8 Days Ride In Kanchanaburi

Discussion in 'Central Western Thailand Road Trip Reports' started by Goran Phuket, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    For me, Kanchanaburi is definitely one of the top 5 riding destinations. I visited the province numerous times with fellow riders or family but this time decided to go alone.

    Left Phuket May 25th early morning, rain followed me all the way to Prachuap Khiri Khan where I took overnight break.
    The moment I park the bike, sun came out....what an irony. And that was the last rain I've seen for next 7-8 days or so, while west coast and south were pounded by monsoon for weeks to come.

    Following day by 9am on my way towards Kanchanaburi. Excellent weather, surprisingly not much traffic and most of the hwy 4 being repaved.
    Just before arriving to Kanchanaburi town, stopped here to check this giant monkypod tree.

    GPS: 13.95517, 99.52676

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    The giant rain tree is more than 100 years old with a trunk large enough to be encircled by 10 people. The average radius of its crown is 25.87 meters and the diameter of its shadow is approximately 51.75 meters while the height of its canopy is 20 meters and the large shady crown covers a total area of approximately 2,416 sq.m.

    I parked my bike right next to it in order to illustrate size of the tree:

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    Customary visit to "The Bridge" and restaurant beneath: love this place, food, view and tranquility especially in low season.


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    As usual, overnight stop at my fav place, Thai Guesthouse. Owner is my friend and Ducati Rider. THB 600, a/c, hot water, Cable TV, free coffee.
    GPS: 14.03302, 99.52243


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    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
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  3. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    In near future planning another ride to Burma, would love to enter at Ban Phu Nam Ron if possible. Never been here before, just checking out.
    GPS: 13.92513, 99.08295

    Nice road towards the border, lots of Visa Run Vans


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    Looks quiet and orderly.

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    Interesting milestone on the way back


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    Next stop is Prasat Muang Singh.
    GPS: 14.03941, 99.24564

    Straight and freshly paved road thru tree alleys....very scenic.


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    Customary salute I receive on my travels...just kidding....I asked him to do that. You'll see lots of pics like this later on.


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    Entering the historic park. Good idea allowing visitors to drive around.


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    Khmer temple complex and military outpost, constructed during the Lopburi Period 1157 - 1207. It marks the westernmost advance of Cambodian power and provides testimony of their vast territorial claims.



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    I have to say, park is very nicely maintained and clean and visitors behave respectfully.


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    Park visitor painting the pic of surroundings


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    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
  4. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    The Tiger Temple, or Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yannasampanno....this sad and God forsaken place [​IMG]
    I was here once before, took my wife and kid. Left with mixed emotions, hoping and actually believing these poor animals are treated properly. We all know what happened over here recently, I sure hope people responsible for tiger cubs massacre and illegal wildlife trade are brought to justice. Pic taken few days before gruesome discovery. On my way back from Pilok I noticed dozens of government vehicles blocking this very entrance. Later that evening news broke out about frozen tiger cubs.



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    What a beautiful animal...


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    This is the oldest Tiger at the temple, if I am not mistaken about 15 years old


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    Monk with the cub


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    Photo says it all...I was really scared. Even though tiger was born and raised in captivity, you never know....In my opinion most beautiful animal on this planet of ours.


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    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
  5. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    9 Armies Battle Park - Few monuments commemorating the great battle under the command of King Rama I to defend the kingdom against the invasion by King Bodawpaya of Burma. The term "9 Armies" originates from 9 attempts by Burmese to conquer Siam, all proven to be unsuccessful in years 1785-1786.

    Early 1785, Burmese King Bodawpaya sent an expedition force to take Junk Ceylon (Phuket) to prevent foreign arms shipment to Siam but the invasion force was repulsed. In October 1785, Bodawpaya pursued an ambitious campaign to expand his dominions into the lands of the former Ayutthaya Kingdom, he launched a four-pronged invasion towards Chiang Mai, Tak, Kanchanaburi and Junk Ceylon. The combined army strength was about 50,000 men. The invasion forces had faced some heavy resistance from the Siamese forces and resulted in total disaster for Burmese invaders. Defeat suffered during the invasion turned out to be the last full scale invasion of Siam by Burma.

