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Three Pagodas - at Thai-Miyanmar Border

The town of Kanchanaburi was originally established by Rama I as a first line of defense against the Burmese, who might use the old invasion route through the Three Pagodas Pass on the Thailand-Myanmar border.  It still a popular smuggling route into Myanmar today.
During WWII, the Japanese occupation used Allied prisoners of war to build the infamous Dead Railway along this same invasion route, in reverse, along the Khwae Noi River to the pass.  Thousand of prisoners died as a result of brutal treatment by their captors, their experiences chronicled by Pierre Boulle in his book 'The Bridge Over the River Kwai' and popularized by the movie of same name.
The bridge is still there (still in use, in fact) and so are the graves of the Allied soldiers.
West and northwest of Kanchanaburi city are several of Thailand's largest waterfalls and most extensive wildlife sanctuaries.  Most of the province, in fact, remains sparsely populated and wild.
 - from Lonely Planet

I have been to this province a few times before, and all I knew was Bridge over River Kwai and a few golf courses around the city.
I found very high mountains (1,980m above sea level) on the map of the area and the magnet of mountain was hard to resist.
This area has many things - huge lakes (man made reservoir) high mountains and numerous waterfalls and tropical forest.
The city - Kanchanaburi is 130Km from Bangkok.  From there you have to take route 323 westbound to Sangkhlaburi.
Its easily 3 hour drive distance.  (Have to make right turn at traffic light 2 Km further north of the junction to Bridge over River Kwai) Road is nicely covered but a few section is still under construction.  In general any kind of vehicle can go to Sangkhlaburi.  Its beautiful drive way with great scenery.
I left Kanchanaburi around 3:00 p.m. and arrive Sangkhlaburi at dusk.
The small town has great wooden bridge built by Mon tribe living there.  The bridge stands like an enormous monument.
I stayed at a lodge (at 500Baht with air-condition and hot shower).
There are some one-full-day-packages like trekking on elephant, rafting and hiking around the area at very reasonable price - less than 1000 Baht including accommodation.
On the trip, I really wished to bring some friends to enjoy some small adventures together.

July 1999

Customs Office - Miyanmar side of the border
Wooden Bridge at Sangkhlaburi


Sangkhlaburi page added with new pictures.  Try this.

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