So you’ve swum and sunbathed at the lake, you’ve had a few too many Changs at the Blue Rock Bar and you’re wondering what to do with your hangover. Well luckily for you, Sangkhlaburi has a bunch of famous sights to see that don’t require any swimming or hiking- just so long as you can manage a gentle walking pace, you should be ok.
Pictured here in the mist is the Mon bridge. This bridge connects the Thai community of Sangkhlaburi to the Mon community in Wang Ka, and is the longest handmade wooden bridge in Thailand! The smaller bridge you see on the left here is a ‘temporary’ bridge that was built in 2013 by 500 members of both the Thai and Mon communities, after a storm washed away the original bridge. This place is full of interesting history and I’d recommend finding a local guide who can talk you through some of the wonderful stories about the area.
Next up is the golden pagoda- you’ll probably want to share a taxi up to this once you’ve crossed the bridge and had a poke around in the marketplace, and save your legs for the multitude of steps you’ll be strolling up and down while you explore. There are all sorts of nooks and corners to discover shrines and stray cats in, and as usual with any religious building you’ll need to take your shoes off as you head in and make sure you’re covered up.
It’s worth mentioning that the need to cover your shoulders and knees really extends into the whole Mon side of the bridge and not just the religious areas, as this area (and parts of Sangkhlaburi) values a more conservative outlook than say, the Khao San Road.
It can be easy to forget as you travel around Thailand that some areas are less accustomed to hordes of tourists than others, but be mindful of the local customs and you’ll find yourself greeted with warm welcomes everywhere you go. Dressing appropriately and greeting or thanking people with the Wai (in which you bow your head and press your palms together as if you are praying) are little things that go a long way.