2012 - Backpacking to Northern Thailand day 17,18 @ Sangkhlaburi – Ayutthaya

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

morning view of the lake Khao Laem

17 (22.11.12) Sangkhlaburi

At 7.30am walked to the Mon Bridge - the longest wooden bridge in Thailand of 1.5km. We had Mon porridge for breakfast beside the bridge. We walked to Wangwiwekaram Temple and to the gold-topped chedi, Luang Phaw Utama.

On our way back we witness a cock fighting at Soi 8. We then walked to town to take the songthaew to visit the 3 Pagoda Pass at the border with Burma. We had lunch at a stall and then took the same songthaew back to town. Lee Kam Boon and I went for a swim. Had dinner in the guesthouse.

Sleeping: P.Guesthouse and Country Resort at B950 a/c room for 2pax (add bed is B300)
the morning view of the Mon Village across the lake Khao Laem a confluence of three rivers, the Songkalia, Bikhli and Ranti

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

view of the gold-topped chedi, Luang Phaw Utama across the lake Khao Laem from our guesthouse

the house-boats in the lake

the floating bamboo bridge joining the boat houses

The bridge makes for particularly scenic viewing in the early morning as the Mon tread its length on their way to work with all their belongings on their heads. You are no longer allowed to ride motorcycles over the bridge, but bicycles are permitted.

In the wet season the water level almost reaches the top of the bridge, and has in the past completely covered it. In the dry season, about two thirds of the bridge's structures are visible, revealing the nerve-wracking web of bamboo poles that hold the bridge up. While it would be pushing it to describe it as a sight in itself, this bridge is certainly more interesting than that one over in Kanchanaburi.
wooden footbridge made completely by hand links the Mon village to the main town of Sangkhlaburi

this floating guesthouses for tourist

Spread out across the far bank of the lake, the Mon village has been formed by Mon refugees fleeing oppression in Burma. These people have now become a vital part of the Sangkhlaburi community.
a Mon girl was dancing on the bridge when we arrived

window shopping at the Mon village - on the road to the wat you'll pass a small market selling goods mainly for the local residents -- though keep an eye out for some Burmese products.

friendly village, known by locals as Fang Mon, is located at the far side of the wooden bridge

our Mon breakfast of porridge and tea at the Mon village

a Mon grandmother and child

The wat is around 2km from the centre of town if you go via the wooden bridge. By the wooden bridge, follow the road after the bridge until you reach a T junction. At the T-junction - turn right is the Wiweakaram Temple, turn left is the gold-topped chedi Puttakaya Pagoda. From the centre of town a motorbike taxi should cost about 20B to 30B.

Other buildings within the compound also part of Wat Wang Wiweakaram also known as Wat Mon

Other buildings within the compound also part of Wat Wang Wiweakaram also known as Wat Mon

Wat Wang Wiweakaram also known as Wat Mon

Wat Wang Wiweakaram also known as Wat Mon

Wat Wang Wiweakaram also known as Wat Mon looks almost unreal -- a glittering temple rising out of a jungle canopy.

The main feature of the compound is the brilliant wat sporting sparkling stainless steel columns, with teak doors on each side featuring detailed relief sculptures of Buddha's life, all within a moat filled with fish.

Other buildings within the compound also have sculptured doors and window shutters, but with simpler designs.

also known as Wat Mon due to it being home to predominantly Mon monks

Thais travel the country in their pilgrimage to meet with the head monk

some 400m further down the road, is the gold-topped chedi, Luang Phaw Utama, which has been modelled in the style of the Mahabodhi stupa of Bodhgaya, India.

On the Mon side of the lake, across the wooden bridge, is the glittering golden Wat Wang Wiwekaram (Wat Mon). From a distance, you can see the temple glistening in the sunshine.  The shrines guarded by two giant sculpted lions.

It only looks more unusual up close, consisting of a gold-painted beehive carved with geometric patterns, each one filled with statues of the Buddha

Upon closer inspection, you will notice more than 100 freestanding metal Buddha images of varying sizes and positions placed around the outside of the spire.

