Something different to do while you’re in Thailand and have a few days up your sleeve during your séjour in Bangkok, is to head into the deep jungle, via the River Kwai. We did just this and went into the jungle for two nights in a bungalow floating on the river, the gentle flow of the river is a soothing way to relax.
From Bangkok, head over to the Bangkok Bus Terminal (also known as Sai Tai or the Southern Bus Terminal). The ticket counter is on Level 1, Counter 71 – purchase your ticket there and head down to the bus bay (it may change depending on the time of day, check with the attendant).
The journey is three hours and is a mostly straight and flat road, so the ride is comfortable.
At the Kanchanaburi Bus Terminal, find the bus going to Sungrapburi, you will buy your ticket on board – tell the conductor that you will get down at River Kwai Resotel Pier (just 9km after the Saiyoknoi Waterfall).
Every forty minutes
From there, you’ll take a fast boat to the hotel!
During our stay we took a kayak down the river. While the water seems to be flowing very fast, the kayak is floating on the surface so the strong under current doesn’t seem to have a huge influence on our movement down the river.
We floated gently down the river and at times decided to paddle fairly hard so we could gain speed and feel the cool, fresh air in our face. Combined with the gently spattering of tiny raindrops, the river kayaking experience was just lush.
About 15 minutes from the bungalows is a bat cave. You pay 300 baht to the armed guard at the bottom of the 108 step climb. This is the Lawa Cave – although it bears no resemblance to anything related to lava…
They’re hanging there upside down like vampires from your nightmares.
Inside, the smell of bat excrement is overpowering. You’re given a torch light to carry through the cave. Don’t worry, the walkway is paved and there are guard rails you can hold onto so you don’t accidentally slip and fall down a chasm.
The temperature inside the cave is a few degrees higher than outside and the humidity is much like a muggy day in Sydney. This makes for a comfortable sleeping condition for the bats who call this cave home – but as nocturnal animals, they will be sleeping during your visit.
There are a few rooms in the cave that are just chockers with bats. They’re hanging there upside down like vampires from your nightmares. Some are quite sizeable, like anything you have probably ever seen in the wild (or caged for that matter).
Even taking a stroll around the jungle is an adventure. We found a small beach with a tyre swing!
The jungle experience is lush, you’re in a remote location away from civilisation, away from the hoards of tourists. Yes, there will be tourists staying in the bungalows, but they are a quiet species and very different to the mass breed that hangs around the metropolis.
Dinner was delicious! But be careful, if you ask for spicy, you’ll get SPICY!
There was a musician playing music during the dinner service. After Dale and I had finished our meal, I requested him to play Krungthep Mahanakhon – the song with the name of Bangkok as the lyrics.
He asked me to join him on stage and sing the song together. I was singing the name of Bangkok like a pro! He then asked if I wanted to sing any other song and I asked if I could jump on the gee-tarrr myself!
Here I am playing a few tunes for the dinner crowd.
Head down to the pier at night and just by the river. You can feel the power of the under current rocking the pier gently. Occasionally, a fast boat with whiz past in the dark. Sitting in the dark, look up to the skies – you’ll see some amazing views of space.