Saturday, April 27, 2013

Quick and Nerdy: Sangklaburi



Happy Saturday!  I'm pleased to announce the writer of Meanwhile in Thailand will be contributing a weekly feature: Quick and Nerdy city guides.

Sangklaburi:

·      In the extreme east of Thailand, Sangklaburi (or Sang Kla as everyone says) is the last town before the border with Myanmar.

·      Mountainous and pretty, the lower portions were flooded in the early twentieth century with the construction of a dam.

·      You can’t cross the border into Myanmar (at least not legally) but you can approach it, if you wanted to see it for whatever reason.

·      Sangkhlaburi is a popular tourist destination for Thai people, who seem infinitely fascinated by the Mon Bridge constructed across the lake. If you do brave the bus ride through the mountains, expect to meet relatively few westerners.
·      There will be a number of stops at border check points. If you can read this, it means that they will almost certainly not bother you since they are only looking for the Burmese.
Boys on the bridge

Sights:

·      The Mon Bridge isn’t much of a sight, as much as the view of the surrounding hills. Dodge the Thai people taking pictures in the early morning mist and watch young boys jump off into the water below.
·      Take a long tail boat out to the sunken temple. It’s only about a ten minute ride but it’s very scenic and if you go during the height of dry season, you can walk and swim through the decaying concrete remains of the temple. It costs around 100 baht for the twenty to thirty minute ride and you can find a boat near any of the floating restaurants.
·      There’s a golden ziggurat shaped Mon Temple if you keep walking through town past the bridge for about a half of a mile. It also stands above the water, offering another scenic viewpoint.
·      There are numerous other opportunities for scenic viewpoints of the surrounding mountains, jungle and river.
Sunken Temple

Get Around:

·      Sanglkaburi is so small you can almost always walk, which is the healthiest option. There are some motorcycle taxis, as well as the ever-present opportunity to rent one.
They are here day and night.

Tips:

·      Because most of the tourism tends to come from Thai people, prices are definitely lower than most other tourist destinations. Accommodations tend to adhere to Thai standards, as well.
·      If you go on a weekend, book your accommodation ahead of time.
·      If someone tells you a Burmese curry is not spicy, do not believe them. They are a liar.


 
Sangklaburi at dusk

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