On our way back we witness a cock fighting at Soi 8.

took the songthaew to visit the 3 Pagoda Pass at the border with Burma

The Three Pagodas pass lies at an altitude of 1,400m (4,480ft) and owes its name to the three little white chedis erected here in the 18th century. Three Pagodas Pass has been the main route by land between Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) since ancient times, which is located 22 kilometers from Sankuraburi town in a border area of the two countries. 

There are three pagodas and that's why the area called "Three Pagodas Pass". It is believed that Buddhist teachings, Theravada Buddhism, came from India through this pass in the 3rd century.

During the Ayutthaya period of Thailand, from the 14th to 18th centuries, the pass was the main route for the Burmese and Siam to attack each other. During World War II, Japan built the Death Railway (Thai-Burma Railway) through the pass to invade Burma at the sacrifices of lives of great number of people.

Thai soldier guarding the border area

a Burmese flag at the border

the face of the grandfather and grand daughter

the Grandfather

dinner at P.Guesthouse

Day 18 (23.11.12) Sangkhlaburi – Ayutthaya (367km)

Today’s travel is getting to Ayutthaya.
1st: 8.30am by tuktuk from guesthouse to Sangkhlaburi van station.
2nd: 9.00am by van from Sangkhlaburi to Kangchanaburi bus station arrived at 12.30pm.
3rd: 1.00pm by very old local 60 seater bus from Kangchanaburi to Suphanburi arrived at 3pm and had lunch at bus station.
4th: 3.30pm by van from Suphanburi to Ayutthaya arrived at 4.30pm.

We then walked to PU Guesthouse. At 6.00pm we walked to MK Restaurant nearby to have steamboat for dinner and later walked to explore the market and to the boat jetty which is near to the railway station across the river.

eating pineapple for breakfast in our room

last view of the lake before departing for Ayutthaya

last view of P.Guesthouse before departing for Ayutthaya

the P.Guesthouse restaurant has a great ambience and views to die for

I am ready to continue the journey to Ayutthaya which is 367km away
took this old local 60 seater bus from Kangchanaburi to Suphanburi
notice that the bus floor is made of wood which we do not see anymore in Malaysia
in the bus I sat with the traveling monks - taught them some English words

Ayutthaya being an island, this is the boat to cross to the mainland
Ayutthaya city by night

Ayutthaya night market area near to our PU Guesthouse

Day Expenses  THB total   per pax
17 Mon porridge @  Mon's wooden bridge 210 42
Water  7 1
Sawngtheaw to 3 Pagodas Pass  150 30
Lunch at 3 Pagodas Pass 280 56
Sawngtheaw back to sangkhlaburi 150 30
Water  30 6
fruits 260 52
Dinner at P Guesthouse 930 186

18 tuktuk from P guesthouse to van station 100 20
van Sangkhlaburi to Kanchanaburi B175 X 5 875 175
breakfast 130 26
bus Kanchanaburi to Suphanburi B50 X 5 250 50
Noodle lunch at Suphanburi bus station 145 29
van Suphanburi to Ayutthaya B80 X 5 400 80
PU Inn for 2 nights [(700 X 1)+(800 X 1)] X 2 3,000 600
Steamboat dinner at MK restaurant 1,000 200
Ochien - hawker stall 75 15
water 120 24

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. Hi Ching,

    1.Not knowing Ayuthia is an island, as it's surrounded by waterways. I'll like to go there to visit the temple ruins; it's part of the legacy left behind by the people then who worshipped Hindu dieties and minor gods; in fact they're the similar ruins of the Angkor Wat of Cambodia.
    2. Thailand is fantastic, when rivers are far away, the lake views are equally breath-taking.
    3. The house-boats or floating homes provide a placid, calm ambience around the water ways adorning the Mong Village. Yon can see some similar boat houses at Temerloh River bank of Pahang.
    4. The wooden bridge with bamboo poles is a wonderful sight itself at Sangkhlaburi. I believe the bridge is safe for all.
    5. The Wat Mong temple buildings are large, looks like palaces. The head monk sat there at the "throne" posed like King!
    6. The tree that bears fruits like large brown balls, 'apa nama-Ball tree?' We have one at Penang's Botanical Garden. Go have a look.
    7. Wooden floor board for bus, yeah you're right, we don't see that in Malaysia anymore. Only on wooden body 1 ton lorries, you can see wooden floor board; but that's not for passengers anyway. Nice final few days yet Bankok is still a distance away.


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