Sangkhla Buri



Sangkhla Buri

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In the center of Sangkhla Buri is a market where, among other things, you can buy Burmese curries and samosas, as well as books written in the Mon language.

However, the main attraction of this isolated trading town, which is populated by Mon and Karen tribespeople as well as Thais, is its serene lakeside location. The lake, which visitors can explore by rowing boat, is actually a large reservoir, formed by the damming of the Khwae Noi River farther downstream. Sometimes, late in the dry season, drowned remains of old villages and forests can be seen sticking up out of the calm surface of the lake’s waters. The north shore of the lake is overlooked by the unusual chedi of Wat Wangwiwekaram. In the covered gallery beside it a daily market sells goods, including lungis (sarongs) and simple woodcarvings from Myanmar (Burma), Indo nesia, and elsewhere. Visitors can reach the wat on foot by crossing a wooden bridge that spans the wide, shallow inlet of the lake. A large settlement, consisting predominantly of Mon tribespeople, has grown up in close proximity to the wat. An interesting daily market is held here in the early morning.


At the Three Pagodas Pass, 14 miles (23 km) northwest of Sangkhla Buri, right on the Myanmar border, are situated three small, physically unimpressive, whitewashed chedis. For centuries this pass, which is less than 985 ft (300 m) above sea level, was used as an invasion route. During World War II, the BurmaSiam Railroad passed through here, and the route the track took can still be seen beside the Myanmar border. Nowadays, the pass is a quiet trading (and smuggling) route between the Indian Ocean to the west and mainland Southeast Asia. Visitors to this region are usually permitted to cross the border on a one-day visa to the Myanmar town of Pyathonzu. However, the relations between Thailand and Myanmar are often uneasy, at times verging on the hostile, and this situation is prone to change at any time.

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