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My Travel Story: Sangkhlaburi, Mon Bridge.
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  1. #1
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    Sangkhlaburi, Mon Bridge.

    The biggest, longest, highest, deepest, widest etc. etc. I do not go out of my way to see these attractions but if they are nearby, then I do like to have a Captain Cook (look) at them. So when I was informed that the longest wooden bridge in Thailand is located just up the road from the city of Kanchanaburi in a little sleepy town by the name of Sangkhlaburi, I was keen to check it out.

    Sangkhlaburi is a stones throw from the famous 3 pagodas pass and the Myanmar (Burmese) border, about 22kms and roughly 220 kms north west of Kanchanaburi, on route 323, this is the only major road and is very well sign posted, so it is hard to get lost, even if you are the driver.

    If you are coming from Bangkok and have a week or so up your sleeve, you could travel the 3 hours by bus to Kanchanaburi, stop over, tour around for 2 or 3 days (heaps to see and do there) and then casually head up to Sangkhlaburi for a look around. A few days there, then back down to Kanchanaburi to take in a few more sights and activities, returning to Bangkok with not even a hair out of place or a chipped nailcha chatime to take it easy.

    Getting to Kanchanaburi.

    From Bangkok, not that much of an effort really, most hotels and guest houses in Bangkok will have the latest times and prices and can arrange everything, but if you wanted to do it by yourself then you have a few options.

    By Car, hire a car with a GPS, I wouldnt be able to find my way out of Bangkok without one. Again, ask at your hotel, also can be arrange online and at the airport.

    Taxi, this will cost between 1,500 to 2,500baht, and will get you there in about 90 minutes.well..that is if you have a safe driver, a lot quicker if you do not.

    By Bus, these leave nearly every 15 to 20 minutes from the Southern (Sai Tai Mai) bus station, 4am to 10pm and from the Northern (Mo Chit) bus stations every hour from 5am to 4pm (please note, all these times are subjected to change for no particular reason what so ever). Costing less than 150baht and takes between 2 to 3 hours. They both arrive at the central bus station in Kanchanaburi, from there it is no more than 100 baht to get you to the touristy center of town by baht bus, and this is where most of the nice guest houses and restaurants are located by the river (river Kwai noi).

    If you are staying in the lovely little town of Nong Bua (10kms further north of kanchanaburi) it will cost no more than 200 baht to get there.

    Taking your life in your own hands.Mini Vans, these speedsters leave from Victory Monument, they seem not to have much of a time table and Im told they only want to leave when they are full. With all the reports of accidents last year from these guys trying to break the land speed record, I have never wanted to use them, but if you rock up at 8am you could get a seat on one and wait till its full before leaving, I think they would fill up pretty quickly at that time. I have also been told that they do not leave much room for luggage.

    By Train, two trains leave a day from the Thonburi Station, costing 100 baht a ticket, the first train leaves at 07:35 and hopefully arrives at 10:20, the second departs at 13:45 and arrives at 16:35.
    On the weekend and public holidays there is a special tourist service from Bangkoks main train station, Hua Lamphong Station, leaves at 06:30 and costs 75baht.can you get up that early???

    Kanchanaburi to Sangkhlaburi

    Back at the main Kanchanaburi bus station, same same station as you arrived from Bangkok, the VIP air-con buses leave every hour from 7:30am to 4:30pm at a cost of 175baht. There are also air-con mad mini vans and a non-air-con bus service operating from the same station. Best ask for the latest times and costs from your guest house or hotel, they will know everything.

    You can also arrange a private baht bus, taxi or guest house minivan to take you, this will be up to your exceptional negotiating skills to get a good price.

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    The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
    - Chinese Proverb

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  3. #2
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    Re: Sangkhlaburi, Mon Bridge.

    There is no shortage of places to stay in Sangkhlaburi, and most hotel/guest houses have views of the Mon Bridge or at least the Songkalia River, and those views are simply stunning.

    Two places I can highly recommend for being very clean, good food and in a great location, areThe P Guest House, well within walking distance to the bridge, this is such a good set up, and would be my first choice when I visit Sangkhlaburi again, really great food (portions a bit small), free wifi (a bit slow, the coffee shop across the road is much faster and better coffee). 250baht for a double room with a fan and shared bathroom, or 900baht for a huge room with air-con and ensuite. All rooms have nice views.
    This place is very popular, while other guest houses around are nearly empty, the P guest house is mostly fully booked.

    The second place is the Phornpailin Riverside Resort, this is also right on the waters edge and about 500m from the P guest house, they charge 1000baht and up, I haggled with the lady at the front desk and got a great room, A/C, ensuite, a balcony facing the water for 700 baht with breakfast. There was hardly anyone staying there, I only came across this place as the P guest house was booked outagain!

    Im sure there are some other very nice places to stay in the town.

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    The resort and guest house are marked in red in this map of the town, and as you can see they are not far from the Mon Bridge.
    The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
    - Chinese Proverb

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  5. #3
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    Re: Sangkhlaburi, Mon Bridge.

    Thanks for the Infos fileeep, would like to see some Photos so

    Plan to go back to Kanchanaburi long time already, making a River Trip too, the Bridge will be on my list then as well.
    My interesting blog about Thailand at Thailand Blog ---> click here

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    Re: Sangkhlaburi, Mon Bridge.

    Some photos of the P Guest house.

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    These rooms are 900 baht a night, they are at least 50 square metres, very nice and clean. The restaurant is above where they serve excellent food with great views.

