Sangkhlaburi ;the simply irresistible town in Thailand
Kanchanaburi is a home to a plethora of history including the River Kwai, Hellfire Pass, the war museum and cemetery. Nonetheless, there it still a winsome place where is irresistible to fall in love, a town called “Sangkhlaburi”, a district situated in Kanchanaburi province near the border of Thailand and Myanmar.
With a simple life of dwellers who are Thai and Mon, a traditional ethnic people who have lived here for more than a century, friendliness, pleasant climate, natural atmosphere as well as many magnificent sights for you to witness by yourself e.g. a heart of the town ‘Songkalia River’, Mon Giving alms to the monks, Mon’s Bridge which is the longest wooden man-made bridge in Thailand and as a trademark site of Sangkhlaburi for example.
The Songkalia river is the heart of this town that nurtures every living thing in this place. Villagers here love and possess to their hometown and nature very much. So, it is certainly you would see through their eyes when they tell an impressed story about here.
Highlight in Sangkhlaburi
Sangkhlaburi provides an array of natural, cultural and historical places that worthwhile for you to visit.
1. Mon Monk Alms
A rite of Mon Monk Alms in the morning is an old religious rite of a residence. At 6.30am daily both resident and visitor arrange in a row to wait for the monk to get their alms. The sacred scene in early morning mist with a long row of orange draped monks as well as many children put the rice bowl on their head and even the tourist that get dress in local outfit and snap a photo along the bridge is well worth to getting up for and is one and only here in Thailand.
2. Mon Bridge or Wooden Bridge
Mon Bridge or Uttamanusorn Bridge is a wooden bridge that spans the Songkalia river to the Mon Village. It is the longest wooden hand-made in Thailand and the second in the world from U-Beng Bridge in Myanmar, and also as a signature of this marvelous town. The bridge was built from faith, effort, manpower, nurture and willpower of the people who live in Sangkhlaburi.
Each year there are a number of tourists come to visit and sight local life around this area. And thing to do before leave here is take some pictures with this bridge to keep as a lovely memory that once you have been here.
3. Wat Wang Wiwekaram (Luang Pho Uttama Temple)
The Wat Wang Wiwekaram is situated not far from a Puttakaya Chedi. There is a vihara or Buddhist assembly hall near the river where a delicate marble Buddha image is enshrined, as well it is a place that a monk ‘Uttama’, who is very famous and respected by many Thai, Mon, Karen and Myanmar, used to live and lent. The temple is located on a hillock called ‘Sam Pra Sob or Tree Rivers Point’ because there are three rivers that run and meet here, they are Son Karia, Bekli and Rantee.
4. Puttakaya Chedi in Sangkhlaburi
Puttakaya Chidi or pagoda is a remarkable sanctuary together with Wat Wang Wiwekaram. The big golden pagoda towers upon the hill nearby the river which is resist to invisible from Songkalia River. Inside the pagoda contains the Buddha’s relic consequently there are numerous of people travel here to do worship. To worship the pagoda in Buddhist is so-called for luck and prosperity. Moreover, the Puttakaya Chedi is a center to do any religious rites on special occasions.
5. Under the water Temple or Wat Jom Nam
The temple is former Wat Wang Wiwekaram where is an ‘Unseen Thailand’ classified by Tourism Authority of Thailand because it is bizarre to have ancient remains located under the water. This is a place with full of the story until the people name it as ‘the city under the water’. A good time to visit here is in summer until the early of rainy season from March – June when it is a drought and the water is low to allow the visitors to explore around this place.
Whereas, ones who come to visit in the end of rainy to winter season from September – January may be able to see just some part of the temple or even all are flooded. With that you can see only the top of old bell tower.
6. Kroeng Krawia Waterfall
Kroeng Krawia Waterfall is located nearby Songkalia Bridge that far from the Sangkhlaburi town about 8 kilometers by driving to the Three Pagodas Borderline, and then the bridge is on the right. There is a lot of parking with THB20 charge, as well as other water playing tools. This place is brilliant to play in the water with the clear, cool, and not too deep.
In addition, food vendors which serve you with a variety of local food are around this location, too. Apart from this, must not miss here is to ride along the Songkalia river by bamboo or rubber raft. The passengers will enjoy the charming and natural beauty of the forest along the river.
7. Three Pagodas Pass
The Three Pagoda Pass situated at the borderline of Thailand and Myanmar at Nong Lu sub-district, Sangkhlaburi. It is a group of three white pagodas has well-arrange stood as a sacred place from now and then. Anyone who come to visit or pass to this way regularly do respect in order to have a fortune for their life and family. Additionally, there is a local market named ‘Tong Su Market’, a Thai-Myanmar shopping place with a number of gift and souvenir shops and friendly in price.
8. Khao San Nok Wua, the Khao Laem National Park
For anyone who desires some adventure, a challenge in 12-kilometer trail in Khao San Nok Wua is waiting for you. A duration time for the trail is about 5-6 hours. A top of the mountain which is similar to cattle’s hogback is high 1,767 meters above the sea level. You can expose a magnificent view of a sea of fog including a range of mountains rolling over the area with a pleasant weather all through the year.
Getting to Sangkhlaburi
Sangkhlaburi is about 215 kilometers from Kanchanaburi city town by heading to the highway number 323 until a junction before enter to Thong Pha Phum district make turn right and head toward about 74 kilometers to Sangkhlaburi which takes time about 6 hours. Driving to Sangkhlaburi needed proper skill due to long and wild road particularly Thong Pha Phum part.
Traveling by bus is the most convenient since there is a bus route Bangkok-Sangkhlaburi directly. The service is available at the Northern Transportation Terminal (Mor Chit) route Bangkok – Three Pagodas Pass with the duration about 6 hours. Otherwise, you can also get the bus at the Southern Transportation Terminal (New) route Bangkok – Kanchanaburi with a duration about 2 hours and get off at Transportation Station, Kanchanaburi, then get a non-air-conditioning bus route Kanchanaburi – Thong Pha Phum – Sangkhlaburi take time about 4 hours.
Or a private bus operator ‘Asia Sai Yok Transport Limited’ located at Kanchanaburi city town. The service is air-conditioning van with the fare is THB118 and air-conditioning coach with the fare is THB151, operating time 7.30am – 4.30pm and departs from the station hourly and take time about 3.30 hours. For more information, please visit website www.transport.co.th
There is no train to Sangkhlaburi. You can depart from Hua Lam Phong station in Bangkok and the nearest train station is Nam Tok, which is at the end of the Western line of the State Railway of Thailand, and is about 150 kilometers from Sangkhlaburi.