    GPS: 14.21259, 99.23522

    Not a living soul around....strange.


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    The museum barely 50 yards away was closed. No sign or explanation why.

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    Going up to check that mini-fortress


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    Big war drum


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    Right opposite is the shrine in honor of King Rama I


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    Wish that museum building was open though...
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
    Nomade likes this.
  6. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    Erawan Falls, my second visit.

    GPS: 14.37584, 99.14406


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    Seven levels dropping down over 1,500 meters, regarded as most beautiful in Thailand and I have to agree. The only problem is too many tourists, regardless if it's low or high season.
    I love having an option to refresh myself under the waterfall during rides in extremely hot weather and today was no exception.


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    14.375841, 99.144066 - this is where you park your wheels


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    Present the ticket to park rangers and trek towards camping site and waterfalls.


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    Cool, clear water and friendly inquisitive fish


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    Not much water this time of the year but still lot more than some other notable waterfalls in the area.

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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
  7. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    Just about 4-5 km's away from Erawan stands Srinakarin Dam

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    Riding all the way up to the dam crest and enjoying route and scenery, accompanied by short rainfall.


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    This is the largest rock filled clay core dam in Thailand, situated on the Kwai Yai River.
    GPS: 14.40645, 99.12642

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    Lakeview

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    It is late afternoon and time to reach today's final destination:
    RAYA BURI RESORT at Srinakarin Lake.

    GPS: 14.47756, 99.12747
    WEB: Raya Buri Resort Luxury Resort of Srinakarin Dam, Kanchanaburi

    Steep downhill to reach the resort and looks kind of isolated; to my surprise Resort has it's own convenience store.

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    Reception area

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    Couldn't get the room at raft so settled for the hillside bungalow with lake view.
    Actual room interior. No wi-fi in the rooms, only terrestrial TV channels.

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    View from the restaurant area. Enjoying my dinner and relaxing. Waiters are all Burmese, 100%...no English spoken at all. Not surprised, I was the only farang there.

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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
  8. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    Never rode on east side of Srinakarin Lake. Going to hit the ferry across the lake via Si Sawat to Na Suan.
    Weather conditions perfect, cool air and dry roads. Plan is to check famous Huay Mae Khamin Falls and then hit off-road 50km towards Hin Dad Hot Spring.

    Now, that is an uncharted territory for me. I asked number of my friends including our resident off-road maniac Brian if they are familiar with the route. Apparently nobody has ridden it before. This is how it looks on google maps:

    Google Maps

    8:30 am and I reached ferry dock at Si Sawat side. Barge is there alright but no people or vehicles. Not sure of timetable if any...
    GPS: 14.66723, 99.05985

    Figured better to wait on hillside until someone shows up and about 10 minutes later some guy arrives on scooter.

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    Ready to go but it will take another 2 hours before barge captain shows up.

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    While waiting might as well look around and take few shots.

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    It really is like middle of nowhere but I love it

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    This guy comes out of nowhere and I know what is his next move. I made sure he didn't do it :mad:

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    Looking around captains cabin, all sorts of funny switches and devices.

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    There you go, this diesel boy gonna take us to other side.

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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
  9. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    Woo hoo... Another ripper report...

    Kanchanaburi is one of my favourite areas..
    Really.. No need to rush to the north for great off road riding..

    Kanchanaburi has it all, with out the tourist crowds...

    Cheers and looking forward to the rest.
    Brian
     
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  10. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    After about 30-40 minutes we hit the other side.

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    Going straight towards Huay Mae Khamin Falls, from ferry about 12 kilometers of dirt and broken concrete.

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    Waterfall is part of Khuen Srinagarindra National Park. Very impressed with cleanliness and facilities.

