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JBR Thailand 28 April - 21 May 2007

Port Macquarie...
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JBR Thailand 28 April - 21 May 2007

Day 1: Bangkok forum

Day 2-9: Koh Samui forum

Day 9-12: Koh Tao forum

Day 12-18: Phuket Forum

Day 18: Arrived in Bangkok flying Airasia from Phuket. Metered taxi to Southern bus terminal 300bht plus 65bht toll.

Purchased ticket, thanks to Reet's directions, at the ticket booth in the waiting area. First class bus ticket to Kancahnaburi 99bht.

A bus was waiting so, our luggage went underneath, the bus was full, the luggage storage in the overhead on the bus was very small, so Andy nursed his back pack for the trip. Cold water is supplied and there is a toilet on board. The trip took about 2 1/2 hours.

Ok, I had already had the heads up from my best friend Geri (we3betravelling) as she had not like the Ploy Guesthouse a week before and moved on to VN, see her review, we already had a booking which i had made over the internet, so I had no expectaions. We got a taxi, (open back ute) from the bus station to Ploy, 80bht.

Ploy is set back from the road, on the river, it is white painted two story concrete style motel units. Staff dont speak much english, but hey we are in Thailand!! Our room was basic, two mattresses, pushed together on a platform, no tv fridge or tea or coffee making. A huge window looked onto an outdoor garden, nice and the bathroom was through another door, with an outdoor shower, we were only paying 600bht, I thought it was fine for two nights. Best part is the great airconditioner!!

On recommendation from Geri, we wandered down to the No Name bar for a feed of Thai, couple of beers and some pool!! Great spot, 500bht for dinner and drinks! There is 7eleven down the road.

Day 19: Picked up by Good Times Travel at 8.30am, we had booked this on their website, we hired a taxi for 1800bht for the day this turned out to be a 10 seater airconditioned bus, and a guide for 500bht.

We could of done the day without the guide in hindsight, all places we visited were easy to get around on your own and were written in English. Just the taxi would have been fine.

JEATH museum was first, very sad, lots of memoribilia, pictures and letters. A few tears from me, but all good!!

Next to the Kanchanaburi war cemetry, I could have wandered around here longer, it is so well kept and beautiful. We found all our family names and tooks pics for the family. Few more tears from me.........

We then drove 1 1/2 hours to Hellfire Pass, Andy and I wandered the track alone, words cannot describe the feeling....there was an Australian memorial with lots of koalas and things people had left, Andy and I left an Aussie $2 and 50c there. Took lots of photos, next visit we want to do the 4km track, we just didnt have time. back to the museum, this is beautifull kept, we placed a donation in the box, watched a short movie and wandered the museum. A lot more tears from me.......

We then drove for about an hour to the Erawan Falls, beauiful place, had lunch in a little restaurant there, then walked the tracks, I made it to level 4 Andy went further to get some photo's and a swim, it took an hour to drive back to Kan, we went to the Bridge On the River Kwai, took some photos, walked the bridge, I loved it!!

Went to the Jolly Frog for dinner, it's another guesthouse a couple down from Ploy, good Thai food!! recommended by our guide.

We still hadnt decided how we were getting back to Bangkok, so decided we wanted to see the floating markets, so walked to Good Times Travel office and booked a taxi tranfers Kan - Floating Market- Sukhumvit rd for 2900bht. More expensive than the bus but we would see the floating markets.

We were picked up from Ploy at 7am sharp, in another 10 seater airconditioned bus!! it took about 1 1/2 hours to get to Floating Markets, this place is great, the scenery and ambience, I totally recommend it. Not cheap to buy things, but the fried bananas are great!!

It took another 1 1/2 hours to get to our hotel in Bangkok.

We both loved Kanchanaburi, we will return and stay a bit longer! I would stay at Ploy again, though no longer than 3 nights, it is in a great central spot, on the river, yes the mossies are bad, we bought our own mossies coils from OZ. really, most of the guesthouses we walked past seemed the same, dont expect luxury!!

Chez and Andy

xx

Adelaide, Australia
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1. Re: JBR Thailand 28 April - 21 May 2007

Hi Chez,

Cant believe you are back already! Glad to hear that you found the bus alright! Easy when you know how huh!!

