January 3, 2012
Leaving Tak towards Kanchanaburi was a little more complicated than anticipated. On the morning of our departure (yesterday), we were told we would have to stop in Suphanburi to transfer. This meant Tak – Nakhon Sawan – Suphanburi – Kanchanaburi. We hit the bus station in Tak before 9:30 am and was told in Suphanburi at 7:00 pm that all buses to Kanchanaburi had stopped at 5:00 pm. We stayed the night.
How was the ride? I believe it was approximately 3:00 pm when we saw a sign indicating Suphanburi was 53 km away – 53 km took approximately 4 hours of driving…We kept changing directions and passed the same streets, the same temple…I have no idea what was going on. I just took the ride as an extended tour of the countryside and it was pretty awesome. Fields upon fields of rice, white birds I had never seen before…cranes?, stores upon stores stacked with boxes of colourful Chinese pastry in preparation of Chinese New Year (as we passed through Nakhon Sawan), rivers, lakes, kids in clothes I’ve never seen before. Hot, dusty air through open windows and on our faces. The weather was beautiful.
We landed in Suphanburi exhausted and hungry. We had no idea where we were. I had never heard of the city. I was surprised to see Foreign/Western men. What was going on. We chose the hotel directly across from the bus station and it was amazing. Sort of like a space love hotel despite the two single beds…not the hotel exactly, just our room. A definite treat with English news being broadcasted out of Russia. That was our only English language station. Interesting news from people with a variety of accents (Irish, English, American?) and weird haircuts.
Today we landed in Kanchanaburi. It was a 2.5 hour ride. The resort we booked embellished online and didn’t give us the raft house on the River Kwaii we booked. However, as far as I know/understand, they allowed us to move our booking starting today – we had booked for yesterday before we had any idea we couldn’t possibly get here. The hotel advertised it was in the city center and near shopping…sure, if near means 15 km away, through the country and over a river.
The resort is absolutely huge – I’ve never been anywhere like this. In addition it’s fairly empty and old. Much older than perceived online. I’m not viewing this as a negative, more like something interesting to explore, there is something hauntingly beautiful about the place. And the city/town/wherever we are of Kanchanaburi? Driving through it to get here conjured memories of Chiang Mai when I first visited Thailand (which I believe was early 2006). Not Chiang Mai as it is today.
Exploration time tomorrow.
Suphanburi hotel review here.
Kanchanaburi resort review here.
For Thailand hotel reviews, travel information and tips, check out Backpacking Thailand, my free Thailand resource.