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    Nice camp site, in fact after what I've seen before, this and Khao Yai are the most scenic and situated next to very good facilities such as bathrooms and restaurants.
    Car park is nearby but far enough not to disturb camp dwellers. Really nice view of the lake and first waterfall tier is 50 meters away.

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    This is how waterfall usually look like in raining season, pic taken from the net:

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    And this is now:

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    All dry...unbelievable!

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    There are 7 levels down the hill, almost 1,200 meters trek. Hoping to see at least one level with water.

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    Nicely done, descend takes ages

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    Well there is some water after all

    Right now it is really hot, 11am and I am looking for place to cool off.

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    Finally! Nobody around, got myself beautiful spot with natural pool. I spent an hour here soaking my dusty butt.

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    Young couple showed up and offered to take pic of me...sure, use my compact Olympus I said. And here it is, happiness perpetuated on digital photo.
    I just loooove waterfalls...in case you hadn't noticed :D

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    20 meters downstream

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    I have to say even though main attraction tier was without water, this place is something else. No crowds like Erawan, so quiet and peaceful, camp site is just amazing.
    It is perfect spot to come with your buddies, set-up tent, bbq, drink, eat and party all night long. Gotta do it someday but unfortunately majority of my riding pals prefer overnighting in cities with massage, overcrowded markets and patronizing same restaurant 3 times a day.

    Anyway, time to move to that unknown road towards Hin Dad and see what's in store.

    It wasn't really 50km off-road, I'd say about 3 quarters but I made it unscathed. Soon, I'll post video of ride thru this particular section. If fully loaded GS1200 Adventure ridden by enduro novice like myself can make it, anyone can :cool: Couple of pics just to tickle your fancy....Luckily I had no mechanical malfunctions or any other problems: I haven't seen single vehicle or human being during entire ride at this route.

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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
  11. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    Arrived safely to Hin Dad.

    Perhaps sometimes you notice I skip reporting about my overnight accommodation. Why? Simplest of all answers would be because it's an absolute shithole.
    That was the case here in Hin Dad too. It is not even worth mentioning the name of floating "resort" I stayed. Clear case of false advertising and posting highly photoshop edited pics on online booking sites. I was furious because I made paid booking in advance and had no choice but to sulk in here. On brighter side, staff was very kind and humble so let it be...

    Hin Dad is renowned for Natural Hot Spring discovered by Japanese soldiers during WW2.
    GPS: 14.62472, 98.72567


    Built to contain plentiful quantities of hot water by the Japanese forces, 3 pools are large enough for swimming and relaxing. It is a natural hot spring with temperatures of 45 to 55 degrees Celsius. It is believed that the mineral water here can cure many kinds of diseases, including beriberi and rheumatism.

    At the entrance strange milestone can be seen, indicating distance to Moscow? Later I realized this place is quite favorite among Russians.


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    Paid entry fee, I think THB 50. Guy manning the counter never bothered to give me ticket nor receipt.

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    Hot water ponds, not many people this time of the day. It was around 5pm.

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    Once you're done just roll over that concrete divider into the cooler river

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    As far as cleanliness is concerned, lot to be desired. You not going to see this on my photos no matter how much I would like to show.
    Trash strewn everywhere, dozens of stray dogs, not to mention millions of flies. It felt as if I was near major garbage dumping ground. That just might be the case, who knows...
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
  12. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    Like you - & Brian - I agree taht Khanchanaburi is a TOP spot....... I enjoy as much as skiing the Austrian Alps, that is, heaps!:p
    As usual a most informative & useful post, Goran, accompanied by excellent photos........I'm hoping you take the BMer off road up to Umphang
     
    Goran Phuket likes this.
  13. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    Following morning short trip to Vajiralongkorn Dam. It is much more scenic and quite impressive compared to Srinakarin Dam.
    It is a rock filled dam too, with a reinforced concrete surface measuring 92 meters high. Its crest is 10 meters wide and 1,019 meters long stretching across the Khwae Noi River.

