Are you the kind of tourist that hates other tourists? For example, if you went to New York City would you rather walk some of the grittier avenues of the Bronx rather than bask in the bright lights and crowded streets of Times Square? Are you willing to sacrifice postcard-worthy sight-seeing for true authenticity?
If you answered yes to those questions, then forget about Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai when planning your trip to Thailand. Instead, set yourself enroute to Sangkhlaburi to see how the Thais really live. Sangkhlaburi is a five hour drive northwest of Bangkok located on the Burmese border. Here are some places worth a visit in Sangkhlaburi that will give you a chance to mingle with the locals and see what makes Thailand, well, Thailand.
This 400 metre long wooden bridge is the longest handmade bridge in Thailand. There is a small café at one end offering a great view, as well as refreshing drinks. Local kids like to jump from the bridge into the water below. These same kids will happily take a picture for you if you drop a few baht in one of the donation boxes posted on either side of the bridge.
There is good reason for these donation boxes. Take great care when walking this bridge. Whilst every single baht goes towards maintaining the bridge, most of the fixes are jerry-rigged and haphazard in nature. See for yourself (below) and be careful!
The Sunken Temple
Hire a boat or rent a canoe and float over to Wat Saam Prasob, known as the Sunken Temple. This is last remaining structure of old since the city was flooded for the creation of Khao Laem Reservoir. This destination may be too creepy for some, but the rich atmosphere is perfect for history buffs or those who love a spooky thrill.
Wat Wang Wiwekaram
Guarded by two enormous lion sculptures, this temple was built to replace Wat Saam Prasob when the waters overtook it. It is highly revered in the Mon community especially since it was designed by Phara Uttama, one of the most important monks in the history of Thailand.
Wat Wang Wiwekaram features a golden spire that can be seen shining brightly in the sunlight for miles around. One of the structures here houses meticulously crafted murals that depict Buddha’s past lives.
Planning a visit to Thailand? Why not add Sangkhlaburi to your itinerary?! Head on over to Hotel.com.au for all your accommodation needs.