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2006 trip to Kanchanaburi


lookbothways
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I have posted this report on some other Pattaya forums about 12 months ago, prices may have slightly increased since my original post.

 

 

After coming back from my holiday in Cambodia I spent 5 more days in Pattaya

Feeling like a change of pace I asked my girl where she would like to go for a couple of days holiday.

I wasn’t that surprised when she answered “Up to you”. I had seen most of Thailand as I had done the “backpacker” thing in ’95.

We decided on going to Kanchanaburi, as there were some things I never got to see when I was there last time.

We went to a couple of travel agencies, they had organised trips that was leaving Pattaya at 5 am. Way too early for me so went searching on the net to see what other options were available.

Yahoo search found plenty of hotels so found one that looked centrally located. We opted for The River Kwai Hotel; they had rooms advertised for 1200 Baht. My girl rang the hotel & booked a room for 2 nights, price the reception quoted was 1050 baht including breakfast.

Next step was how to get there. Asked around at a couple of Taxi stands the cost to Kanchanaburi & they were all round 3500-4000 Baht. Decided on getting an 800 Baht taxi to Bangkok then catch the bus from the Sai Thai Bus station.

The following day when the taxi picked us up my girl was chatting to the driver telling him we were going to Kanchanaburi, the driver said he would take us for 1000 Baht more. This seemed fair to me as it would save time & be a lot more comfortable, plus the added convenience of stopping when & where we wanted i.e. lunch & toilet breaks.

The drive was uneventful, took about 4 hours plus we stopped for about 15-20 minutes for lunch the other side of Bangkok.

Checked in to the hotel, the hotel seemed old but rooms were clean & comfortable (except for the bed but I learn later that if you turn over the mattress it has a soft side as well as a hard one).

Later that evening we wandered around the town, find a nice little street stall & have a meal.

Back at the hotel I ask the concierge about doing some tours, he calls a girl from the “Good Times Travel Service”. We are shown some photos & a brochure of different tours. We select tour 101 (see scanned copy of brochure), price was 690 Baht each.

The hotel has a good selection for breakfast, both western & Thai food.

The minibus picked us up at 0755. There was our driver & a good english-speaking guide. We then proceeded to pick up other passengers; there were 2 Australian guys then 3 Irish girls & 1 Irish guy who were making their way to Australia for a working holiday.

First stop was at Sai Yok Noi waterfall, not a lot of water running so a bit disappointing, next stop was Hell Fire pass, we visit Konyu cutting & the museum. This place is a real eye opener seeing what horrific things the POW’s went through. Next was lunch, Thai food at a local restaurant a selection of mild curries & sweet & sours followed by some fruit.

After lunch we go on the elephant rides, this is about a 30-minute trek, a bit of good fun, my girl hadn’t been on an elephant before & was hanging on to me like grim death. Taking photos while on an elephant is an art in its self. One second you have a perfect photo lined up the next thing you know is that you have a great photo of the sky or the ground. After the elephant ride we bought bunches of bananas for 10 baht each & fed the elephants.

Where the elephant trek ended was where the bamboo rafting started. As there was very little water it was a fairly tame ride down the river but still good fun.

After the rafting we were back on the minibus to Krasae Cave & the wooden Viaduct, spent 30 minutes wandering around here then caught a train along the “Death Railway”. Great scenery going along in the train as you follow the river for a while then head inland. Best grab a seat on the right hand side of the train for the best views. I stood near the open doorways & took photos from there.

Back on the minibus again then go to the “Bridge over The River Kwai” & the war museum. We spent 30 minutes here then it is back to the hotel. A very long day but well worth it.

The next day I walk up to the cemetery of the allied prisoners of the World War II, this is only about 600 meters from the hotel.

On one of the plaques I read where during the building of the Thai- Burma Railway 200 000 +/- Asian labourers 50 000+/- died. 30 000 British POW 6540 died. 18000 Dutch POW 2650 died. 13 000 Australian POW 2710 died. 700+/- American POW 358 died.

15 000 Japanese & Korean Soldiers 1 000 of these died

One of the Australian guys on the trip yesterday was unsure of what he was going to do for the next 5 days before he went back so he decided to share a taxi back to Pattaya with us so that suited me as it made the fare cheaper. The same taxi driver who took us to Kanchanaburi left from Bangkok & picked us up at 1100. Another uneventful trip but well worth the extra cost compared to getting busses.

