2012 - Backpacking to Northern Thailand day 15,16 @ Bangkok – Kanchanaburi - Sangkhlaburi

Northern Thailand Adventure, Mountains, Rivers and Temples
6th to 27th November 2012

Sathorn Pier and Taksin Bridge Area - you can board the river boat or Skytrain to any destination

Day 15 (20.11.12) Bangkok – Kanchanaburi (130km)

Today is getting to Kanchanaburi at 9am.
1st: by BTS Surasak (B15) to Saphan Taksin station then walked to the Sathorn Pier.
2nd: by public river boat (B15) to Phrapinklao Bridge Pier.
3rd: by public bus No.511, 507, 123 or 124 bus (B15) to the southern bus station.
4th: by public bus (B110) to Kanchanaburi

We left Bangkok Southern bus station at 11am and arrived at Kanchanaburi bus station at 1.20pm. We took a tuktuk to the Sugar Cane Guesthouse One - this guesthouse is a floating cabin on the River Kwai. After lunch at the guesthouse, Lee Kam Boon and I went for a deep in the River Kwai – I suppose we are the first two Malaysian to swim in this River Kwai near to the death railway bridge.

We then waked about 1.3km to The Bridge over River Kwai and witnessed the 6pm train passing through. We had dinner at Pai Kan restaurant – very good and cheap.

Sleeping: Sugar-Cane Guesthouse at B550 a/c room for 2pax
The Millennium Hilton Bangkok hotel towering majestically above Chao Praya River

a Chinese Temple along the Chao Praya River

Established in 1971, the Chao Phraya Express Boat serves both local commuters and tourists.

Wat Arun - The Temple of Dawn is named after Aruna, the Indian God of Dawn. Sitting majestically on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River, the legendary Wat Arun is one of the most striking riverside landmarks of Thailand. This Wat or Buddhist temple is an architectural representation of Mount Meru, the center of the world in Buddhist cosmology.

Wat Kanlayanamit, influenced by Chinese architecture, is a second class royal temple, situated on the mouth of Bangkok Yai canal on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River.

Sugar Cane Guest House 1, 22 Soi Pakistan on River Kwai, Kanchanaburi
Sugarcane Guesthouse I is located in the Tha Maka district of Kanchanaburi on Maenam Kwae Road. It is situated in the River Kwai bank and very accessible from the bus station. It offers 12 bungalows and 20 rafts

the location is amazing, just on the river! the raft houses are pretty cool, large, cleaned and comfortable

the budget floating bungalow on the river Kwai

Kam Boon and I getting ready for a swim in the River Kwai

Lee Kam Boon and I went for a deep in the River Kwai – I suppose we are the first two Malaysian to swim in this River Kwai near to the death railway bridge.

a big fish caught by the guesthouse staff
River Kwai Road

we headed on River Kwai Road to the 'Death Railway Bridge'

the Bridge on the River Kwai as viewed from Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi, at Myanmar border, is home to the famous Bridge River Kwai. During WW II, Japan constructed the meter-gauge railway line from Ban Pong, Thailand to Thanbyuzayat, Burma. The line passing through the scenic Three Pagodas Pass runs for 250 miles. This is now known as the Death Railway.

There were actually two bridges here, both built by prisoners of war - The first (wooden) bridge was completed in February 1943, superseded a few months later by the steel bridge which you see today.  The curved steel bridge spans are original, and were brought from Java by the Japanese.  However, the two straight-sided spans come from Japan, and were installed after the war to replace spans destroyed by allied bombing in 1945.

the last train returning from Hell Pass to Kanchanaburi at 7pm

the changing lighted colors on the bridge at the train passes by

a night view of the River Kwai from the left side of the bridge

a night view of the River Kwai from the right side of the bridge

very good dinner at Pai Kan restaurant along River Kwai Road

the proprietress of Pai Kan restaurant - she looks Japanese maybe a descendent of Japanese soldiers

a lovely dinner at Pai Kan with the heavy rain outside

good authentic Thai dinner at Pai Kan restaurant

Day 16 (21.11.12) Kanchanaburi - Sangkhlaburi (213km)

After breakfast at 8am we rented bicycle (B50) to cycle to the Death Railway on the Bridge of River Kwai. We then walked across the bridge to see the new Kwan Yin Temple. We had cold coconut along the way to the War Cemetery. Came back to the guesthouse to rest and had lunch before taking a tuktuk to the bus station to take the van (B175) to Sangkhlaburi in a 3.5 hours journey. Arrived at the bus station at 4.35pm and walked the 2km to P.Guesthouse.

Sleeping: P.Guesthouse and Country Resort at B950 a/c room for 2pax (add bed is B300)

an early morning view of the river from the guesthouse verandah

our Sugar Cane Guesthouse floating room - very comfortable

on the causeway to the floating guesthouse
Every year, River Kwai Bridge Festival is organized to mark the Allied bombing on November 28, 1944. Spectacular light and sound show is the highlight of the festival.

