Visiting Bangkok, Hua Hin and The River Quay
I have just returned from a fantastic trip to Thailand
The group arrived in Bangkok after the twelve hour overnight flight from Heathrow and we were immediately hit by the heat and humidity before being picked up by our mini bus and braving the notorious Bangkok traffic it took an hour and a half to our hotel (we found out later that the sky train link would take half an hour).
Bangkok is ideal to visit for three or four nights with its chaotic street markets, there are day and night and markets and floating one's on the canals. We visited all of these and walked through China town to the vast flower market with it's sweet smells and heady aromas, we saw garlands being made. We travelled along the Chao Praya River by motorboat seeing people who live along the river and visited the Royal Barge museum and Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun). Bangkok was known as Venice of the east. We rode on a Tuk Tuk around Bangkok this is a must and saw the famous Hua Lampong railway station. There are modern shopping centres and we felt safe walking around on our own in small groups in the hustle and bustle but you still must be careful and sensible as you would be in a capital city. The lack of poverty was noticeable and remarked upon. The only sight we missed was going inside the Grand Palace we drove passed it on the Tuc Tuc. I'll have to go back later.
After our hectic time in Bangkok it was off to Hua Hin and the Beach and a little relaxation a couple of hours on two afternoons. The transfer takes anything from three and half hours because of the traffic as it is the nearest resort from Bangkok, we must have been lucky because it did take three and a half hours with a stop at one of the many service stations along the way which were very modern and well kept. Hua Hin has a fantastic beach with hotels along it they all offer bed and breakfast basis as it so good to eat out. They all have many restaurants, spas, swimming pools and shuttle buses to town. I did feel you could be at any beach resort in the world until you walked five minutes out of the hotel and found the local restaurants, bars and shops and markets were you got the local atmosphere everyone was so very friendly and helpful. You can do a excursions along river and enjoy the scenery and bird life and see the many fishing boats which have returned from a nights work. Visit a fruit plantation and the mangrove swamp,
and of course Hua Hin's night market.
The next part of the trip was a real highlight as we were off to the River Quay to stay overnight in a float house on the river. On the way we visited the War Cemetery at Kanchanburi for commonwealth victims of the Japanese while building the Burma Railway this was very emotional and humbling. Across the road is the museum telling the story of how the railway was made. This is done extremely well. Twenty minutes away is the
Famous Bridge over the River Quay this was very impressive and you could still see some off the original pillars with bomb markings in them, the bridge has been very well restored and you can walk all the way across.
We drove on up river for twenty minutes then boarded a long- tailed boat on the River Kwai to the Float house these are a group of wooden lodges floating on the river, staying one night was a experience as the lodges swayed on the current and once you got on dry land you still moved very much like a cruise ship. In the afternoon and evening we visited the nearby Mon tribal village they are from Burma and live in Thailand awaiting citizenship and saw them dance in the evening.
The following morning after our long –tailed boat ride we continued on to the Hellfire Pass and museum were many
Prisoners of war mainly Australians lost their lives building this part of the Burma railway in horrific conditions. We walked through the forest for about an hour following the route of the railway in the heat and extreme humidity and you can't imagine
Prisoners surviving. Visiting the museum was emotional but very well done. In the afternoon we took a train ride on Death Railway passing over a wooden viaduct constructed by the Allied POWs, this was a memorable experience.
If you have never visited Thailand, I would definitely recommend going. Visit Bangkok for three or four nights and then go off to another resort or two or three. Chaing Mai for the elephants, Krabi Island and Khao Lak are just three there are many more. I really enjoyed my trip....Back To Blog