Sangkhla Buri, Thailand
It was around 8PM but we headed straight out into a already asleep town with no power and a steady drizzle. The only place to stay which was suggested by many bloggers as well as the lonely planet travel guide we had was P guest house. So we headed in search of it in the dark. We stopped by a small house which had a few travelers waiting for their food, they had put up there in a bed and breakfast but did vouch for P Guest House’s comfort. They directed us there and we did eventually find the place. It was a nice place. There were 2 types of places to put up, the AC suites which all the amenities or small stone huts which had a nice ethnic feel to it. Obviously we chose the latter, set ourselves up and realized it was common bathrooms and toilets but it was ok. We sat together in the warmth of our new home for the next 2 days and chatted up all the lost stories in a year that we needed to, planned an early start the next day and went to bed tired after 2 days of being in the car.
The next morning we checked on what all we should be seeing at Sanghklaburi. It was the Three Pagodas Pass, Nam Thong Falls, the Wooden Brige, the nearby Buddhist Monastery. Since we had already seen a view of the monastery from our rooms, we decided to head there first. It was a nice place, lots of monks minding their own business. We went in saw the place, headed to the Monk’s palace and had a tour of it and on the way out saw a Burma market and bought some souvenirs to take back home.
From there we headed to the Burma border or the Three Pagodas Pass as it is more famously known. The border though was closed and we weren’t allowed to enter into Myanmar, we did speak to the border security there and stepped in for a photo with them and did set foot in Myanmar for a few minutes. An interesting sight we saw there was that for the local people, there was little restriction and they could walk in and out pretty freely as they had what was called a day pass. We saw children come into Thailand for school and walking back. The physical appearance of the Burmese is starkly different and thanks to their culture of smearing sandalwood on their cheeks, we can make no mistake in identifying them from the Thai’s. There was not many to ask, all the talking we did was with people who spoke broken English and had to depend a lot on hand signs to communicate. Calculators did the bargaining part of the trade and touch and feel of the goods were on offer when asked what it was made of. Most of the shops had this trait. They opened into the Thai side of town to sell their stuff, but had small doors which opened into Myanmar. Thanks to lack of language, we couldn’t talk them into allowing us into one of their shops and have a sneak peek into Myanmar. The three pagodas have not much of significance by themselves, but when clubbed with the border, it is a place that must be seen.
We then headed back to the guest house, had a late and light lunch and headed to the wooden bridge which was walkable distance from our guesthouse. As we walked there, the
rain was easing up and the climate was very pleasant. We headed to walk the wooden bridge. The construction of some houses there were interesting, made completely of bamboo shoots and leaves. It was getting dark so we just had a cup of tea there and headed back to the guest house. There we had to decide on whether to head to the waterfalls the next day or visit the the 7 step waterfall and tiger temple on the way to Bangkok. So we did decide to try the 7 step waterfall first and then head to tiger temple if we had time.
We went about dinner at P Guest House as little other choices were there. One of the dishes that one must taste is the Chicken Curry in Basil Leaves and Rice. I must say the combination was amazing and the taste is unforgettable. As I am planning a complete writeup on food separately will tell you more about Thai food in that.
The next morning, we had American breakfast(yes, P guest house does serve that). Thanked the warm owner of the place and one of the guys who worked there who was ever helpful in finding us the right spots to visit and tried to arrange a jungle trek for us, but unfortunately couldn’t as the explorer was already in the jungle with another tourist. We did promise him to come back for it one day.
One thing I must point out is that being a small town, this place has no ATMs and banks function only from 8:30AM till 3:00PM. So be sure that you have enough dough before hand say in Kanchanaburi or a bigger town before you come here.