A small tourist train runs back and forth across the bridge.
another visit to the bridge

we walked through the bridge to visit a new Chinese Kwan Yin Temple

The track is developed into a walkway with side platforms. This allows crossing the railway bridge on foot. These platforms are useful as viewpoints and for avoiding trains.
the many floating restaurants beside the bridge

a new Chinese Kwan Yin Temple on the other side of the river

we saw this bird in the temple compound

War Museum at the Bridge - The private sector Museum that collects lots of World War II Stories, such as war instruments, photographs, uniforms, etc. It is located on the bank of Kwai River nearby the Bridge on the River Kwai. Inside the building is also an Art Gallery on 2nd and 3rd floor. The paintings on the second floor relate ancient battles between the Thais and Burmese, while third-floor murals tell Thai history and provide portraits of prime ministers and other important political figures.

Thai-Burmese Railway Centre - The TBRC is an interactive museum dedicated to the history of the Thailand-Burma Railway. The Death Railway runs once 415 km from Ban Pong (Thailand) to Thanbuyuzayat (Burma). The museum is located next to the Don-Rak War Cemetery.

At the nearby Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, around 7,000 POWs, who sacrificed their lives in the railway construction, are buried. Another 2,000 are laid to rest at the Chungkai Cemetery.

Don-Rak War Cemetery -This War Cemetery is also known as the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery. It is located opposite Kanchanaburi's Railway Station on Saengchootoe Road. It contains the remains of 6,982 Australian, Dutch and British war prisoners who lost their lives during the construction of the Death Railway.

we cycled to the Kanchanaburi railway station

tuk tuk to the Kanchanaburi bus station to take a van to Sangkhalaburi -
The road to Sangkhlaburi runs between the densely forested mountain slopes of Erawan National Park and Sai Yok National Park. The small town of Sangkhlaburi sits on a man-made lake. The population includes Karen, Mon and Burmese, as well as Thai, so Burmese dishes and goods are sold in local cafes and at the dry market. Thailand's longest wooden bridge links to a Mon village across the lake.
Sleeping: P.Guesthouse and Country Resort at B950 a/c room for 2pax (add bed is B300)

P Guesthouse - the stone walls do have a bit of a Flintstones feel
The view is just amazing right on top of the lake and it is superb value for the rooms, cleanliness and superb service from the staff. It actually feels like you're staying in an expensive resort with lake views from my front windows!!

the view of Wat Wang Wiwekaram (Wat Mon) across the lake
it has an unmatched view over the lake and across to the Mon village
sunset view over the lake and across to the Mon village
another sunset view over the lake and across to the Mon village

an impressive silhouette of me against the evening skyline...by Kam Boon

Day Expenses  THB total   per pax

15 BTS to saphan taksin 75 15
boat Saphan taksin to phrapingklao pier 75 15
bus to southern bus station 15 X 5 75 15
bus Bangkok to kanchanaburi 550 110
drinks   40 8
noodles 150 30
sawngthaew to Sugar Cane1  guesthouse 100 20
lunch  480 96
room @ Sugar Cane 1 guesthse (550 X 3) 1,650 330
coconut 100 20
dinner 500 100
water 50 10
7rd collection : TB2,000 x 5 pax
16 Rental of 5 bicycles 250 50
Breakfast 380 76
5 coconuts 100 20
Lunch 325 65
Tuktuk to bus station 100 20
Van to Sangkhaburi 875 175
P Guesthouse for 2 nights 4,400 880
Dinner at P Guesthouse 745 149

Day 1,2 @ Chiangmai
Day 3 @ Chiangmai – Thaton
Day 4 @ Thaton by River Boat to Chiangrai
Day 5 @ White Temple of Chiangrai

Day 6 @ Chiangrai - Mae Salong and Mae Fah Luang
Day 7 @ Chiangrai – Phu Chi Fa
Day 8 @ Phu Chi Fa – Phayao
Day 9,10 @ Phayao – Chiangmai - Mae Sariang

Day 11,12 @ Mae Sariang – Mae Sot
Day 13,14 @ Mae Sot - Bangkok
Day 15,16 @ Bangkok – Kanchanaburi - Sangkhlaburi
Day 17,18 @ Sangkhlaburi – Ayutthaya
Day 19-22 @ Ayutthaya - Bangkok – Butterworth


  1. Alan’s dream writings13 January, 2013

    1. Back in 2004 I was there at Bangkok & Kanchanaburi. At Sathorn Pier,the Express Boat that crosses the Chao Phraya seems more comfortable now.
    2.Read that Bangkok is sinking by inches every year; wonder how the muddy shoreline could withstand the heavy weight of the sprouting high rise hotels and buildings.
    3. Did not know there's bus service
    linking BK and Kanchanaburi. We paid Bhat 1200 per pax for day tour by van to Death Railway War Museum & River Kwai, Cemetery, lunch & boarded train to and fro a village some 20 kms away.
    4.You didn't introduce the charming White lady sitting next to you at Pai Kan Restaurant, River Kwai Road.
    5.Room at floating Guesthouse looks clean & comfy, and the scene out to the river are great.
    6. Back in 2004 the colorful Chu-Chu train for tourists was not there yet over the bridge at River Kwai.
    7.KB took nice shot of you with silhouette outlining your body shape. The perspective is clear. Good one to go down memory of travels.
    Nice reading touring experience, it is enticing interest for more travel. Regards,


  2. I've been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before.