We had originally planned to go straight from Bangkok to Ayutthaya and visit Kanchaburi in November, but we kept reading things in the news like “Ayutthaya told to brace for flooding” so we decided to give it some time and head to Kanchanaburi first instead. We caught the train there, which was fun.

There are two trains to Kanchanaburi each day from Bangkok’s Thonburi train station. We caught the early one at 7:50am which was a bit of an effort but we made it! The train is third class only with wooden seats and open windows but only takes about three hours. Ed loved it, Lil was in a bad mood, both of them fell asleep for part of the journey. Leaving Bangkok, the train passes inches away from people’s homes. Hands and heads were kept well inside the open windows!

Ed and Mad on train

Train to Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi is the first place on the trip that we haven’t pre-booked accommodation. I had a couple of places picked out to try but I figured we were getting there early enough to wing it. We caught a taxi (sangthaew) to Pong Phen Guesthouse and decided to stay there. We had a big room with a double and single bed, air-con, tv, fridge, huge bathroom for 1000 baht (about $AUD33). There was also a swimming pool. It was a bit more than I was hoping to pay but it was in a quiet spot, the room was very clean and the kids were happy with the pool.

Pong Phen Guesthouse room

Our room at Pong Phen Guesthouse

Happy kids in Kanchanaburi.

Pool fun at Pong Phen Guesthouse

There are lots of things to see around Kanchanaburi to do with the Death Railway and also some waterfalls and animal attractions. We barely scraped the surface and only visited the Bridge Over the River Kwai, the Railway Museum and the War Cemetery.

walking over

Walking across the bridge

war cemetary

War Cemetery

The Railway Museum is just across the road from the cemetery. It is quite well done and tells the story of the railway and the prisoners of war who built it. The kids were both free and the entry ticket included a free tea or coffee in the cafe. I should note that the cafe also had flat whites on the menu and vegemite toast! Lil wrote in the guestbook on the way out, “Not bad.”

I celebrated my 35th birthday in Kanchanaburi with a pancake breakfast, a massage, macadamia brownies (with surprise candles), homemade cards and a delicious birthday dinner.

Happy Birthday to me! Feeling very grateful for all that I have and to be celebrating in this place.

Birthday Brownies

We ate very well in Kanchanaburi. On’s Thai-Issaan Restaurant was amazing. Really nice food and so cheap. It turns out On is from Sisaket Province, she was so excited that we’d just spent a month there that she took a photo of us to show her friends on facebook.

My birthday dinner was at the Blue Rice Restaurant at Apple’s Retreat. The reviews on tripadvisor are a bit mixed and we almost didn’t go, but it was a great birthday dinner. Their massaman curry was to die for and the kids loved the blue rice. The view was also very pleasant.

Birthday dinner view.

Blue Rice Restaurant View

We ate dinner a couple of times at a place without an English sign so I’m not sure what it was called! The food was great and we sat in a little bamboo hut with chickens scratching in the garden beneath us.

We ended up being in Kanchanaburi for five nights and after checking the news and talking to local people we decided it was safe to move on to Ayutthaya. But that’s for another post!


6 Responses to “Kanchanaburi”

  1. 1 Jess with2kidsintow October 11, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    I celebrated my birthday there too in 2011! But other than getting a nice piece of cake from the fancy bakery with a/c (the day after my birthday) it was a total disaster as during our open air dinner at the Thai Steam boat place a huge thunderstorm blew in that took out the power and drenched us for 3hrs. Even eventually had to bicycle back to our guest house in the rain as we got tired of waiting it out! At least it was memorable!

    • 2 Madeline October 11, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      I think my brownies may have come from that air-conditioned bakery! It is also a florist? Sorry your birthday dinner was washed out!! Crazy, but yes, memorable.

  2. 3 Wheres Sharon? (Sharon) October 11, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    sounds great!! Would love to hear what else you got up too. I always seem to read about people spending reasonable periods of time there, but i wonder what else there is to do (i did those things in a day trip from bangkok a lifetime ago).
    jealous you got to spend your 35th there – my 35th will be in melbourne just after we get back from our next trip so we will probably have to spend it poor at home!!

    • 4 Madeline October 11, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      That really is about all we got up to apart from hanging around the hotel and swimming! There was a day of rain when we couldn’t really go anywhere. We would usually go out in the morning and do one thing, nap/swim in the afternoon, then dinner. It was quite lazy.

  3. 5 Bethaney - Flashpacker Family October 11, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    We just loved Kanchanaburi! Glad you had a nice birthday dinner at Apple… can’t imagine why the reviews were mixed on Tripadvisor. It’s the best place we’ve eaten in the whole of Thailand!

  1. 1 List 47/52 – Family Accommodation in Thailand | The places we go Trackback on November 24, 2013 at 2:43 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: