Sangkhlaburi or Sangkhlaburi district is belongs to Kanchanaburi Province in western Thailand, about 5 hours Northwest of Bangkok. Sangkhlaburi is located in the north west of the province, at the boundary to Myanmar. There also 3 rivers are Songkalia river, Bikli river and Rantee river. So, local people called ‘Samprasob’ that is the point confluence of river. And this point is a significant source of water for the Pao River, the lifeline of Sangkhlaburi province which is a mix of Thai, Burmese, Karen and Mon people. There are the Three Pagodas Pass is the border crossing station to Myanmar.
We can call Sangkhlaburi is a home of forests, waterfalls, small villages, farmland, the temple and the exotic charm of rural villages because this place is worth visitting and a spectacular place for tourist who loves to hanging out, relaxing and eating Thai traditional food.
The history of Sangkhlaburi
In the past, Sangkhlaburi district was renamed from Wang Ka district in 1939, which was previously the name of the minor district Thong Pha Phum. Then the district was dowgraded to a minor district (Thai people called ‘King Amphoe’ is set up when the administration of areas remote from the district center is inconvenient for citizens) and made a subordinate of Thong Pha Phum district. In 1965 this district was again upgraded to full district status.
Sanghkhlaburi is nestled on the low hills edging Vajiralongkorn Lake Sheltered to the north and east by higher forest-covered limestone ranges, the lake is a reservoir that was created when a dam was built to the south in 1979 and use five years to complete. The dam lies across the Khwae Noi River (River Kwai).
While Sangkhlaburi was traditionally a Karen town, a recent influx of Thais along with numerous Mon and Burmese settlers fleeing problems over the border, have created a culturally diverse. They live in hill stations, floating rafthouses and stilted bamboo houses where laughing children frolic with clucking chickens. Though many of the area’s residents do not hold Thai citizenship and still have difficulty receiving health care and other services, the different groups live together in relative harmonony.
Highlight of Sangkhlaburi
What do you think about ‘Sangkhlaburi’?
The first things when we think about Sangkhlaburi should definitely be a picture of a wooden bridge stretching across the river. The Wooden Bridge is well-known as ‘Mon Bridge’ or ‘Sapan Mon Bridge’ or ‘Uttamanusorn Bridge’, the bridge is Thailand’s longest hand made wooden bridge and the second longest in the world measuring over 400 meters long. Mon Bridge connects Sangkhlaburi with Wang Kla that is a Mon village on the other side of the lake. Wang Kla, It was founded by Mon people who fled Burma with 60 Mon Fimilies in 1949. The village consists of a growing number of wooden house in a traditional and simple style. The bridge is the route of a friendship between Thais and Mons because it links together Sangkhlaburi district to the Mon community on the other side of the bank. Luang Phor Uttama passed away in 2006 and since then, the village has been in mourning. Alcohol is not permitted to be drunk in public and doing so would be hugely disrespectful.
The bridge was first built under the intiation of Luang Phor Uttama, the abbot of Wang Wiwekaram temple in between the year 1986 and complete by labours of Mon people in 1987. Late July 2013, It is unfortunate part of the bridge fell apart into two and 30 meters from the middle collapsed into the river. After 3 days long of heavy rain, there were flash floods from Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary. The damaged part was increased up to 70 meters. Therefore, a bamboo bridge has been built for temporary use, while Mon Bridge is currently under restoration. The bridge has been restored since then.
At the Mon end of the bridge, you will find souvenir market where you can get beautiful shirts and dresses. The highlight is the walk uphill, where you can visit the main Mon market. Mon bridge is became to the most popular tourist landmark in the Sangkhlaburi district.
Another place to go
Three pagoda pass is located on the border between Thailand and Myanmar, a little over 20 kilometers from Sangkhlaburi town. Three pagoda pass was also situated along the Death Railway, which the Japanese army built in 1942-1943. The pass is named after three small chedis that were buit to commemorate battles fought between Myanmar and Thailand during Ayutthaya era.
At the pass is a market there are also plenty of shop placed. Visitors can observe men in sarongs, Burmese women their faces covered with chalk, woodwork and a lot of crafts crossing the border.
Wat Wang Wiwekaram and Buddhakhaya Chedi. Wat Wang Wiwekaram or Wat Mon is an attractive temple build by Mon monk from Burma. You can walk over the bridge to the Mon village and turn left parallel to the lake. Wat Wang Wiwekaram was built by Luang Phor Uttama, who was one of the most important Monks in Thailand, and is still highly revered in the Mon community. At the entrance of the temple complex are two giant Chinthe, mythological lions often seen guarding Burmese temples. A few hundred meters from the temple on the edge of the lake is Buddhakhaya chedi that is a large golden chedi.
When you would like to travel for worth visiting in a couple of nights. Go to visit Sangkhlaburi, the stunning place for sight-seeing.