 

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Details of "Good Times Travel are

63/1 Mae Nam Kwai Rd

T.Thamakham

A. Muang Kanchanaburi 7100

Phone

(034) 624441

01 9137758

01 4841369

good_times_travel@hotmail.com

 

I thought it was very good value, a full day for a bit over 20 Oz dollars

They also do overnight trips to Karen villages & Sangkhlaburi (Thai Burma Broder) plus day tours to the Tiger temple,

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that brings back old memories of my very first trip to Thailand. spent 3 days and found it very quiet and relaxing. however did go on my own so did get a bit bored. I forget the name of the place i stayed at but was on the river about 10 mins from helfire pass. the girls that clean the rooms offred an extra service which i guess you could call a premium service for an extra 500bht. I was a bit slow on the uptake on what happens in Thailand in those early days and thought i would be taking advantage of them. Oh well, maybe next time!

so many people I talk to who have just retuned from Thailand didnt even know this place existed in Thailand, and for us Aussies, it is just as important for us to make a visit as visiting other places such as the Kokada trail!

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Hmmm. That does look familliar. Excellent report and some really fine pics to go along with it. Just like when I saw it elsewhere. Thanks for sharing it with us Tazzy.

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Tazzy: Great report mate. Was there in 06 basically the same tours. As you said very laid back and peaceful after the pace in BKK and Patts. Just sort of kick back and recharge.

Thanks a lot. Cheers T

May the best of your past, be the worst of your future.

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  • 3 weeks later...

lookbothways,

 

Excellent report and pictures you really gave a lot of details and important information for those of us who may consider doing this trip in the future.

 

thank you

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  • 2 weeks later...

hi

 

wow really nice report and beautiful fotos, the baboo rafting looking very funny.

Make me feel to do a trip like that too.

 

ty for the report

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Thanks for the report and pictures....

"Talk to Jesus"

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Nice report. You missed the tiger temple where you can pet the tigers and hold their tales. Also, the golf courses are great such as nichigo and evergreen. Good massage (real). Felix River Kwai hotel is upscale and has a couple of pools with a swim up bar and great grounds. Best patio chairs i have ever been in. Nichigo hotel on the golf course is nice and you can get a golf package included for a pretty cheap rate. I got a van and driver for 3000 baht per day last trip in Feb 2007. He took us everywhere and van, gas and driver included in the price. Kanchanaburi is one of my favorite places in LOS. Only one problem. IMHO it is the hottest place in Thailand. I have been to all parts of Thailand and it is a scorcher. It makes one wonder why the death tolls on the death highway were not even higher.

 

oops, read the post again and saw the tiger temple mentioned. Sorry. Moves the report from an a- to an a.

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  • 4 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Glad I stopped in to see the report. I was in Kanchanaburi at the end of november for the annual festival. I have been to Chiang Mai at the end of December a few years ago, and Kanchanaburi was colder! :D

 

I also stayed at the River Kwai hotel. It is convenient, it has a disco onsite that is popular with the local young thai. It has a massage... that my Tg would not let me try out! I booked online for under 1k baht a nite, price doubled once the festival started.

 

I wanted to go over to hellfire pass and the Krasae Cave, but my Tg was afraid to go into the Cave. :P We went to Erawan instead. That was a good choice. Also the dinner cruises on the river are a good bargain. We were well fed, and got to sit on the river for the opening night of the festival. I do not know why the dinner cruises were not full for that? MY Tg told me afterward that there was a group of TV personalities on our cruise from CH5. She was too shy to say anything about them during the cruise.

 

Kanchanaburi is very laid back, my TG really liked the attitude of the thai people we met and interacted with on the trip.

 

My Tg was afraid the ting tong falang would get his ass shot acting silly at the Wild west restaurant outside the hotel... it seems there were mafia types or politicos hanging out here every night we would be boozing and chewing there.

 

Looking forward to going back!

Edited by aeromanmai
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thanks for the posting. I am planning a trip to Kanchanaburi. a friend of mine also recommended good times travel. great pics.

I'm your huckleberry.
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  • 6 months later...

Great pictures and love the maps and little placards. Did a very good job on posting. Thanks for sharing and putting it all in there.

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  • 9 months later...

ill try and remeber the names of the villages, but i was teaching up country from kancanburie, abou t 3 hours drive,i had to take a ferry across the khwai that had turned in to a giant lake with damming, stunning

46 and still learning

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  • 5 months later...

I first went to Kanchanaburi about 12 or 13 years ago, my first trip to Thailand. We got to the Bridge at night. At that time, there was a stand of trees about 40 yards before you got to the trees. I have been there a couple of times since. This year, friends from the U. S. come over with us and they wanted to go to "The Bridge over the River Kwai". I took them and they were very disappointed. It's so built up there now. Where there were trees before, there are all of the vendor booths. There are floating restaurants to the left of the bridge. It's like a market/tourist trap now with the main goal or commerce rather than a memorial. I know it was going to be like that because, as I said, I have been there numerous times over the years and saw the growing developement. Even the graveyard is a lot different thatn it used to be. All I could tell my friends was "too bad you couldn't have seen it 10 or 12 years ago".

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  • 1 month later...

good trip report, i cant see the pictures , is it because its an old post or possibly they have been taken off ?

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Not sure what happened to the photos

I tried to edit them back on but the "edit function wasnt there

 

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