Past the Three Pagodas Pass
The Three Pagodas Pass has been the main land route into western Thailand since ancient times. During the Ayutthaya period in Thai history (14th-18th centuries), the pass was the main invasion route for the Burmese.
During World War II, Japan built the infamous Death Railway (all the way from Kanchanaburi) through the pass. As a monument, a (very) small part of the railway has been reconstructed.
The pass is named after three small stupas or chedis, which have been renovated and repainted over the years, due to which the overall result is rather underwhelming. The lively market around the pagodas offers some really unusual objects such as ‘goat head oil’, which is apparently used for massage.
Located about 250 km North of Kanchanaburi it is quite a trip to get here and we recommend combining a visit with an overnight stay at Sangkhlaburi.
Sangkhlaburi is, a little off the tourist trail mountain town located amongst magnificent peaks, scenic countryside and on the edge of a huge lake. The town has a diverse community of Thai, Mon, Burmese, Karen and Lao people. The huge, man-made Khao Laem Reservoir splits Sangkhlaburi into two parts, known as Thai side and Mon side. They are connected by the longest wooden bridge in Thailand.
There are lots of attractions within walking distance such as Wat Saam Prasob (The Submerged Temple), the Burmese-style Wat Wang Wiwekaram, and Saphan Mon, and of course the 400m wooden bridge.
Accommodation is plentiful. There are various decent guesthouses around the lake and the sleepy town has rooms available.
From time to time it is possible for foreign tourists to visit the Myanmar side of the Three Pagodas Pass on a day pass.
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