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Things to Do in Sangkhlaburi—Walk the Longest Wooden Bridge in Thailand

31 July 2011 11,270 views 17 Comments

Sangkhlaburi in the northwest of the province of Kanchanaburi, Thailand, lies next to the border of Myanmar. It’s a pretty small town with a population comprising a mixture of Thai, Karen, and Mon people. Given its relative distance from Bangkok, I was pretty surprised by the number of foreigners I’ve seen in the area, either working as NGO staff or volunteers, or travelers looking to escape the tourist traps of the big cities.

Sangkhlaburi, Thailand

Floating restaurants as seen from the longest wooden bridge.

I did learn though that there are some interesting things to see and do in Sangkhlaburi. When I arrived, it had been raining hard, so I contented myself with walking around town with a colleague. First on our itinerary was Saphan Mon, the town’s wooden bridge connecting the Thai and Mon states. At 400 meters, it is said to be the longest wooden bridge in Thailand.

Wooden Bridge sangkhlaburi

This is the longest wooden bridge in Thailand.

Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the bridge, although we’ve seen bicycles. There are gaps between the slats, so if you’re afraid of heights, don’t look down; you’ll see the brown Tsonga river down below. At both ends of the bridge are donation boxes; if you’re crossing over, do drop some bills as it’s meant to help in the maintenance of the bridge.


At the Thai end of the wooden bridge.

At the other end is a Mon village, and tourists are greeted by stalls and shops selling handwoven cloth that Mon women wear as a skirt. I bought a green one for 160 Baht, and being small, it can easily be made into a dress for me. The shopkeepers were nice and friendly and allowed haggling, though communication had been a bit of a problem. We resorted to hand signals and much laughter on both sides.


Lots of handwoven stuff from Mon weavers.

To go to Saphan Mon from the town center, either hire a motorbike, or (as we did), walk. There are not too many people but you do have to be careful with the stray dogs that are all over town.

How to go to Sangkhlaburi, Thailand: There are daily trips to Sangkhlaburi from the Mon Chit station in Bangkok (ask at the Information Booth for the ticket counter number as there are a lot of them). Schedules vary every day, but the bus usually leaves anytime from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The trip takes around 6-7 hours depending on the number of stops the bus makes.

 Aleah Taboclaon is a freelance writer and editor. She likes running (completed one marathon, training for the next!), diving (PADI open water diver), and traveling with her Kindle. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. You can also email her; she would love to hear from you!

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  • Bob Crunch said:

    Those are some great pictures! The bridge looks very inviting.

  • adventurousfeet said:

    wow parang ang sarap naman magshopping. i envy you, thailand is one of my dream place to visit. :)
    adventurousfeet recently posted..Cebu: Old School Meets New School Photowalk by 1up2down Photography

  • Red Nomad OZ said:

    Haha! What a great incentive for donating money into the boxes – I bet no one wants the bridge maintenance to stop!!! But being afraid of heights, I’m MUCH more interested in the floating restaurants!!
    Red Nomad OZ recently posted..A Few of my FavouRED OZ Things!*

  • Aleah said:

    @ Bob Crunch: Thanks. It’s nice to be here; if only it weren’t raining everyday!
    @ CA: I’m looking forward to buying stuff in Bangkok hehe
    @ Red: Haven’t eaten yet at the floating restaurants! Wish I could though but it’s always raining :(
    Aleah recently posted..Things to Do in Sangkhlaburi—Walk the Longest Wooden Bridge in Thailand

  • June Osida Benitez said:

    the place really looks like Philippines..but i really like that long wooden bridge..
    June Osida Benitez recently posted..Where I Want to Go?

  • Koen Ooms said:

    Someday would like to experience this by myself, walking this bridge from one side to another…seems quite appealing…certainly when you know it’s the longest wooden one in Thailand…

  • Aleah said:

    @ Koen: Sangkhla is a very nice town. Did you know it’s only 27 years old? The towns before had been flooded so badly they had to make a new one to accommodate the displaced people. Want to go back there to go (1) boating along the river, (2) biking in the mountains, and (3) running along the trails.
    Aleah recently posted..Things to Do in Sangkhlaburi—Walk the Longest Wooden Bridge in Thailand

  • yodz said:

    It’s a good thing shopkeepers are nice and friendly, unlike in HK. Though I’m really interested to see Thailand’s old temples, a quick peek at Sangkhlaburi could spice up the trip.
    Thanks for sharing!
    yodz recently posted..Hong Kong Hustle » Three Days In The Shadow of the World’s Most Vertical City

  • Nighttime in Pattaya, Thailand | Solitary Wanderer said:

    [...] to coming to Pattaya, I had spent some time in the border town of Sangkhlaburi, a quintessential small town full of friendly people, empty streets, and great views of nature. [...]

  • Aleah said:

    @ June: Yes, rural Thailand really looks similar to the Philippines :)
    @ Yodz: I want to visit the temples here in BKK too. Don’t know if I’ll have the time though!
    Aleah recently posted..Nighttime in Pattaya, Thailand

  • Happy Sole said:

    The towns before had been flooded so badly they had to make a new one to accommodate the displaced people. — interesting!

    it’s nice that even if they’re new, they still looked traditional and did not go all modern.
    Happy Sole recently posted..Stairways to Heaven: Hungduan Rice Terraces

  • Jessi said:

    I live in Sangklaburi scince 3 months and today we jumped of the bridge into the lake…AWESOME*** ILOVE this little town…

  • Aleah said:

    @ Jessi: Good for you! I never had that chance since it had been raining everyday when we were there :(
    Aleah recently posted..What to Do in Manila in One Day

  • Snapshot Sunday—Visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand | Solitary Wanderer said:

    [...] Things to Do in Sangkhlaburi—Walk the Longest Wooden Bridge in Thailand [...]

  • Chronicling the Learnings from the Year that Was and Planning for the Future that Will Be | Solitary Wanderer said:

    [...] my certification as an open water diver. I had also gone to Beijing, China; Bangkok, Pattaya and Sangkhlaburi in Thailand; Singapore; and Kuala Lumpur. Learn to notice and enjoy the small [...]

  • Date A Girl Who Travels | Solitary Wanderer said:

    [...] cheap tickets to Thailand for the weekend, and she’ll be more than happy to take you to the longest wooden bridge in the country. You don’t even have to go overseas; you can take her out on day trips, caving or hiking, or [...]

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    [...] the ones I had in Sangkhlaburi and Pattaya were way inferior to the massages I have had in Nuat Thai. The massage parlors in [...]

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