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Exploring Sangkhlaburi

The bridges, diverse nature & cultures, shopping & more:

Maps:    Explore     Culture     Shopping     Day trips

Our guests said they love the unspoilt people & outdoors, the slower life here; here are places & things they said they enjoyed (with maps); "Stay with us"; You'll be welcome.

EXPLORE
Explore the bridges, lake, rivers, national parks, caves & villages; you can feel at the heart of nature itself as Sangklaburi is deep within the Western Forest Complex, 18,730 square km. of rich & bio-diverse wild habitat that straddles the Thai Myanmar border.

Bridges
The Mon bridge (aka Uttamanusorn Bridge or Saphan Mon & adjoining Red Bridge) just 15 minutes walk from Villa Scĕnns; it's the longest wooden bridge in Thailand; a popular spot to see great sunsets & sunrises, morning mists or cloud hiding in the hills; visitors congregate here for Alms giving & "breakfast by the bridge".

You can join or watch the Alms giving (Mon in traditional dress) in the Mon village from 0615 daily; the alms round lasts as long as it takes (many merit makers or few); can be crowded near the bridge, less so nearer Wat Wang temple or in the lanes.

A popular walk: cross the bridges with the floating village below, through the Mon village (for early birds the Wat Wang fresh market opens around 5am.) on to the big Mon temple Wat Wang Wiwekaram & the tall golden pagoda landmark Chedi Luang Phaw Uttama 44 minutes walk from Villa Scĕnns. Climb the Chedi & the bell tower (behind the Myanmar crafts market) for good views.


Lake, rivers & waterfalls

The famous Thai quote ‘there are fish in the rivers & rice in the fields' is nowhere truer than here; the Songkhalia, Biklie & Runti Rivers merge at Sangkhla to form the Mae Nam Khwae Noi river which in turn is dammed 44 km downstream creating the Khao Laem lake aka Vajiralongkorn Reservoir; the rivers and lake are fish rich.

Motor-boat trips from the Mon bridge: the half submerged temples (1-2 hours); Coconut island, (3-7 hours); the rivers for peaceful buffalo & bird-watching, swimming & diving; take your time & a picnic; enjoy the view as you skim past limestone cliffs, jungle, small farms & rafts.

Or paddle your own canoe just 5 minutes walk from Villa Scĕnns.

North

Song Karia River; Huai Song Ka Lia for river wading; pool swimming & river eating; a natural setting; (our guests experienced diy rafting & inner tyre river drifting downstream through the jungle - they loved it).

Nop Piboon waterfall near the country road; cold water & a steady meditative sound of cascading water; natural setting & refreshing dips; sit under the falling water for a great shoulder, neck & back massage - free!

Takian Tong waterfall azure pools; 30 mins. virgin jungle trek upstream (monsoon season closed - National Park employee sometimes collects an admission charge).

East
Ran Ti river; Huai Ran Ti

West
Bikhli & Malai rivers
e.g. River trip; the boat owners know where to swim, the sand banks & diving rocks are past the ancient Sangkhla "Gate" where most Thai & Burmese battles were fought.

South
Vajiralongkorn Reservoir; Khao Laem lake; just 3 minutes from Villa Scĕnns; boating, canoeing, rafting & swimming.    Kroeng Krawia Waterfall    Namtok Dai Chong Thong waterfall


National Parks

If you seek a challenge & great views: jungle trekking, camping, exploring caves, mountains & hill climbing with guides; seasonally available; 1-3 day treks.

Sangkhla is sandwiched between Thong Pha Phum; Khao Laem (includes the Vajiralongkorn Reservoir) & Thung Yai national parks part of the 6 million hectares of the Western Forest Complex; plenty of wild jungle life, though the larger wild life does not come close to town we do feel surrounded by pristine natural habitat.

South
Pom Pee    Khao Laem National Park office    San Nok Wua mountain; access point

East
Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary

North
Kaeo Sawan Bandan cave exploring; a guide is available most holidays (tips & temple donations welcome; take a good torch).

Villages

Experience the daily life & culture of Thai, Mon, Karen, Lao & Burmese speaking communities in the villages around Sangkhla: you may catch the atmosphere of the old (now submerged) Ban Wangka as many people relocated to these villages.

North
Historic Three Pagodas pass (border), shopping for gifts from Myanmar & some duty free; visiting Myanmar (currently Thai passport holders only).

The 1943-45 Thai-Burma railway route (aka The Burma Railway, Death Railway, Burma–Siam Railway) passes through Ni Thea village; (scroll down), Sangkhlaburi, Ban Song Karia & Three Pagodas Pass then into Myanmar.

Liwo    Sane Phong

East
Kong Mong Tha    Ko Sadoeng

West
Huay Malai    Ban Wia Kadi    Baan Mai Kalasin    Baan Mai    Mongsateur    Ban Prarai Nok; some off-road areas.    Baan Huai Kob; some off-road areas.    Ban Ton Yang camp; Migration Center; advance permission maybe needed.

The Mon village; Ban Wangka.

South
Li Chia    Reda

Old Sangkhlaburi "Ban Wangka" (now mostly submerged)

Some "children's homes" in Sangkhla support disadvantaged or vulnerable children & families, for example:
Baan Dada.
Baan Unrak.
C.O.F.
One Sky.

Baan Unrak Thai Animal Sanctuary run a free veterinary clinic and supports street animals and more; 5 minutes walk from Villa Scĕnns.

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CULTURE

The Thai, Mon, Karen, Lao & Burmese here have colourful traditional ceremonies & festivals most months of the year, some of the best in Thailand, & so far, by the locals for the locals so they can be quite charming; visitors are welcome but as they're not well advertised, easy to miss; most observers are Thai visitors; Sangkhla's a cultural centre not to be missed.

These ceremonies & festivals are centered mostly around the temples & churches in & around Sangkhla and the villages.

Temples (Wats); Churches; Mosque

Wat Si Suwan    Wat Somdet    Christian Church 56    Sangkhlaburi Mosque

West
Christian Church Huay Malai    Coptic Orthodox Church

Mon side
Wat Wang Wiwekaram aka Wat Luang Por Utama; 45 mins. walk from Villa Scĕnns. Thousands pilgrimage here every year.    Chedi Phutthakhaya

South
Submerged temples; access by boat:
Wat Luang Por Utama, the Sunken Temple    Wat Sri (2nd. submerged temple)    Wat Somdet, (3rd temple)

Mon culture center.

Sangkhlaburi cultural centre.

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SHOPPING & RESTAURANTS

The main Sangkhla market; includes the fresh market, SCB & KTB banks & ATM's, post office, food stalls, restaurants, 7-11, CJ and plenty of shops for daily necessities; a “walking street” operates most Saturday evenings (plus 1-2 other days on some long week-ends) after 6pm from end October or November until April or May.

Walking around town from Villa Scĕnns you can reach most places in 2 to 30 minutes including the Mon Bridge & the Mon village; some places rent bicycles too (check it all works before you take off).

RESTAURANTS

Some of the restaurants & food shops our guests recently enjoyed:

1-5 mins. walk from Villa Scĕnns:

Chuenjai restaurant (closed Mondays) 1 minute.    Pornpailin Riverside restaurant 4 mins..    BBQ grill 2 mins..    Kobkua diew gan "a la carte" 5 mins..    Sangkhla garden 5 mins..    Kruakeangsuan 4 mins..    Baan Job/ cafe Bezo 4 mins..

10- 15 mins. walk from Villa Scĕnns (between the market & Villa Scĕnns):

RanPbaLor 0830-1400 the best affordable food; 12 mins. walk from Villa Scĕnns. Baan Unrak Bakery (Vegan)   Garden Home, Western Bar    Aharn Dumsung    Toy’s (15-20 mins. walk from Villa Scĕnns);

Restaurants around the market:

RanPbaDtaow 0830-1400 the best affordable food; 23 mins. walk from Villa Scĕnns: Rung Arun (25 mins. walk from Villa Scĕnns - opposite the hospital);    Sri Daeng    Tum Aroi papaya salads, fish and more (air-conditioned); opposite the Post Office.

Restaurants near the Mon Bridge 13-21 mins. walk from Villa Scĕnns.

