Once upon a time in Kanchanaburi, I have got a chance to go and enjoy what we call slow life from 18-20 December 2015 here. Slow life is a state of being totally calm and relax with no rush or hurry. It is a trend of well being in Thailand. Moreover, I have found another synonym of this act through Lonely Planet. They call it stepping into the slowtopia which sounds pretty cool to me. I guess slowtopia is a slang meaning that doing something slowly and calmly, Well, I have done some researches on Jungle Rafts or known among the foreigners as River Kwai Jungle Rafts Floating Hotel before coming here. I found that they don't use any electricity, they don't have any Wi-Fi connections, and you can hardly get the phone signal here. And guests here are mainly foreigners...If you are ready let's go and experience all of these together! ^_^
The time that we are going to Kanchanaburi is the same time that Thailand is facing with the sudden drop of the temperature. We are pretty lucky to be able to enjoy the chill cold weather on the rafts in Kwai River.
We have prepared warm clothes, and more importantly some snacks and drinks since they don't sell these stuffs here. They only have a bar. We also don't forget to bring flashlight, camping light, charger, power bank, camera's battery, and mobile phone with 100% battery. It is going to be a trip of 2 days and 2 nights, do we prepare too much?
We have departed from Bangkok in the late afternoon on Friday and as you may guess the traffic is totally crazy. We have spent more than 3 hours to get to Resotel Pier and it is already dark. The boat ride is another 15 minutes before arriving at River Kwai Jungle Rafts Floating Hotel. We don't hesitate to have dinner quickly before going to bed. We will discuss what we are going to do and where we are going to visit tomorrow. Tonight is very cold by the way.
(Anyway, let's skip everything and go directly to the breakfast!)
..... Oh my God! Get up! Get up! I try to wake all my friends up to share this stunning view with. We are not dreaming. This is real... This is right in front of our room. The warm sunlight with the morning fog is totally amazing and it is just our first morning on the very first day here.
The Breakfast corner.
We don't even wash our faces or brush our teeth, we are just so ready for the breakfast. ^^,
One of the highlights here is that most of the staff are Mon people immigrated from Myanmar. They have moved and lived here for a long time. Where they have settled down is not far from the hotel. The way they dress is still very traditional with a signature facial mask. Well, I would say it is good that they hire them here because at least they have some jobs to do to earn money.
The breakfast is served from 6.30 AM to 10 AM under the standard of American Breakfast with fried eggs, ham, baked potato, some bread, and fresh seasonal fruits (either pineapple or watermelon).
The river is truly calm in the morning.
We digest our food while admiring the scenery. :)
There are two hammocks in front and behind the room of every guestroom.
I guess it is time to be serious planning on our trip for today. We have got some suggestions from the staff including taking a walk in Mon's Village, experiencing Mon local way of lives, visiting Mon's school and its vocational education center, and going to the Elephant Training Camp. Let's go and do whatever we feel like! ^_^
We take the bamboo bridge from the hotel to the shore before going to take a walk to Mon's Village. Please also don't forget to put some mosquito spray on because there are quite a few mosquitoes and insects since you will be walking in the middle of the forest.
The entrance way to the village.
3 girls with shorts.
There are some souvenir stalls where you can buy woven cloth and local products.
This is how traditional Mon's house looks like.
The bilingual school teaching in Burmese and English.
This photo gives a feeling of loneliness, doesn't it?
She is trying to capture students in the school's building.
We are now on the way to Pha En (Inclined Cliff) which is not far from here.
And we are here at Pha En. It is really inclined about 45 degree.
There is Tham Phra Mon (Cave of Mon Buddha) located right next to it.
Tham Phra Mon is where numbers of Mon Buddha statues situated. This place is well respected by the locals.
From here, you can look back and view the Jungle Rafts where they are lined up on the curve of the river.
Let's walk back there for lunch now! :)
I am sorry that I don't have any photos of lunch because I totally forget about it. Anyway, let's skip this part and go straight to our next activity while waiting for the bamboo river rafting in 2 hours! We have decided to take the time walking through the whole hotel.
The hotel is nicely decorated by flowers and garden bushes. It is very refreshing seeing them all around.
You can also get some spa treatments here such as body massage, facial massage, and foot massage. The prices are as follows.
The bar is available as well where it will be crowded in the evening. You will also find a signage indicating the time of each meal that will be served. Well, another good thing when you are here is that you are able to eat on time. :) In addition, there will be Mon Dance show at night. The ticket is 160 THB per person.
Young Mon staff.
And another young one? :)
We have accidentally found this corner where they store all the lanterns.
And the time has come, the time that we are going to do bamboo river rafting. The staff suggest that we should do the kayaking too. Well, we are afraid that it will be difficult since the river current is pretty strong. Therefore, we better just sit, chill, and enjoy the view while having the staff sails the raft.
We have prepared well dressing like we are ready to jump into the water anytime.
We wear these swimming suits for...? For taking photos Eiei
We can take photos from all angles, from the top,
From the side,
And from the front (selfie).
