Friday, 9 November 2012


Its Friday afternoon now and we're back in Kanchanaburi after a relatively hot 3.5hour drive back in an air conditioned (!) minibus. 16 people and 2 children in a 16 seater minibus (one vomited for the first hour). We booked into a very nice hotel and then just lay on the bed with the air conditioning on full for an hour or so! Feeling a bit better now.

After writing yesterday's entry we did a couple of things, the first was an evening boat ride on the lake, which was both very relaxing and enjoyable. He took us round the edge of the Mon village and to the old submerged Sangkhlaburi that was flooded when the dam was built. Just above the waterline was their old temple and it obviously had an effect on our boat driver as he stopped, took a few pictures and had a moment to himself. Here's a few pictures:
Our boat driver reminiscing while looking at his old submerged temple

Jackie walking out to the raft boat dock

The Mon wooden bridge - longest wooden bridge in Thailand

Mon lakeside houses

A poster on the dockside showing their sunken temple in the dry season - some 8m below the level we saw!
This lovely boat trip was followed by an interesting evening of Karaoke! Rather than eat at our hotel we decided to walk into town. It was further than we thought! On reaching it we realised it really is a one horse town, the horse going home around 8-8:30pm! We found a market and only one restaurant, serving OK food. I asked for a Thai red curry, he told me it was quite spicy, I said 'no problem' and he brought a not very hot curry. I suppose he thought us Westerners can't handle it - I've had much hotter curries at home!

During the curry it started to rain, but before setting back, preparing to get wet, some mad French people accosted us, asking where we were staying. They had just arrived in a car and were looking for somewhere to stay. "We'll show you if you give us a lift" said Jackie, so off we went. It appears they had been driving round town all night looking for a deal and had already visited our hotel. There was some confrontation with the girl on reception and they left, apparently they were trying to get the room for 700Baht, whereas we paid the advertised rate of 900Baht. No idea where they stayed in the end, but at least we got a ride home in the rain!

On arrival we decided to have a drink in the open air restaurant at the hotel, to find a group of 20 or so school teachers from out-of-town Ayutthaya (a city in the centre of Thailand), in Sangkhlaburi on a teachers seminar. They had had their meal and were now doing Karaoke. we decided to get a beer and go and watch, it was quite entertaining! No songs we knew and all the lyrics were in the Thai language.

It turned out several of them were English teachers at the school and one, very nice woman came over and spoke to us. Being in a rural area they never see native English speakers, so were very keen to engage us in conversation. She asked if we would sing a song for them, to which I agreed, but none of the one's they have. The only song I know the words to is 'Seven Drunken Nights', so I said we'd sing it without any music! Up we went, she introduced us, I told them who we were, where we are from and told them about the song and what's its about (I dumbed down the exact nature of the song as I didn't think it appropriate for Thai culture!). We sang 5 of the drunken nights and their guitarist and saxophonist joined in giving us some background music. Afterwards we had a bit of a chat with them and they were all very friendly. She told us they were visiting Sangkhlaburi to visit the school as it had won some national awards for its performance and they wanted to find out how they did it. Not bad for a town that is supposed to be populated by mainly Burmese refugees! However I think it is a town of two sides, the other side being a tourist resort for wealthy Thai's, as we saw some fairly expensive apartments alongside the poor Mon and Karen houses. She took our blog address ('hello' if you are reading this - we really enjoyed your company) and Jackies Facebook address. Be nice if we can keep in touch with them.

Anyway, that's all for now, I'll just leave you with this tranquil picture I took from our room window this morning, just before we left:

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