Next time you are in Kan, do yourself a favour and go to VN. That place is so good... the room we had was 450 baht and was a corner room on the floating rafthouse. The food is brilliant and the tour desk really good too.

Reet xx

Queensland...
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2. Re: JBR Thailand 28 April - 21 May 2007

Wow Chez & Andy reading this took me back. Join the club for shedding a tear. CJ

Australia
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3. Re: JBR Thailand 28 April - 21 May 2007

Thanks Chez for taking the time to write your report on Kanchanaburi, it was great. We are doing an overnight trip with Tong and after reading this JBR we can't wait. I have a feeling 1 night won't be long enough.

Rene

Newport Pagnell...
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4. Re: JBR Thailand 28 April - 21 May 2007

Hi Chez and Andy

Thank you very much for your report.

We had been planning on doing a day trip from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi.Do you think this is enough?I would like to really see everything.....cemetery,war museum and hellfire pass.I would also like to go to the Erawan Falls,but could pass on this.

How did you find the driving?Would you have driven from Bangkok?

Port Macquarie...
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5. Re: JBR Thailand 28 April - 21 May 2007

Sistermags,

Yes, you can get it done in one day from Bangkok with an early start and late finish, lots of guides do it.

Personally, I think if you want to see everything and take your time at least a couple of days is needed.

Do you mean driving yourself in Bangkok? No, I wouldn't drive in Bangkok, it's crazy!!

The plan for next time for us would be, leave our bigger suitcases at Bangkok hotel, just take smaller overnight bag, take the bus for 99bht!! stay for at least 3 days and hire a car in Kanchanaburi to get around, once out of Kanchanaburi, which is a lot larger than I had imagined, the roads are wide, sealed and the countryside beautiful. There were other waterfalls and caves we passed on the way, so much to see in that area.

Chez

xx

Newport Pagnell...
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6. Re: JBR Thailand 28 April - 21 May 2007

Hi Chez

We are now thinking of spending the 4 days we were going to have in Chiang Mai in Kanchanaburi instead.There seems to be so much to see and I don't think I want to hurry it.

I had an uncle who was a POW.,my aunt says he was held in Thailand but his letters came from Burma (they were in a bag which was stolen several years ago).He never spoke of the war,but I think he suffered some horrors.I want to do the trip as a tribute to him,and I wonder if maybe his photo might be among others in the museum.

Would you recommend any hotels?Want to stay central to the sights.

The driving will be left to my husband (I don't drive)but I don't think he would drive in Bangkok....I was thinking of Kanchanaburi.

Once again many thanks for your report,it has really helped us to make up our minds.

MARGARET.

Port Macquarie...
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7. Re: JBR Thailand 28 April - 21 May 2007

Margaret,

Your poor uncle, what a shame the bag was stolen, you will definately need more time to have good look around!

Most of the places are Guest houses/backpacker type and pretty basic, but in the main part of town. People on TA rave about the River Kwai Felix, I think that is it's name??? It is on the other side of the river, but apparently a short walk across the bridge brings you to town. Do a search on TA and see what you find, I know it has a large pool, much needed for a longer stay and lovely gardens. None of the guesthouses have pools!!!

Chez

xx

Australia
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8. Re: JBR Thailand 28 April - 21 May 2007

Loved this report Chez!

Kanchanaburi is now added to our list of places to visit. It seems to be there was a special feel to the area.

Off to read your other reports now - thanks

Nicky

Auckland, New...
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9. Re: JBR Thailand 28 April - 21 May 2007

Hi Chez and Andy thanks for another great report. The emotion that you experience at Kanchanaburi is just incredible isn't it. I was really concerned that the artifacts in the museum are not stored in very good conditions and it won't be long before the photos and letters start deteriorating. We did a day trip with a guide and would have liked longer. The train ride we did (about one and a half hours) was just fabulous. I felt it was great that the railway was still being used by the locals and lots of tourists-all that blood,sweat and tears-very emotional for sure. The war cemetry is beautiful.

Well reported your trip sounds fabulous.

Cheers

Linda

Port Macquarie...
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10. Re: JBR Thailand 28 April - 21 May 2007

Linda,

We would love to do the train next time, just ran out of time!!

Yes, the museum material isn't well protected is it? With all that heat and humidity?

There are so many other places to visit in that area, and it's so close to Bangkok too!!!

Chez

xx