Short Trip To Kanchanaburi Area

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Big Boy
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Re: Short Trip To Kanchanaburi Area

Post by Big Boy » Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:37 pm

richard wrote:Sure, they'd seen the movie 'Bridge on the river Kwai' which is an heroic fantasy about the events but since getting them to watch 'The Railwayman' there opinions have changed.
I watched it 2 days after my trip - very appropriate.
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Re: Short Trip To Kanchanaburi Area

Post by oakdale160 » Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:59 pm

All over the world the Commonwealth Grave Commision does a fine job, the one at K is so moving because it is understated and is very peaceful.
The real Senior Officer in captivity was Col Toosey, he embraced the positive qualities of the Col in the book and film, keeping firm discipline and standing up for his men without the insanity that Alec Guinness portrayed. He was from Birkenhead,in Cheshire and worked hard for returned prisoners after the war.

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Re: Short Trip To Kanchanaburi Area

Post by Big Boy » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:06 pm

Very sorry guys, you're probably going to have to wait a few days for the final 2 parts of my trip report. My 3BB Internet connection has now totally given up - currently connected via wi-fi hotspot tethering through my phone. Although I have a high speed connection via my phone, it is limited by data size, and I don't want to waste my valuable high speed connection on uploading photos.

3BB have decreed that despite their promises to have an engineer with me by 9am this morning, their current volume of work means they can't say when they will be here. As far as I'm concerned, 3BB and I are finished. The True engineer will be here tomorrow.

The next part will be published when I have a decent connection again.
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Re: Short Trip To Kanchanaburi Area

Post by Frank La Rue » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:41 pm

richard wrote:
Big Boy wrote:If you go to the end of the trail, there is road access and very easy walking access through Hintock Cutting to 3 Tier Bridge, which would give a real feel of what went on. The footpath is a bit stoney, but I'm sure you could manage it. Entering the Death Railway from this end would be absolutely free as well :D.

You could then return to your car and drive to the museum.

With Thais having a walking affliction, I'm surprised they don't use this entrance - they could even do it on their motorcycles :twisted:
I think most of the Thais who visit Kancha are more interested in the floating discos than treking round the jungle
These floating discos have kept me awake more than once whilst staying in the Felix Resort!
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Re: Short Trip To Kanchanaburi Area

Post by Frank La Rue » Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:19 pm

As stated elsewhere (I think, but can't remember where on this board, but certainly elsewhere, as in "elsewhere on other boards") my wife is from Kanchanaburi province, the village is Tha Maka. Kan grew on me from the start and it is absolutely my favourite Amphur in Thailand. There is a lake large enough to give you a feel of being by the coast, there are mountains - Thongpaphum is worth an experience, Kan town itself has a lot to offer, there are waterfalls and plains. Even without the memories from the burma railway there is a lot to do. I have seriously considered retiring in Kan, my wife has been the one against on the grounds of schooling for our son.
For the same reason her sister and famliy relocated from Tha Maka to Bangkok in order to give the children chance to attend the best schools. One decisive factor against retiring in Kan is the heat. In favour would be the family, they are all nice people.
However, Hua Hin has a repute in Thailand and I have no doubt we will have frequent visitors when retiring in HH.
One Day I'm gona die. I can live with that.

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Re: Short Trip To Kanchanaburi Area

Post by Big Boy » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:45 pm

Apologies again for the unexpected delay, but I experienced significant Internet problems. I've now dumped 3BB who were too busy to fix my service until I told them that I was moving to True. Even today, when their router is switched off and closed in a cupboard they've tried to come to the house 3 times :? .

True didn't get off to a good start either. Installed yesterday, and couldn't get it to work. It turned out that their new routers are not backwards compatible to Windows 7, and needed a patch to kick start it. I'm now a happy bunny. My el cheapo 10 Mb service is giving me speeds of about 23 MB - long may it last.

OK :offtopic: back to the plot.

Part 5

JEATH Museum 2

Not a lot of photos this time - not permitted inside the museum.

This museum is a much smaller affair, but admission was 50 Baht each (I was parking the car, next to the most fantastic Buddha statue in the temple, so again the ticket seller didn’t realise there was a Farang in the party). If you’re feeling really tight you could enter this museum through the temple grounds without paying (we did pay :D ).
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the most fantastic Buddha statue in the temple
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Museum Entrance
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Museum Entrance
My main reason for coming here was that I had read that this was the site of the original bridge.
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site of the original bridge
The museum is divided into 3 sections. Section 1 is the largest, and contains little more than photos of the conditions the POWs lived, worked and died in. Photographs were not permitted here.

Section 2 contained guns, bombs and mortar shells from the war.
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Section 2 contained guns, bombs and mortar shells from the war
Section 3 looked more like a coffee shop, but contained a few letters and diaries.