    GPS: 14.79950, 98.59915

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    Views from the crest.

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    As I was enjoying the moment another fella arrives on Yamaha Bolt 950. Canadian dude, lives in Hin Dad, only 2 years in Thailand. Would you believe he is 60 years old?
    Now enjoying retirement, literally enjoying fruits of his labor from big mangosteen orchard.

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    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016
  14. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    Sangkhlaburi district is one of my favorite spots in entire country. It is worth repeat visit especially because my previous visit was marred by rainstorm.

    Lovely scenery along the way, beautiful weather.


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    Going straight to 3 Pagodas Pass, love the place. So much history there and quite peculiar border line arrangements between Thailand and Myanmar.

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    No traffic at all, arrived quite fast and parked right next to historic 3 pagodas.

    GPS: 15.30202, 98.38697

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    Tour bus with devotees arrived shortly afterwards...

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    Quiet at the border, I sat and chat with this RTA soldier. He is from Suphan Buri. Showed him pics of Sangkhlaburi lake sunken temples and he was shocked: he never knew such thing exists. Needless to say, he is now following all my FB posts 555

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    All in spirit of AEC

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    Part of WW2 Burma Railway on Thai side.


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    The flagtstaff is inside Thailand but Myanmar is right behind that concrete pavement. The shops pictured are in Myanmar.

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    THB 155 for carton of cigarettes, that is dirt cheap.

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    This lady made me amazingly strong coffee, it could awake dead horse.

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    Burma WW2 Railway tracks on Myanmar side.

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    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016
  15. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    Lots of new tourist attraction signboards since I've been here last time, area looks spruced up.

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    Drove around to the other side of the bridge. Repair works in progress done by RTA.

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    Lake water level lowest I ever seen, quite incredible, even secondary bridge disintegrated.

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    This is how normally looks, pic taken just over a year ago.

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    My accommodation preference goes to Sam Prasob Resort but for some reason this place is always fully booked. Can't argue with that, it offers best view of Mon Bridge.

    GPS: 15.14624, 98.45006

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    The actual view from Sam Prasob Resort, pic taken back in 2015

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    Settled at Suan Magmai Resort
    GPS: 15.14730, 98.45021

    Excellent place with nice terrace, wi-fi, cable tv, a/c and hot shower. Walking distance from Mon Bridge. If memory serves me well price was less than THB 1,000.


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    Early evening and bridge promenade gets lively. For people of Sangkhlaburi this is an equivalent of Trafalgar or Times Square.

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    Hired a longtail boat for THB 300 and on my way to check sunken temples ,the last remaining vestiges of the old town flooded for the creation of Khao Laem Reservoir. When the water level of the lake is high in monsoon season these temples are almost fully submerged under the water. During my previous visit there was a rain storm and couldn't make it. Gonna make up for it.

    Eerie and beautiful at the same time.

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    Now that water has receded local folks re-create the shrines

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    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
  16. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    Highlight of my Kanchanaburi ride: Thong Pha Phum District, Pilok and Etong village.

    Road takes me towards and beyond that mountain peak, indication of true adventure coming up.

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    Not the kind of adventure I expected but thanks for the warning

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    And another warning sign, this time I am taking it seriously.

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    What a road...there are no words to describe my joy. Testing my skills at bit higher than usual speed. I can afford it with brand new tires.

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    First of numerous viewpoints created for motorists.

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    Gates of the National Park. I was told this is home of Baan Tarzan tree houses so let's take look.
    GPS: 14.69338, 98.40503

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    Couple of kilometers on medium steep off-road track brings me to Baan Tarzan.

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    Interesting. Accommodation managed by National Park, didn't ask how much it is. Views from up here are something else.

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    Climbed up to take a closer look.

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    Pilok, once upon a time this was very bustling area / tin-mining town, when mining businesses were in their glory days. Thousands of miners, hundreds of merchants, shops, theater and a casino kept this place busy around the clock. When the mining business faltered because of a drop in the tin price, the entire area went into deep hibernation mode.

