, such as Mine Bridge, Wat Muaeng Pilok, and Noen Chang Suek Viewpoint. This is such a paradise on earth to visit, indeed.
Well, with many good things at Baan E-Tong – Pilok Mine, as mentioned above, would attract you to come to see by your eyes for once. You don’t want to miss the freshness of pure nature, abundant woodland, fresh air, and friendly people here, do you?
In particular, the photo hunter, E-Tong Village, offers many splendid photogenic corners and lovely simple ways of life, which may be a good inspiration for your shot.
Where to check-in at Baan E-Tong
1. Mueang Pilok (Pilok Mine)
An old mining site that was glorious in the past. There are many mining tools and utilities left behind to show the golden age of the place.
2. Scenic Point at KM 12th, the road to Pilok Mine
Along the way to Baan E-Tong is Scenic Point at KM 12th, where features a stunning perspective of the east “Vajiralongkorn Dam,” or also known as Khao Laem Dam. And in the west is camping ground and restrooms, as well as phone receiver point. So, anyone who wants to post and share on your social network can do it here since on the path to Baan E-Tong has no phone signal.
3. Noen Chang Suek Viewpoint
A fantastic spot to witness the best view in the afternoon. A location is about 2 km away from the village, entrance is before signage of Baan E-Tong. The road to this viewpoint is not too far but needs skillful driving. Definitely, you will not disappoint once you reach the destination, especially the time before sundown. Noen Chang Suek is next to Thai – Myanmar borderline, up there allows for camping with restrooms but no shops and food stalls.
4. Krua Je Nee (Je Nee’s Kitchen)
We can’t skip tasting local taste, as well as a trip at Baan E-Tong. Krua Je Nee maybe a famous place to eat in this village, indeed. And the highlight of Baan E-tong is sea crab and seafood imported from Myanmar sea. Not only seafood, but this restaurant also serves many delicious local dishes, for example, Pla Hua Yoong or Bombay duck fish (THB60), deep-fried fish that is a kind of fish from Myanmar. Gaeng Kua Hed Poh or Puff Ball mushroom curry (THB100), a rare item that served once a year during its season. Tom Yum Pla Khang or Asian Redtail catfish spicy soup (THB200 for pot, THB100 for a bowl), Khai Mor, or Spicy steamed egg, and last but not least, Pla Khao Dad Diew or Deep-fried sun-dried Siamese mud carp. All are perfect to have with steam jasmine rice.
5. Royal Teamix
Taking a break with a cup of tea at Royal Teamix and indulge in breath-taking scenery before your eyes. The recommended menu of the tea house definitely is Royal Teamix, a number 1 tea brand of Myanmar that is popular to drink among Myanmar. It’s distinctive with mellow flavor and aroma and became a must-not-miss souvenir to shop, too.
6. Padlocks Point
Another famous landmark of Baan E-Tong. The Wood Padlock Point is popular for foreign tourists to hook a padlock at the bridge. From this point is a lovely view of the pond in the middle of the village covered with layered fog. If you wonder how popular this spot, you can have a look at the numbers of padlock and nametag on the bridge. The wooden sign is available for the visitors to shop at THB20.
7. Chang Kae Classic Home
A restaurant in classic design serves simple menus, but good taste feels like having a meal at home. The recommended dishes, such as Khai Nok Kata (THB50), Kaprao Moo + Khai Dao, or stir-fried pork with holy basil and deep-fried egg (THB50). Mee Giew Rad Na or Egg noodle with dumpling in gravy sauce (THB 40), Mee Pad Chang Kae or stir-fried noodle (THB 40), and Soft-boiled egg + toast with butter (THB40). And some menus that served seasonally.
8. Jokkradin Waterfall
The venue is about 5 km before Baan E-Tong. And from the entrance needs 2.8 km of walks to a waterfall. The admission fee is THB40 and surcharge THB30 per car. The road to the waterfall is curvy and steep, thus please drive carefully with a high-performance car. Anyway, for a personal car is okay but should not be more than 2 passengers. Moreover, it’s quite risky to go to the site during rain and wet floor.
What to do at Baan E-Tong
- Sight the breath-taking view at Noen Chang Suek
- Enjoy water at Jokkradin Waterfall
- Write down your name for a good memory at Padlock Bridge
- See mining tools and utilities at Pilok Mine
- Shop souvenir from Myanmar
- Taste delicious food and seafood fresh from the Andaman Sea
- Give alms to the monks in the morning
- Worship holy things at Wat Pilok
How to go to Baan E-Tong
Baan E-Tong located at the Pilok subdistrict, Thong Pha Phum district, in Kanchanaburi.
Traveling to the location on road number 323 passes Thong Pha Phum district to E-Tong Village. It takes a time of about 3.30 hours from the town of Kanchanaburi.
By Public Bus:
From Kanchanaburi, gets on bus route Kanchanaburi – Thong Pha Phum and getting off at Thong Pha Phum Market. So, getting on pick-up truck from the market to Baan E-Tong.
The local bus service to go to Baan E-Tong is a yellow pick-up truck that printed route on the side Thong Pha Phum Market – Thong Pha Phum National Park – Baan E-Tong (the foreign tourist can ask to confirm it is the right one).
The truck departs from the market from 10.00 am-noon.
And a trip to come back from Baan E-Tong starts from 6.00 – 7.00 am. However, schedule subjects to change in the future since there’s only 3 trucks service at the moment. The fare is THB70 per trip/person.
Note: The way to go to Baan E-Tong is narrow and rough, so the driver should drive very carefully. Also, Baan E-Tong is venerable to weather, sometimes it’s rain and too much fog that block vision. Well prepared to face the weather will make your trip to be even more pleasant, for example, raincoat, umbrella, jacket, etc.