Mitr Samphan floating restaurant. Sam Prasob restaurant

Breakfast by the bridge 15-20 mins. walk; a collection of coffee shops, food stalls & restaurants at both ends of the Mon wooden bridge; open early, include:

Mao Deep bar & restaurant view of the Mon bridge    Aree coffee

Accross the bridge:

The Noodle shop a long established classical noodle shop.    The Mon Restaurant an old & popular restaurant with a range of Thai & Burmese dishes & drinks

kanom jeen shop fresh noodles made by hand to your order like this

North of town

Song Karia River restaurant; dining in natures-own river.

There are many more places to eat in & around Sangkhla.


SHOPS

Shops, markets, banks, PO, hospitals, police etc.

Local general store    Laundry machines; coins    Post office    CJ    7-11    7-11 newest    Grocery

Sangkhla market    Mon market

PTT fuel    fuel shop

Baan Unrak hand woven    Weaving for women

KTB Bank    SCB Bank

Police station

Sangkhlaburi Hospital    Christian Mae Nam Kwae Noi Hospital

Walking street on Saturday evenings & some holidays in the dry season

Try Scenns distinctive private Thai cooking lessons (by appointment) at Scenns Table.

North
Three Pagodas pass (border), shopping for gifts from Myanmar & some duty free.    BSN Shoe factory outlet

South
Meditation center. We heard of good experiences at the meditation centre Dhamma Kacana at Tambon Prang-Pley, Sangklaburi district.

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DAY TRIPS

Sangkhla is still off the tourist trail; that's why there's hardly a "tour" to be found locally; from information on this page you can create 2 or 3 of your own tours; for example many guests enjoyed this tailor made trip:

Halfway to the historic Three pagodas pass, (Myanmar border) enjoy food on the river; sit in the bamboo hut, feet nibbled by the fish, order, swim; by then your meal's ready. Later maybe explore up-river or hang inside rubber tubes as you float down the pristine jungle river for an hour or so, or ride a bamboo raft downstream. If no one's around but the cook you can ask if the lads with the tube or raft are around (they return you from downstream by motorbike) a refreshing break on those hot summer days in an unspoilt natural setting.

Walk for 5 minutes to stroll around Songkhalia village; see the lifestyle, maybe see some broom making & buy some brooms.

Takian Tong waterfall azure pools; follow the path 25 minutes upstream through cool otherwise untouched jungle (rainy season can be overgrown - part of the National Park maybe admissions charge).

Nop Piboon waterfall; walking 50M; steady meditative sound of cascading water. Both waterfalls are very natural settings & provide refreshing dips.

Kaeo Sawan Bandan cave 2-3km before three Pagodas; a guide is sometimes available (tips welcome; also a temple donation box); take a good torch.

Near the Myanmar border are good shoes for good prices from the BSN export factory.

At the Three Pagodas border pass; wooden furniture, Myanmar crafts, gems, jade, jewellry, duty free & more (if you walk through some of the shops you'll be in Myanmar; not recommended! Currently only Thai nationals can cross the border to Payathonzu in Myanmar.)

If you return in time maybe you like to enjoy a relaxing afternoon Thai massage &/or manicure in town followed by dinner.

Local transport for day trips is necessary if you're not driving.

If you'd like more "day trip" suggestions see "The neighborhood" sections in each of the 8 listings on this page; or you can ask me. (I'm no tour guide but like to share what guests enjoyed in Sangkhla)

People come to Sangkhla to relax; "Stay with us" you'll be welcome; great base from which to explore the area.

We do not guarantee the above information is accurate nor do we recommend any of the activities mentioned as we do not frequent these & may not be aware of changes. Seasonal changes are relevant. Please take all necessary safety precautions like helmets for motorbikes, life jackets for the water, guides in the jungle, insect spray & other precautions. Best to dress conservatively, protect yourself from the sun from 10am-3pm at least and do things with a friend or two as most places out of town you'll probably see no-one else most of the time. Any errors or suggestions please let us know.

Sangkhla is generally a safe place for visitors but accidents are always unexpected!

WARNING: activities are often not licensed or regulated; we've not heard of any visitor difficulties but beware you proceed at your own risk; if in doubt, don't!

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