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    But first slight detour towards mountain peak of Nern Chang Suek.
    GPS: 14.67289, 98.36851

    Without doubt one of the most dramatic mountaintop / army observation points I've seen in Thailand. Set at 1,100 meters above sea level, it offers view of Thong Pa Phum district in Thailand and vast Burma territory stretching all the way to Andaman Sea which can be seen on clear sunny day. It is easily accessible by all types of bikes via steep concrete paved road and few short off-road patches.


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    RTA installations and facilities. I could hear walkie-talkie emitting sounds but no soldier ever came out.

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    I was greeted by pack of really aggressive strays but after giving them some cookies we quickly established friendship. At this point they sensed some movement in those bushes bellow....who needs soldiers, these fellas watching over Thai border.

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    View of the valley and Burma.

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    Selfie attempt, didn't really work out...out of focus

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    I was up here all alone for better part of 2 hours until another visitor arrived who was kind enough to take this pic of me.

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    View of Nern Sao Thong, Thai - Burma border. Will check that place tomorrow.


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    Burmese Army border post barracks at Nern Sao Thong

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    Gas pipeline installation on Burmese side, connected to PTT managed facility on Thai side.

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    Ethong village below...my overnight destination

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    Adios doggies, on my way down to Ethong village

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    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
  17. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    What a beautiful village Etong is. Population of 400, there is a small Police Station manned by 4 officers only.

    According to local guy, they didn't have any sort of crimes here for almost 10 years. Close knit community, people genuinely care and help each other. There are about 8 homestays and guesthouses, hardly enough to accommodate all visitors during the winter high season. Farming and tourism are the main sources of income. I asked where is 7-11 (??) and this local guy tells me entire village actually voted against having 24hr mini-mart established here. Lots of restaurants featuring Thai, Burmese, Yunnan cuisine, I even saw a food stall with Halal food despite the fact that there are no Moslem living in the village.

    At the village entrance, police station in the background.

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    Beautiful house, I believe some sort of museum. It was closed at the time.

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    Local folks and their daily routine

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    Beautiful and happy kids

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    Etong main and basically the only street

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    While in Kanchanaburi town few days ago, I mentioned to my friend / owner of Thai Guesthouse where I stayed, about plans to visit Etong. He told me his aunt owns homestay here, called her immediately to arrange room reservation. Usual price is THB 800 but since I am friend of the family now, they gave me discounted rate of THB 600.

    Here the pics of the facility and signboard with contact details.

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    My room is just around the corner.

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    Voila!

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    Visit to Pilok and Etong doesn't count for much unless you pay visit to famous Auntie Glen. Full story coming up.
     
  18. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    "It is perfect spot to come with your buddies, set-up tent, bbq, drink, eat and party all night long. Gotta do it someday but unfortunately majority of my riding pals prefer overnighting in cities with massage, overcrowded markets and patronizing same restaurant 3 times a day."

    Couldn't agree more.. Nothing more boring than another Thai town with ordinary bar etc.. When you can stay out of town by the river or in the forest and get away from it all

    Loving the report and given me some ideas to check out next time in kanchanaburi province.

    Cheers.
    Brian
     
    Oddvar and Goran Phuket like this.
  19. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    The story of hard work, eternal love, loyalty and heart of gold: Glennis Setabundhu, Australian born lady arrived to Thailand more than 40 years ago. She married Somsak Setabandhu, a local who ran the family mining business in Pilok. They met in Australia, where he was studying for a masters degree. Due to difficulties in accessing Pilok 40 years ago, Auntie Glen lived in Bangkok while Somsak traveled back to her and their son once a week. Once upon a time this was very bustling area, when mining businesses were in their glory days. Thousands of miners, hundreds of merchants, shops, theaters and a casino kept this place busy around the clock. When the mining business faltered because of a drop in tin price, and Somsak got sick, Auntie Glen decided to move to Pilok. Since then, she has fallen in love with her home in the jungle. Although she moved there for her ailing husband, who has since passed away, she was also intent on converting the house and the area into a tourist attraction. She sold all mining equipment in order to fix the place and to help 5 Burmese families who lost everything after tin price collapse. These 5 families still live here and helping her run the place.

