Saturday, July 5, 2014

APRIL 1, 2014: TRAIN TO KANCHANABURI, SABI @ KAN RESORT, POOL, THAILAND-BURMA RAILWAY CENTER, CEMETERY, WWII AND JEATH WAR MUSEUM, BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI


April 1, 2014

     Up early, check out, leave bags as we're returning to this hotel on April 3rd.  No time for breakfast but I grab a few pastries/sweets to take and we have bottles of water and some other snacks.

    We take a taxi to THONBURI STATION-500 baht.  We purchase our tickets for the 7:50 am departure, train #257.  Price is 100 baht per person.  We are supposed to arrive in Kanchanaburi at 10:25 am.  Lots of people waiting for trains.  Can buy food, drinks here if you want.

Our ticket










Lots of people waiting for trains

     Our train is here-can tell by the writing on one of the cars-and we find a seat-nothing assigned.  Slightly padded bench seats.  No A/C but the windows open.  It is very hot.  We see scenes of the countryside as we go-rice fields, other crops planted, passing through small towns along the way.  We are glad when we arrive at our station as it's been a long, hot ride.  We are easily able to find a tuk tuk to take us to our hotel for 100 baht.

This is our train






















     SABI @ KAN RESORT  www.sabikan.com  Advertises itself as a boutique hotel located close to the famous River Kwai Bridge.  The word "sabi" means to relax and feel content.  And this is what we do during our short stay here.  My husband would have liked to stay longer than our 2 nights.  Deposit was pre paid through paypal of 1700 baht.  I pay the balance of 1700 baht when we check in.  The nightly rate is 1700 baht which includes breakfast and all taxes.  The lobby is nice with a small sitting area and there are shelves of items like snacks, toiletries, etc. for sale.  In a cooler are all sorts of ice cream treats and another cooler of cold drinks for sale.  Very happy with this place so far.  Staff is very friendly.  Our room is #109 with a view of the garden area and the pool.  My husband is so happy to see the pool which is a much bigger pool than what we had in Bangkok.  We change into our swim suits and relax by the pool from 12:00-2:00 pm.  We order some slushy drinks-pinapple and mango.  Tasty and refreshing.  The pool is great, water just right and plenty of comfy loungers.








Mini fridge, safe, flat screen tv (never turned it on) desk area with coffee/tea making supplies

Bathroom

Shower area is quite large

Right outside our sliding glass door is this nice sitting area

View from our room of gardens and pool

Lobby area

Lobby

Snacks and toiletries for sale


Richard couldn't wait to jump in the pool!

Our slushy, smoothie fruit drinks-yummy!



     We decide to do some sightseeing so the front desk arranges a tuk tuk for us.  First off is the THAILAND-BURMA RAILWAY CENTER.  Admission is 120 baht per person and you are given a ticket for a free coffee or tea.  This museum is fabulous with lots of details about the story of the Thai-Burma Railway  from WWII.  No cameras allowed.  The building has A/C which is greatly appreciated.  The museum includes an introduction with timeline, info on the planning/construction/logistics, geography of the railway, living conditions, medical aspects, summary of deaths, end of the railway, and after the war.  There are some original POW relics and artifacts.  There is a shop that sells the usual-postcards, T shirts, etc.  There is also a coffee shop where you would use your free ticket.  This was well worth the time and money.  I learned a lot.





Well worth a stop
     Next is the KANCHANABURI WAR CEMETERY  Free and a very moving experience just like the Allied War Cemetery we saw on our way to Golden Rock in Myanmar/Burma.















   

 Also a stop at the WWII & JEATH WAR MUSEUM  Admission 40 baht per person.  There's a money exchange near  here so I exchange $200 for 6386 baht.















View of the bridge from the museum























   
Wat Chaichumphon complex



Finally we come to the major draw of the area BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI  We decide we're going to have dinner here and stay awhile so we tell our tuk tuk driver that he can leave.  Cost for the tuk tuk with the waiting is 250 baht.  I can't believe I'm standing on this bridge!  Only the curved sections are original.  The ones in the middle replaced the ones bombed by the Allies during the war.  I can't describe in words how I'm feeling.  My dad and Richard's dad both served in WWII.  My dad was in the navy as a gunner in the South Pacific and  saw action at Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal to name a few.  Richard's dad was in the army with the military police and saw action in Europe-France, Germany.  I'm walking back and forth across the bridge and all I can hear in my head is that infectious tune from the movie!!











There's these small side areas that you can stand in when the train goes by





This is on the other side 

We just came from there





I LOVE being here!

Richard on one of the side platforms



Vendors all  around the bridge








     We have dinner at THE FLOATING RESTAURANT  It has a full on view of the bridge.  We order chicken BBQ skewer and coke, a garden vegetable salad and water.  As we're waiting for our food we're lucky in that we see the train cross the bridge coming from Namtok  and then minutes later we see a train going across the bridge in the other direction to Namtok.  Our food finally arrives and my skewer is resting in a bed of tomato sauce.  There are several chunks of white meat chicken along with red, green, and yellow peppers-onions and pineapple and tomato.  It was good but could have been better minus the sauce.  Richard's salad is fine-it's just a salad.  Cost for dinner 350 baht.  We look around all the vendors and small shops selling jewelry, T shirts....  We start to walk back in the direction of our hotel but then I'm tires so we grab a tuk tuk back-60 baht.


Jet skis

Ricard's salad

My chicken skewer would have been better without all that tomato sauce

Train crossing the bridge coming from Namtok



Train crossing the bridge going to Namtok

The restaurant where we had dinner






     When we return I inquire at the front desk about a tour to Hellfire Pass for tomorrow.  There are 2 tours I'm interested in from KTC.  One is 750 baht per person and includes Hellfire Pass, riding the train, Krasae Cave, the Sai Yok Noi Waterfall.  The other is 890 baht per person and includes swimming & trekking at Erawan Waterfall, Hellfire Pass, riding the train, Krasae Cave.  Either would be fine.  She will call and let us know in the morning if it's doable.


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