What do Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Koh Chang, Koh Samet and Koh Samui all have in common? They're all places at the bottom of my list of places to travel. I have been to all of them several times, but visiting previously is only part of the reason I do not wish to return there. The main reason is they are all places where tourists flock and all places that have been seriously impacted by the effects of tourism. Granted, it is getting more and more difficult to find roads less traveled, but there are more than enough difficult to reach places that tourists don't want to go to.
Logistically, Sangkhlaburi is a relatively easy destination to reach, but it is far less popular than Kanchanaburi. Save for the most curious of traveler, Sangkhlaburi is heard of, but a destination most ever visit. And this is why I wanted to go there and have already made plans to go back for the Mon festival next year.
Cory and I met in between our homes in Bangkapi at 6AM and took an Uber car to Thonburi. Cory was running late, traffic was thick, so much so we nearly missed the 7:50 train. We made it with a scant few seconds to spare, fortunately, paid the 100 baht fare and settled in for the ride. Three hours later, we were in Kanchanaburi. We then took a motorcycle taxi to the bus station, paid 175 baht each for our seats in the van going to Sangkhlaburi, hopped in and prepared for the four hour journey. By the time we reached our destination, we had been in transit for just over eight hours not including the two hours it took to get from our homes to the train station. For the journey back to Bangkok, we took a van the entire way home, foregoing the train and shaving off a few hours in the process.
Sangkhlaburi is a locale free from Disneylandesque type tourist attractions, with no overwhelming, awe-inspiring man-made places to see. Mother Nature provides enough to see and do and a wonderful ambience. Nature and the lack of tourism is the very reason to visit. What also sets Sangkhlaburi apart from other cities in Thailand is that much like other border areas, there are number ethnic minorities living together in Thailand; Mon, Karen, Burmese, and Laotian locals. The wooden bridge divides the Thai section of Sangkhlaburi from Wang Kha, the Mon Village. Sangkhlaburi is not your typical destination, rather, it in itself is a journey, albeit a slow, measured one, and there are enough places to walk through and visit to while away a few days.
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