    The access to Forest Glade Home is treacherous: steep off-road track, deep ruts, stones and boulders. Accessible by 4wd and enduro bikes only but I am sure some of our ADV riders would be able to reach the place if riding without panniers. Had no intention of riding my bike up there because I wasn't planning to stay overnight at the resort and second, I wanted to inspect the area. Lastly, everyone in Etong advised me not to ride this route on such a large motorcycle. Indeed, the road, if you can call it that way, especially last 3 km is really bad and dangerous.

    I hired a pickup with driver to take me up to Somsak Mining - Forest Glade Home. It is only 9 km from Etong via Pilok village but took us almost 40 minutes to get there.

    Half way to our destination I ask driver to stop here. You can see warning about road conditions.

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    Amazing view of Burma from up here.

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    About 15 minutes later or so we arrive to Forest Glade Home. Auntie doesn't get much visitors this time of the year and as soon as she heard the car, came out to greet us.

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    This is main building where she resides. Place looks like museum: lots of memorabilia, hundreds of photos featuring family members, mine employees and homestay visitors.

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    Auntie is famous for her cakes, got my eyes set on this chocolate delight.

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    Miniature model of tin extraction operation....cute

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    The cabin she had built for her son and his family when they visit. Apparently she sees them max 3-4 times per year.

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    Simple, basic guestrooms with hot shower. I didn't look inside though.
    I understand average price of accommodation is around THB 1,600 per bungalow but this includes 3 meals a day and pickup transfer to homestay and back. Keep in mind I paid THB 1,000 for transfer only, so this is not bad deal at all. They use diesel powered generator as an electricity source only certain number of hours per day. However, during the raining season, nearby creek is used to generate hydro-electric power.

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    Lots of fruit orchards around, it seems nobody really cares to maintaining them.

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    Obviously homestay does not have telephone line, even mobile phone signals are out of reach. The only way to make booking reservation is to call long time friend and associate of her late husband, Khun Charlie. He is in charge of transportation, either from Pilok or Etong. You may leave your motorcycle at Pilok or Etong Police Station.

    Here Auntie Glen pictured writing me a note with contact details.

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    And the actual note....

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    I spent about 2 hours looking around and talking to Auntie Glen. Will definitely come here again with my wife. She asked me for favor: to bring her internet printouts or newspaper clippings about Somsak Mining. She refused to charge me for 3 pieces of cake I devoured with absolute pleasure. I practically forced her to accept THB 200 but she said that is too much and gave me THB 100 back.

    Interesting documentary piece done by Destination Thailand TV:



    And another by Destination Goran TV [​IMG] :

     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
  20. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    Back to Etong, I remember clearly, it was 4:20 pm. Fog sets in, feels like early evening in autumn in Europe.

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    In front of my guesthouse

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    View from my room.

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    Very quiet, streets deserted, figured let's check out remains of tin mine nearby.
    At the entrance

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    Old HQ office and storage building

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    Abandoned machinery and few mopeds

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    Not sure what that is, guard post?

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  21. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    Early morning and it's time to ride up hill and check Nern Sao Thong Thai Burma Border ost and viewpoint. As sign indicates it is only couple of kilometers away.

    GPS: 14.68107, 98.36289

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    First thing I saw was this colorful border post, got off the concrete road and drove right into Burma territory much to dismay of Burmese guard on duty.

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    I took my helmet pretty fast knowing he would relax once sees farang face.


