A night on the lake in Sangkhlaburi

Heading north from Sai Yok Yai our destination for the night was Sangkhlaburi, a small Burmese-Thai settlement on the northern tip of the Vajiralongkorn reservoir. The road twisted and turned offering spectacular vistas of the lake around every corner. We were staying on a raft close to the famous wooden Mon bridge that is the primary attraction to the town. The first call of business was to get the fishing rods out, but without the right bait – some type of river worm – catching them would prove fruitless, these fish don’t eat bacon!

We took a boat across the lake to view some submerged temples, apparently you can walk to them in the dry season when the water is a lot lower. One up on the banks looked like something from Angkor Wat with trees practically growing through the temple. Locals were selling fish in bags to release to make merit, I figured it would be a good thing to do as fishermen. Our boat guy agreed to stay out for an extra hour for 300 baht so we could head into some secluded spots and try with some lures. There were a few takes but nothing landed, just the wrong time of day I guess. On the way back a rain shower unleashed across town drenching the old wooden bridge and those on it.

That evening we headed over to the Mon bridge and crossed to the small Burmese village on the other side. Trying to book another night in Sangkhlaburi wasn’t easy, everything was full for Saturday night – Bangkok was arriving. Up at 6am to walk back over the bridge to a big Burmese market, and the major tourist draw to the area. Kids were perched along the bridge dressed in traditional Mon wear offering Burmese face painting, irresistible to the city selfie crowds. This spectacle happens every weekend when the town gets inundated with weekend warriors from Bangkok, a five hour drive away. There were virtually no farangs here, I was a novelty.

We had to head south, with all accommodation already booked out here for tonight, Sunday night the place would be empty again, shame as we would have liked to have stayed longer. On the way stopping at Wat Wang Wiwekaram, a unique, almost Hindu looking temple perched on the lake side. It was reassuring to know that temples are still free to enter in Thailand for foreigners, but one wonders how long this will be the case for.