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    These bungalows have shared bathrooms.

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    djaidee, you can see the Mon Bridge from here.

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    These canoes are for hire, they are made locally by a Canadian guy, he has a workshop just around the corner, they are all handmade and you can visit and he will happily take you around and show you how they are put together, very interesting and great workmanship.
    The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
    - Chinese Proverb

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  9. #5
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    Re: Sangkhlaburi, Mon Bridge.

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    Just another photo of these beautifully built wooden canoes. If you are interested in canoes here is the web site of Brent Bateman, nice guy.

    http://www.sanghaleicanoeandkayak.com/

    The site also shows the restoration of an old river barge named the Sanghalei Queen…very interesting.


    There is a photo of the Mon Bridge at Ban Sabai Sabai Guesthouse in Nong Bua (10km north of Kanchanaburi town) and it shows brightly coloured Monks walking in single file across the dimly lit Mon Bridge (Utamanusorn Bridge), fantastic photo. The Monks walk from the Mon village side and then receive food on the Town of Sangkhlaburi side.

    I got up at 5am and walked from the P guest house, this is an easy walk, just turn left once out of the guest house and then the next left and it will take you to the bridge, if you miss the first left then the second left will also take you there.

    I arrived at the Bridge at 5:30am and to my surprise the Monks had completed the journey and were already receiving food, I visited the bridge 3 times in the early morning and was never early enough to see them walking across.

    Arriving at the bridge you come across this sign, a bit of useful information.
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    This Sign.

    Utamanusorn Bridge (Mon Bridge) is in Sangkhlaburi District, Kanchanaburi Province. It is Thailand’s longest bridge which was initiated by Pra Racha-udom Mongkol (Utama) in 1984 with the joint labours of the Mon people living on the banks of Wat Wangwiwekaram temple (Utama temple).

    It was built to join the communities of Baan Nam Lai (Village 3) with the Mon village at Baan Wangka (Village 2), Nong Lu Sub-district, Sangkhla buri District within the municipality of Wangka.

    The objective is to create a route for visits, business and agricultural produce transport for the villagers in order to create jobs and income and also for cultural exchange between the Mon and Karen people living on the banks of the Songaria River.

    On traditional holidays many activities are held such as Alms and food offering to monks on the wooden bridge to carry on Buddist traditions. Upon completion of the bridge it was called the “Bridge of Faith” as the construction method and procedures was largely from manual labour.
    The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
    - Chinese Proverb

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    Re: Sangkhlaburi, Mon Bridge.

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    Just past the information sign is the entrance to the bridge, also by the entrance are a few little places to eat and this coffee shop with the really groovy orange motor cy.

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    On the other side of the entrance is this picture, I think it is of Pra Racha-undon Mongkol, Abbot Ven Uttama? Is anybody able to translate this for me please?

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    An early morning shot of the bridge, I waited around in a little restaurant for the sun to come up, this photo was taken at 07:40, still pretty overcast and dark. These little floating houses can be hired and towed to anywhere you want, stock up with food and a few mozzie coils and youll be right for the night.
    The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
    - Chinese Proverb

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    Re: Sangkhlaburi, Mon Bridge.

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    When the light improved, this guy came along and fished for awhile.

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    The little brown building on the left is a restaurant, they were opened at 5:30am, and thats where i sat to take some pictures. A lot of the other buildings are hotels.

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    The haze in the air is from heaps of morning cooking fires, you can see the smoke rising up from most of the houses, the haze cleared by about 10am until the evening meal, it is much worse during dinner time.

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    On the second morning I saw this lady coming towards me, so I had breakfast on the bridge, they were like a samosa but very oily, if it wasnt for the spicy orange chilli sauce, I dont think I could have eaten them, not very nice at all.

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    The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
    - Chinese Proverb

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    Re: Sangkhlaburi, Mon Bridge.

    Quote Originally Posted by fileeep View Post
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    On the other side of the entrance is this picture, I think it is of Pra Racha-undon Mongkol, Abbot Ven Uttama? Is anybody able to translate this for me please?
    The last 2 Lines on the Picture give the answer:

    Ҫش = "Phra Ratcha Udom Mongkol"

    also known as

    ǧص - it's indeed the famous Monk "Luang Pho Uttama".

    For more Infos have a look at the Links:

    http://th.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E0%B8%...B9%82%E0%B8%A0)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luangpho_Ajahn_Tala_Uttama

    http://www.thailand-amulets.net/?page_id=240
    My interesting blog about Thailand at Thailand Blog ---> click here

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    Re: Sangkhlaburi, Mon Bridge.

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    This photo was taken from the Mon village (southern) side of the bridge looking back to the entrance of the bridge, there are stalls all around and many things to buy, there is also a few restaurants and it is not a long walk up the road until you come to the residential area, all very interesting and a very pleasant time browsing and grazing.

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    This was a Sunday morning at 8:15am and when I walked back over the bridge it was packed with fellow rubber necks (tourists) all enjoying this beautiful place.

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    Looking west from the bridge this building is another resort/guesthouse right by the main traffic bridge.
    The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
    - Chinese Proverb

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    Re: Sangkhlaburi, Mon Bridge.

    The design on the entrance to the bridge in post #6 is very interesting. Could it possibly be woven rattan as it appears to be? Or maybe an intricate design made of pieces of painted wood?

    This definitely looks like a wonderful place to visit for a little r & r.

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