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    I opened friendly conversation and they relaxed a bit. Quite curious about the bike and stickers on my panniers indicating countries I rode through. Myanmar flag got his attention :D

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    They've seemed to be very happy when I mentioned how much I enjoyed riding in Burma and showing them pics from Bagan, Kyaikhtiyo, Naypidaw etc...
    Hence, here is the pic together

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    Narrow and steep trail leading down to Gas Pipeline facility

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    PTT facility on Thai side

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    Took a short walk up the hill to actual Nern Sao Thong. It is is a mountain peak bordering Thailand and Burma with a big flagstaff including a big Thai and Myanmar National Flags to indicate border line between two countries. Therefore, this area is named Nern Sao Thong after the flagstaff (Sao Thong means flagstaff).

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    Took a few shots from this very spot

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    Spy shots of Burmese Army barracks

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    Remember this place? I was there yesterday observing the valley down below with pack of dogs: Nern Chang Suek Viewpoint

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    I noticed road goes further up, let's take a look. It appears to be some kind of border crossing gate.

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    Sure is, later I was told this border crossing has been closed for 20 years, ever since tin price collapse disaster. Nevertheless, my curiosity takes me through that gate, gotta see what is on other side. Note how they cut the entire hill just to create this access between two countries. Walked about 20-30 yards down concrete road and spotted this guard post. I figured there must be Burmese soldier inside and didn't want to startle him or my ass gonna get blown away. Quickly turned back...


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    It is around 10 am now and sadly time to leave Pilok. I really love this place, there are quite a few more POI's to see, most notably another mine on Nern Chang Suek and Jokkadin Waterfall. Leaving something for my next trip.
     
  22. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    Intentionally not stopping at Sai Yok waterfall National park, leaving that for next time.
    First stop since leaving mountains of Pilok, familiar Hellfire Pass. Just a refreshment break, I was here few years ago. Few facts for those who never visited the place:

    Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum was built by Australia and the Royal Thai Armed Forces Development Command and inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Australia in late April 1998. The 200-square-meter exhibition area shows the life and death of prisoners of war, the construction of the track, tools, paintings, drawings, a short film about the construction of the line and personal items of prisoners of war such as letters and clothing. Two paths lead from the museum to the Hellfire Pass - the concrete path and the bamboo path. It is recommended to take the bamboo path which the POW used when they went to work.

    GPS: 14.35299, 98.95492

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    I love area around Tham Krasang and Death Railway bridge, immortalized in Hollywood Motion Picture "Casualties of War"
    It always reminds me of this movie scene, so sad...

    GPS: 14.10592, 99.16551



    Such a rich recent history in these parts most notably from WW2.

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    Beautiful views of Kwai River and floating villages with guesthouses

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    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
  23. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    Quick visit to Prommitr, Kanchanaburi Film Studio before settling for the night in Kanchanaburi city.

    GPS: 14.13748, 99.43476

    This studio was the location of the great historic film "The Legend of King Naresuan". This epic trilogy of historical movies reflects the relationship between the Siamese Kingdom of Ayutthaya and the Hongsawadi Kingdoms, which are located in present day Burma. The events in the films lead up to the declaration of Ayutthaya's independence from the Burmese, by King Naresuan the Great, in 1584. Lavish and expensive, this production represents the pinnacle of Thai film making.Within the 700 acre compound of wild land, magnificent buildings were created through meticulous historical research.



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    This concludes my Kanchanaburi report. Thanks for reading and commenting.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
    DutchMike, pensionist and Peeto like this.
  24. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Wow. Inspirational report Goran. Maybe it's time to venture out of the North a bit more. 55
    It's amazing how many attractions / POIs you can find in a relatively small area!
    And perhaps that is what makes Thailand such a great motorcycle touring destination - so much to see concentrated in small areas.

    I love this tree at the start
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    a really nice image of serenity. Nature & a man's machine together.

    I'm going to have to go back & re read this several times now to take it all in.
    Many thanks.
     
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  25. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    My pleasure David, glad you like it.
     
  26. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

    Fantastic, planning Kanchanburi, a great help using this as a reference. cheers
     
    Goran Phuket likes this.

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