The largest chunk of our trip was spent in the region of Sangkhlaburi, a relatively poor area close to the border with Myanmar with very few tourists. On our journey from Kanchanaburi, we made a stop at a railway cutting on what was once the Burma railway, carved into the rock by Allied prisoners of war during WWII. So many lost their lives here, working into the night by torchlight, it became known as Hellfire Pass.
On arrival in the town of Sangklaburi, we were given the chance to wash our clothes. Trust me when I say, this was a relief for all involved. When informed there was a laundry service at the hotel, we had expected to find a coin-operated washing machine and rudimentary dryer. The ‘laundry service’ was, in reality, a small Thai lady arriving on a motorbike, getting us to bag up and label our clothes and then whisking away again into the sunset. One hundred baht (£2) for a kilo, and back she came ‘SAME TIME NEXT DAY’, everything washed, dried and ironed. Wonderful. We spent the majority of the first day at the P Guesthouse, about a mile down the road from our hotel. Here we soaked up the sun on the pontoon and a few rented canoes.
The next day, we were headed out on a two day trek in the jungle, which was fantastic. It was so nice to be doing a bit more physical activity after all the rice and alcohol that had been frequenting my bloated stomach. After a long day hiking uphill through the jungle, we arrived in a small remote village.
Our accommodation was slightly unorthodox; we stayed in tents inside a large wooden house belonging to the village of the leader. The house had a few big long tables, and a little bar with a coolbox that served Cokes, Sprite and vodka slushies. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? Initially, we were all swaying towards a quiet night after the exertion of the day. However, it was not to be; the temptation of luminous green iced vodka drinks and a makeshift ‘disco room’ in the middle of the jungle was not to be fought.
As a result, many people opted out of the trek on the second day, but wanting to squeeze every inch out of our trip, the four of us girls and a few others set out on the trek. In my opinion, we were richly rewarded (although definitely still sweating vodka slush), when we arrived at a beautiful waterfall off the beaten track led by our guides, Oman and Yep. A well-deserved dip was the perfect hangover cure. Our arrival back in Sangklaburi after the heat of the jungle made our cramped, humid three bed room (complete with missing window pane and resident geckos) seem like five star accommodation.