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Sangkhlaburi

Orientation

With a population of some 15,000, many of whom live way out in the boonies, Sangkhlaburi is a tiny town. It's divided into two distinct sections -- the "market section" or "town centre" just north of an inlet in the lake, and the "Mon village" or Wang Kha, just south of said inlet. These two areas are connected by two bridges. The "wooden bridge" is the longest hand-made bridge in the world and one of Sangkhlaburi's signature sites. It's only a foot-bridge though; all motorised traffic must use the concrete bridge via Route 323 a half-kilometre to the west.

A few places to stay are located right in the town centre, but most of the accommodation is along the lake, a 10- to 20-minute walk south or southeast towards the end of Si Suwan Khiri Road and another road that runs adjacent to it. A few accommodation options are also found on Sam Prasob Road, which cuts due south from the town centre and ends at the wooden bridge, and on Route 323 as it approaches the concrete bridge.

Cross the bridge and you'll enter the Mon village, a charming area with some good local food shops serving authentic Mon fare and several souvenir shops. Continue south from here and you'll reach Wat Wang Wiwekaram (aka Wat Mon) after a decent walk.

Route AH123 / 323 (aka Sangkhla Road) is the main road in and out of town. It comes all the way from Kanchanaburi and continues up to Three Pagodas Pass and the Burmese border. Sangklhaburi is a five-minute drive west of AH123 and is accessed via a local sub-section of Route 323 which runs directly northwest of the town centre before cutting south over the lake, then briefly up over a mountain and down again into the Mon village.

The town centre consists of only a few small blocks that are home to hole-in-the-wall stores, food shops and a great market between Thetsaban 2 and Thetsaban 1 that's open day and night. Just across from the market is the town's only bank and ATM at Siam Commercial Bank. Also in this vicinity are a couple of convenience stores, coffee shops and JA Computer internet cafe.

The post office is on the west side of the town centre on Si Sawan Khiri Road. Sangkhlaburi Road runs along the east of town and is where you'll find the hospital, police station and district offices.

When you've travelled this far to get to a place you need to give it at least a couple of nights. Do not try to visit Sangkhlaburi on a daytrip from Kanchanaburi -- you'll just spend a dull day on a bus.

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