laa kawn Kanchanaburi, sawatdii kha Ayuthaya!

Kanchanaburi recommendations

Guesthouse : Sugar Cane 2, River Kwai bridge end of Mae Tham Kwae road.
I realise i have no experience of any other guesthouses by means of comparison but i couldn’t fault Sugar Cane 2 : Idyllic surroundings, spotless, large and airy rooms, and friendly service.
Eateries : Sri Rung Reung, Mae Tham Kwae road.
Pleasant surroundings, efficient and friendly service and the Thai green curry was very tasty.
Internet : Jo Jo internet (opposite Sri Rung Reung)
30THB per hour and they’ll also serve you drinks while you’re surfing. All computers have USB ports so if you’ve got a memory card reader or pendrive, you can transfer photos directly fromyour memory card without the need to burn them to C.D
I don’t feel like i’ve really accomplished a great deal today, apart from a lot of travelling and my third port of call in Thailand reached, however i did meet a couple of really nice people in the process. I bumped into Tony (Belgium guy who lives in America) briefly yesterday when he recognised me from Sugar Cane. This morning i recognised him in the guest house cafe so i said “hi” and he invited me to sit at his table. Subsequently we had breakfast together and ended up chatting until our respective mini buses arrived at 1:30pm. On the bus i sat next to Katherine. She’s from Edinburgh and has been travelling (mainly around Australia and New Zealand) for a year. We got on really well and exchanged email addresses before going our separate ways (she was heading back into Bangkok).
I arrived in Ayuthaya around 5pm. Aside from a few of the ruins i caught glimpses of on the journey in, the town doesn’t seem to have a lot of character. However, i think it will take a great deal for a town to match up to the beauty of Kanchanaburi. As i was walking down Soi 1, just off Naresuan road (the main traveller’s centre), i was really starting to think it had beeen a bad idea not booking some accommodation beforehand : Tony’s Place, Baan Lotus and Chantana guesthouse were all full and the room i was shown at P.U guesthouse was a complete dump (in fact the whole guesthouse looked like a building site!). Then i stumbled across Ayuthaya guesthouse. It wasn’t in the accommodation recommendations in the Lonely Planet guide or on Travelfish (which have been my bibles for this trip!) but as i was rapidly running out of available options, i decided to take a look. 160THB was the cost of a room; at 140THB less than i’d been quoted everywhere else, i had my reservations. However i was pleasantly surprised. Ok, so it was nothing to write home about but there was a double bed, a window, a fan, a lock on the door and it appeared to be sufficiently clean. So that’s where i decided to lay my hat for the next couple of nights.
Later on this evening i was sipping a refreshingly cold Chang beer and enjoying a delicious Thai green curry at Tony’s Place (which incidently is a fantastic place to spend the evening : lively atmosphere, the friendliest staff i’ve experienced so far, and first class service) when i spotted a comment in my Lonely Planet guide. It read, “several serious complaints have been made about service and tours at Ayuthaya Guesthouse.” Oh dear . . . so it appears that, although the rooms are perfectly adequate (and cheap!), it’s not advisable to do anything other than sleep at the Ayuthaya Guesthouse!
It’s also very noisy along this soi due to passing traffic and music from the neighbouring bars, so pack your ear plugs if you want a good night’s sleep (as i have!)
Photo is off me at the top pool at Erawan Falls, near Kanchanaburi

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