The river front here was excellent, with many floating buildings. Although the bridge has long gone, it was possible to see where it once was.
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river front here was excellent, with many floating buildings
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river front here was excellent, with many floating buildings
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river front here was excellent, with many floating buildings
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river front here was excellent, with many floating buildings
We finished up here, and next stop would be the Prommitr Film Studio – Thailand’s equivalent of Universal Studios.

Final Installment Friday: Prommitr Film Studio & Ratchaburi Bats
Season 2017/18 Plymouth Argyle

Points 68; Position 7

I BELIEVED It's still coming home. Just not quite sure when.

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Re: Short Trip To Kanchanaburi Area

Post by Big Boy » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:37 am

Part 6 & Final

Prommitr Film Studio & The Bats at Ratchaburi

Prommitr Film Studio

The others in my party wanted to go what they described as Thailand’s equivalent of Universal Studios. This was where the movie King Narusan 5 was made. My trusty SatNav took us across an army camp to a site with 2 huge statues at the entrance.
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2 huge statues at the entrance.
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We went past the statues, and with the massive film set before us, we stopped at the entrance/ticket office manned by 4 people. My wife went to buy tickets, but was told the site had been closed, and was in the process of being demolished. I had 3 very disappointed passengers.

My only disappointment was that our final attraction didn’t kick off until 18:30, and it was only 12:30 – I had nothing else planned. The final attraction was the bats at Ratchaburi, for which we didn’t know the location.

The Bats at Ratchaburi

I had searched the Internet for a few hours trying to identify where this actually was. I couldn’t find anything apart from many articles saying what a fantastic attraction it was, and I could get a tour bus from Bangkok. It was probably just as well the film studio was closed.

I set the SatNav for home, and assumed there would be a signpost for such an attraction. Of course, this is Thailand, and logic goes out of window. We were in the Ratchaburi area when I’m instructed that a sign (in Thai) said Bat Cave. The best I knew was that the caves were in the grounds of a temple. I turned right into a temple, and my wife asked one of the monks if we were in the right place. No, we were about 30 Km from the cave. We needed to go back to the main road, turn left, and left again at the next traffic lights. We then stay on that road until we get to the next traffic lights and turn right.

Well we drove for miles – the second set of lights didn’t come. We eventually got to a town called Suan Phueng and we stopped at a small market. My son purchased an authentic Thai football strip here (shirt & shorts) for just 200 Baht (£4). My wife asked a local chicken vendor where the bat cave was, and he gave really good directions, even though we were about 50 miles away. Snacks and shirts purchased, we were on our way again.

We were in the middle of nowhere and the straight roads were virtually deserted, so it was quite a quick journey. We stopped several times to ask if were going the right way, but chicken man’s directions were spot on.

When we eventually got to Wat Khao Shong Parn, there were bat images everywhere. It was like being at a Halloween party. We stopped in a really huge car park, and were greeted by about a hundred friendly temple dogs – no sign of aggression whatsoever.
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Wat Khao Shong Parn
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bat images everywhere
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bat images everywhere
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bat images everywhere
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bat images everywhere
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bat images everywhere
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bat images everywhere
We started taking photographs of the bat images, when my son’s girlfriend spotted a visitor centre in the corner of the car park. She walked to ask where to go, and she came back with a young lad (about), who would show us where to go.

The young lad took us to a monk, who turned out to be a guide. My son’s girlfriend gave the young lad a few (Baht), and we were in the hands of the monk, who only spoke Thai. We (my son, me and 3 interlopers) followed the monk up some steps to a cave entrance. From about half way up the steps I thought somebody had BO as we did the day before – it turned out to be the smell of bat droppings.
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We followed the monk up some steps to a cave entrance.
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cave entrance.
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Cave entrances from the temple below.
The cave entrance was ornately decorated Buddha style, and had huge gates which were locked. There was absolutely no indication of what lay beyond. The monk opened the gates, and we all stepped inside. Initially there were some old Buddha images, but beyond that there was a cave. As we walked into the cave, the monk shone his torch upwards, and a couple bats stirred and flew a little – I was delighted with this, but we hadn’t seen anything yet. The further we got into the cave, the more bats there were. I was pointing my camera in the general direction and clicking, no idea what, if anything I was capturing.
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I was pointing my camera in the general direction and clicking, no idea what, if anything I was capturing.
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I was pointing my camera in the general direction and clicking, no idea what, if anything I was capturing.
We got to the heart of this particular cave module, and there were a lot of dimly lit Buddha images. There was just enough light to see silhouettes flying. These bats were of the medium sized variety we had seen at Cha-Am a few weeks earlier.
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dimly lit Buddha images
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dimly lit Buddha images
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just enough light to see silhouettes flying (see top of photo)
I noticed a dim light, and a lot of silhouettes flying from it. I moved a little closer, and realized it was the next module. I stood there and faced the light. Bat after bat flew straight at me, veering away from me when they were only inches away. What a fantastic experience. The others were missing this because they were bust listening to the monk rabbiting on about something in Thai. This was the most wonderful experience, and rate amongst one of the best.
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I stood there and faced the light. Bat after bat flew straight at me, veering away from me when they were only inches away.
The monk then led us down into another module. You can imagine the mess a few million bats makes – well, we were walking on this, and it was very slippery. There were also thousands of cockroaches wallowing in the dung. There was one part where I had to duck down. As I did, my shoes took over, and decided they weren’t going the same way as me. I’d already mentally anticipated this, and put my rescue plan into operation, which involved me grabbing the nearest rock with my left hand. Well, I reckon those 5 million bats had been on the lager and curry the night before judging by what the nearest, and every other rock was covered in. Of course in the dark of the cave, it just felt like a damp slime. However, my imagination was correct, and my nose backed this up.

