Thursday, June 30, 2011

Train to Kanchanaburi and The Rafting Guest Houses

It is my last day today with XM-Asia, the digital company was also my client back then I first engaged with after selling off my start-up in year 2007.

If you are following me closely I'm going to get my hands on my dad's security business, I have a few plans, but the uncertainties await.

Life goes on albeit the uncertainties, that's the general story that I've been telling everyone and everyone's telling me it's going to be fine. Thank you.

Throughout the years, I learned to share, good or bad. Many had shown some encouraging kindness and spoken about some considerably good advices, more so just kind words and later forget about it, I thank you all for listening.

Kanchanaburi

Muang Kanchanaburi is located 150km at the west of Bangkok, The Golden City has a very dark past where the Allied prisoners of war were enslaved by the Japanese army to build the death railway and the bombing of the Bridge of River Kwai during the infamous World War II.

Ten of thousands of prisoners of war died as the result of brutal treatments under the Japanese fearful force. Many died of malnutrition after working day and night with little food supplied, and deceases that spread across the camp that were never treated properly due to lack of medical care for these unwanted labours.

Kanchanaburi is very much for cultural focused tourists, it's definitely not the most famous tourist spot for party goers as the nightlife is rather calm and no beach to be found but the serene and relaxed river awaits.

Beautiful rafting guest rooms at Khancanaburi

Taking The Train to Kanchanaburi

Don't bother to walk to Thonburi train station from Khao San road unless you know exactly where you are heading to, and if you do, it's going to be in the morning. I almost made it to Thonburi by foot at night to get the train ticket, sadly I got lost and paid extra Baht to get a taxi only to find out that they don't sell next day's ticket..

The attempt was in the evening and the night walk was not something unusual for such an unwise daring character like me, but the confident always wore off in the end I just had to rely on the local taxi drivers.

Thonburi train station
The railway
The fan train to Kanchanaburi
Settling down on the train

The train usually was very punctual at arriving and departing, there were still some time and I decided to go off the train.

Emo shot

There was a market across the station and I took some quick bites.

Street food across the station

Traveling with the non air-conditional train was particularly exciting, usually filled with local passengers but it didn't get filled up at least until halfway through the journey to Kanchanaburi. There were food and drink sellers coming up and down.

There were very little tourists traveling from Thonburi station, I wondered if it's because it's low season month.

The goings and scenery were fascinating, the train passed by temples, houses and padi fields and were very original. I got worried a bit on which station to stop, was very alert after traveling for two hours as I knew it's getting nearer.

The goings scenery on the train from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi

My worries quickly eased off after a traveling Thai girl offered to alert me to make sure I get out of the train when we reach Kanchanaburi, she probably realized what's on my mind from my stressed face after traveling some two hours and half.

The Rafting Guest Houses

I quickly settled down at the first friendly guest house, the main street was just 10 minutes walk from Kanchanaburi station. I still had in mind to check out the Sugarcane guest house that was recommended by my travel book and some Internet blogs that I came across researching.

The room I took for 350 Baht at Maenamkwai road, which is the main street where all tourists stay, was a rafting room that floated quietly on the calm and serene river. Occasionally there were these noisy motor boats carrying raft restaurants passing by.

And yes, again, like usual, I took the twin bed that I didn't need to.

That's the twin bed I took that I didn't usually need to
The bed
Clean toilet

The flooring had some holes that leak
The chairs outside the door could be useful for drinks at night
Calm and quiet surrounding
It's very quiet in the month of May in Kanchanaburi, the bars and restaurants were mostly empty but it's definitely one of the best time to travel here if you want a bit of the peacefulness from the heritage town.

Make sure you pay a visit to the night market at the Sangchuto road beside the railway station, there were a lot of good local food for takeaway, I brought them all back to my guest house resting area, and I bought more food than I could eat.

Potato fries

Sticky rice with choices of dishes

It rained that night, the smell of the rain made me so comfortable and soothed on a swing chair, the mind was so relaxed but it wouldn't feel complete if it was without a few bottles of Singha beer, if only the wooden swing chair was powered to swing on its own.

The next day was a full day on tour package to Erawan Waterfall, elephant ride, visiting at the Death Railway before taking the train and stopping at the famous Bridge of River Kwai. I'd recommend anyone to visit the bridge early in the morning, it's very busy in the evening. I'll cover this on my next post.

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