We have been concentrating on taking photos and haven't jump into the river yet. ^^,
We are lucky to see a bunch of buffaloes. Are they eating grasses? But it seems like there is not much of them, or they are coming out here to greet the tourists like us?
The river current is pretty strong like I have said earlier. That is why the staff need to use the motor on the way back to the hotel instead of paddling.
We are back to the hotel and we don't miss to jump into the water this time. We let ourselves flowing along the river current from the beginning of the hotel until the end... Well, what shall we do now? LingPle, I, can't swim but I really want to join. So I just jump into the river and let all my friends taking care of me. They keep checking on me and taking me back on the raft after I reach the end of the hotel. hahaha (sorry that I don't have the photos as the evidences here)
After being in the water for a while which is like doing some exercise, we should go to take a shower and get ready for dinner now. I still have sometimes before the dinner so I prefer to read my favorite book first. Well, I have ended up reading only 2 pages. hahaha
It is getting dark and the place is lit up with all the lanterns. This is truly romantic.
We are waiting for...
We are waiting for the staff to give us a signal that our dinner is ready. The staff will make a noise out of the bamboo tube and shout out loud that the dinner is ready in order to let all guests throughout the hotel know...
You can pick anywhere you want to sit. The dinner is prepared in set. If you would like to get something extra apart from the omelet, you need to order it in advance like in the afternoon.
The dinner is done and it is time for the bar. We are not sure though if the bartender is Mon or not.
The dinner restaurant has turned into a bar and party corner.
And of course we occupy one table. Please be noted that you need to have a little consideration to other guests. You shouldn't make any disturbance noise. Well, we did get a little complain from people next door last night because we were too loud while drinking in front of the room. We feel so sorry for that. That's why today we find our secret corner in the restaurant and try to be extra careful not talking or laugh too loud. ^^.
The bar lasts until 10 PM only which is good so all people can rest comfortably.
The sky is full with stars tonight.
We are on the way back to our room.
It is another freezing cold night and we are ready to sleep with this tipsy feeling. Let's get some rest before rocking another day!...
We woke up with some dizziness but... with the view and atmosphere like this, it have got us screaming once again.
We keep capturing this moment through our lens. The mild sunlight and the fog on the river surface are just way too beautiful.
The boat is approaching the hotel's pier.
The tasty breakfast with a view like this even makes it more enjoyable. We try to eat quickly before going back to sleep and will check out around 11 AM.
Oh! We almost forget to go and play with the elephant. There usually be an elephant come to the hotel and play with people every morning. You can even get a ride on it or feed it but please don't walk under its belly. :) It is an elephant from the Elephant Training Camp.
Look! What I have found? I don't know what bird it is but it is so pretty.
The elephant has gone back to the camp and it is time for us to go back to the room for a shower.
I finished taking a shower first which mean I can get pretty first. :)
I am beautiful, don't you agree?
It is finally the time to say goodbye to Jungle Rafts. If you are interested in coming to stay here to enjoy stepping into the slowtopia please contact or find more information from here.
Or Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/riverkwaijunglerafts
You can enjoy the slow life far from all social communities, recharging yourself, and blending in with the nature. You will feel totally relaxing. Anyway, our journey is not completed yet. Let's continue the journey! ^_^
We are back to the normal city kind of life and we are totally craving for some fresh roasted coffee. We are here in an old building at Sitthisang Coffee Shop, the famous coffee place in Kanchanaburi where you can find some cakes also. If you want to know how good the coffee is, you better come and try yourself because what is good for me might not be that good for you. ^^,
Then we have been suggested by the owner of Sitthisang Coffee Shop that we should go and find the gigantic mimosa tree. The owner confirms that it is extremely huge and we have got to see it. He doesn't hesitate to give us the direction right away which we have found it kind of confuse. Anyway, since we have the GPS so it will be easy to get there. :) It is pretty popular as it is also shown in the Google Map in the name of Giant rain tree.
Oh my god! This is super big. Its branched spread throughout shading all the area. People said that it is more than 100 years old. It is as huge as 10 people can hug it at the same time. I wander would it be bigger or thinner in the future.
Let's jump together!
If you come to see the giant rain tree, please don't forget to visit Wat Tham Sua as well. It is about 10-kilometer far from here. Wat Tham Sua is located up in the mountain in Tha Muang District. From there, you can have a very nice view of rice field and river. Unfortunately, we are here after the rice-harvesting season.
There are Katekaew Prasart Stupa, and the Buddha image in the Attitude of Blessing. At the foot of the hill is where you can find a little cave called Tham Sua (Tiger Cave) as the name of the temple.
I guess I need to come back here while the rice fields are green or yellow with all the rice. The view is amazing especially during the sunset.
Our slow life journey has come to an end. It is time to head back to Bangkok. If you want, you can come over here on the weekend. 2 days are enough.
... Bring yourself to get closer to the nature, be with your own self, learn how to adjust and balance your life, and you will find the true happiness.
Story by : LingPle Mayuree : [email protected]
Photo by : LingPle Mayuree , Puffin Coral , Pitchayapa Raksarat , and Tor Tourlek
VDO edited by : Nawapon Punpeng
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