Sangkhlaburi: Exploring Northern Thailand

Sangkhlaburi is one of the very best travel destinations in Thailand. We’re not over exaggerating when we say that. Sangkhlaburi is a travel spot to add to your list. Add it now. When travellers come to Thailand there’s an element of one-upmanship. Hostels are awash with talk of who has been to the greatest hidden travel destinations of Thailand, and this is one of them. Just under 350 kilometres from the buzz of Bangkok, nestled near the Myanmar border, this small district sites on the edge of the beautiful Khao Laem National Park. Honestly, it’s an incredible place and is worthy of a short stop whilst you’re heading off exploring Northern Thailand.

What does Sangkhlaburi have to offer?

This isn’t a hardcore party destination and that’s fine. What Sangkhlaburi is, is real Thailand. This is a place where you can really experience the local Thai culture and get a taste of the nearby Burmese culture too.

The Mon Bridge – The Star of Sangkhlaburi

This is the jewel in the crown. The classically built wooden bridge, known as Mon Bridge is a marvel to behold. It’s not just impressive but it’s a record holder. It’s the longest wooden bridge across all of Thailand but is also the second longest in the world. At 850m long, it’ll take you some time to get across and back but the views and experience are well worth it. We highly recommend heading down at sunrise or sunset for the best views and plenty of beautiful photo opportunities.

The Sunken Temple (Wat Saam Prasob)

This temple marks the original location of Sangkhlaburi! One day, a while ago, the Thai government chose to damn the nearby river which lead to widespread flooding. Under the now permanent flood waters are the remains of Sangkhlaburi and also Wat Saam Prasob or the Sunken Temple. It is easily visited by longtail boat and usually only costs around 200-300 baht. Wet season visits can leave the temple completely submerged, whereas in the dry season you might be able to get out the boat and explore some of it.

Heading Across the Bridge to Market

Wake up early and take a stroll (or ride) across to the Mon side of the bridge to explore the local market. Here you’ll experience local life at a leisurely pace. The snacks alone are worth the trip with some vendors offering them for as low as 1 baht a piece!

We highly advise taking your time and strolling around the market at a very leisurely speed. Haste is not in the essence of Sangkhlaburi… The food here is excellent and an incredible fusion of traditional Thai and Burmese cuisine with a lot of Northern spice thrown in for good measure.

Visiting Takianthong Waterfalls

If you’ve ever seen pictures of the water falls outside of Luang Prabang in Laos and wished you could go, well here’s your chance. The falls are incredibly similar in style and composition, with the beautiful stepped falls and turquoise waters. The best part is that, unlike those in Laos, these falls are barely visited and you’re likely to be there with only a handful of other people, if anyone at all.

Don’t forget to bring your swimming gear!

Transportation in Sangkhlaburi

Lots of the town can be explored on foot, but if you want to really get around (especially to the nearby waterfalls) we highly recommend hiring a motorbike and going at your own pace. It’s a very relaxed area of the country so don’t expect the same treacherous streets as Bangkok!