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Day out Sangkhlaburi

 

Route: Sangkhlaburi, Coffee Berry GH– Three Pagoda Pass – Sawanbundan Cave and Temple – Takinthong Waterfall – Floating Restaurant on the Songkalia River – Sangkhlaburi

Duration: 9am to 5pm

Getting there: Motorcycle (one of Thailand’s ubiquitous 125cc scooters) 200 Baht/24h. Traffic is very light on this route.

24 km drive to Three Pagodas Pass on the border with Myanmar. Border is closed to non-Thais. Not that much to see for us. A few market stands are placed exactly on the border- cheap whiskey and cigarettes from Burma are shunted back to front into Thailand and business was quite animated. M. threw up 50 Baht for half a bottle of High Class Special Blended.

Men too, are shunted over the border- Burmese workforce for bone-breaking tasks…
Truck convoi 3 Pagodas Pass

We almost missed the faded sign for the turn off to Sawanbundan Cave a couple of kilometres back from the border. The cave and temple are about 2 km off the main road, down a small lane. If you drive too far, you’ll end up at a small rubber processing plant right in the middle of widespread rubber-tree plantations.
Harvesting Rubber
Rubber processing Village

For the caves- bring a flashlight, we didn’t…

A couple of kms further down the main road, you’ll see the turn off for Takinthong Waterfall. Then it’s about nine kms down a narrow but paved road. Entry fee 200 Baht/P for foreigners (Thais 20B!) We bargained and got away with 100B/P. Still a steep price for a modestly interesting venue. There’s a 15’ walk through a Mikado-Sticks bamboo forest and then you can choose a delectable fall to cool off in.
Waterfall Cooldown
We were completely alone- perhaps things pick up on weekends. No food or drinks available.

Now you’ll be hungry enough for a meal literally on the Sonkalia River. The turn off to the over-the-water huts is right off the main road on your way back to town. We went to the second place. They actually had an English menu and food was cheap and delicious. A lovely place to while away the rest of the afternoon………
Sonkalia Raft lunch