In this cave the bats were even more plentiful, and Dr Doolittle style the monk called out to them, and they all responded by taking flight. So many bats flying around us created a cool breeze. This was really making our extended journey finding the cave worthwhile. A few more calls to the bats, and the monk decided it was time to leave the cave, and we followed him out. It is unfortunate, but because I didn’t know what the slime on my hand was, I’d single handedly put my camera away, and didn’t get to capture the mayhem each time he called out.
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So many bats flying around us
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So many bats flying around us
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So many bats flying around us
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So many bats flying around us
We got outside, and my worst fears were realised – my left hand was coated in bat droppings, as was part of my shirt. I was also walking about an inch taller than when I went in. The soles of my shoes were caked. I waved my left hand at the monk, and he pointed me towards a tap with a hosepipe attached.
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my left hand was still coated in bat droppings
It was then the long wait for sunset, when the bats would come out to play. This was very similar to the Cha-Am bats, but these babies were flying out at a rate probably 6 times faster than their Cha-Am counterparts.
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This was very similar to the Cha-Am bats, but these babies were flying out at a rate probably 6 times faster than their Cha-Am counterparts.
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This was very similar to the Cha-Am bats, but these babies were flying out at a rate probably 6 times faster than their Cha-Am counterparts.
DSC06202.jpg
This was very similar to the Cha-Am bats, but these babies were flying out at a rate probably 6 times faster than their Cha-Am counterparts.
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This was very similar to the Cha-Am bats, but these babies were flying out at a rate probably 6 times faster than their Cha-Am counterparts.
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This was very similar to the Cha-Am bats, but these babies were flying out at a rate probably 6 times faster than their Cha-Am counterparts.
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This was very similar to the Cha-Am bats, but these babies were flying out at a rate probably 6 times faster than their Cha-Am counterparts.
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This was very similar to the Cha-Am bats, but these babies were flying out at a rate probably 6 times faster than their Cha-Am counterparts.
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This was very similar to the Cha-Am bats, but these babies were flying out at a rate probably 6 times faster than their Cha-Am counterparts.


This ended a perfect couple of days very well.
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This ended a perfect couple of days very well.
Season 2017/18 Plymouth Argyle

Points 68; Position 7

I BELIEVED It's still coming home. Just not quite sure when.

Frank La Rue
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Re: Short Trip To Kanchanaburi Area

Post by Frank La Rue » Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:33 am

I'd rather read about this bat cave BB then go thr myself, thotting around in bat dung is not my idea of a fun night out. Or "in", as in a cave.
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Re: Short Trip To Kanchanaburi Area

Post by gerpies » Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:06 pm

Once again thanks for the great and detailed report/review. Very useful and informative. I gather you have responsibilities and connections to HHAD but if you didn't you could do quite well with your own blog site.

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Re: Short Trip To Kanchanaburi Area

Post by Big Boy » Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:24 pm

I've thoroughly enjoyed enjoyed my trips around the area. Unfortunately, I think I've covered most things within a 60 mile radius.

If anybody has any suggestions, I'm always ready to give it a go.
Season 2017/18 Plymouth Argyle

Points 68; Position 7

I BELIEVED It's still coming home. Just not quite sure when.

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Re: Short Trip To Kanchanaburi Area

Post by Big Boy » Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:31 pm

Frank La Rue wrote:I'd rather read about this bat cave BB then go thr myself, thotting around in bat dung is not my idea of a fun night out. Or "in", as in a cave.
Me neither :laugh: . However, it wasn't immediately apparent what we were walking in, and it was too dark to see what was running down the walls :cuss: .

Inside the cave aside, the bats coming out of the cave, either here or in Cha-Am is a fantastic sight. Ratchaburi probably takes the prize because of the sheer numbers. However, driving the dirt tracks in Cha-Am after dark, with the bats chasing the bugs attracted by your headlights is quite unique as well. Both places are well worth a visit, even if you don't go into the cave.
Season 2017/18 Plymouth Argyle

Points 68; Position 7

I BELIEVED It's still coming home. Just not quite sure when.

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