River Kwai Jungle Rafts
River Kwai is one of the bigger rivers in Thailand - 279 kilometres long and running through the western part of Thailand. We spent 3 days in Kanchanaburi - the more popular place to stay at, near the river. It is a place that is filled with history and unfortunate events. We’ll explore some of these in my next posts where we visit some of the historic places.
A few resorts have been built around or in the river itself. The one we stayed at - Jungle Rafts is one of the oldest - been there over 30 years. The resort is in the river itself and rooms and restaurant are all put on.. well floating rafts. The whole construct is wooden and as a surprise to most that book without reading through all details, following an ecology conservation conduct, the place has no electricity.
They do send an email to notify you specifically about the fact there is no electricity, but it still came as a big surprise. Knowing we would have a drone with us for the first time and 2 other cameras.. well we wanted to have ways to charge some batteries. We had a few days to prepare and bought some power banks to at least charge our phones, but we didn’t have adapters to charge our cameras, so we were very conservative with photos. Still ended up with loads anyways.
Friday was a bank holiday in Thailand so naturally most people took advantage of that and had Friday and Saturday to be out of Bangkok. We decided to spend the actual Valentine's day at Kanchanaburi though, so we left 1 day later and stayed 1 day more naturally.
The rooms were pretty small and with no electricity to light it up, it was making it hard to move through stuff. We didn’t spend much time in the room though anyways. Also made taking photos with the camera very hard because the lens isn't that wide. Nat's phone had a lot wider camera so we used that here.
We had a small balcony at the back with a hammock . There were hammock beds in front of the rooms as well.
There were 3-4 rooms on each raft with a shared area in front - 2 tables, hammocks and a floating space for sunbathing or jumping in the river. Our raft was the last one though so it was where everyone was climbing back up once they'd jumped.
At night we were using oil lamps to have some light. It was different but really nice. Even phone reception was pretty low making you completely disconnect and enjoy nature.
Even dinner was served next to a lamp. We had a candle on battery in our room to give us some tiny extra light as well. Was quite romantic won't argue, just a bit dark. :D
There were many things you could do at and around the resort. There was a local village that you could walk to and around. Viewpoints to get to through a little treck. One fun activity everyone was enjoying was jumping in the river. The stream was very strong but the rafts were very long. You could jump from one end and float all the way to the other.. or in our case - to our room. There was also a dancing show the locals were presenting at night and a small elephant coming down in the morning to get fed. (I’ll expand on that bellow)
On the day of our arrival we did so much even though we came here mid afternoon. We threw our bags in the room and took some photos of it before it got too messy. I really wanted to have a bit of time to take a few photos of the area in front of the room and take the drone for a quick scout and take some videos and photos.
These are pretty much my first photos I’ve taken with a drone. I had some ideas about videos that I wanted to take but didn’t plan for photos much.
So the resort was split into two, there were rafts on both sides of this river curve. Overall there are about 100ish rooms which is pretty huge.
We took advantage of everything the place had to offer and I'd say floating in the river is the most fun I've had in a long while.
I had to make Nat take some photos of me being an idiot.
It was pretty convenient that our room was on the very last raft. Could float all the way there and come back for another one. Everyone was going up and down the rafts like kids. Real fun thing I never thought of doing before coming here.
Another thing we did while here was to see the locals dancing and playing their instruments. It was an interesting experience although as someone with a music degree.. 'chaotic' is a very soft word to use about the music. The dances and costumes were interesting though.
The photos were all taken with a phone soo.. sorry for the poor quality but had no camera on us. The place was full of people as well. There were people coming with boats from other resorts specifically to see the show. There were 2 boys and 6 girls in total. They preformed 4 dances and 1 as they called it 'show off' at the end, where everyone came out with a solo of a sort.
We spent the rest of the night drinking wine on the deck infront of our room, looking at the stars. The sky was so clear there. We could never see any stars in Bangkok because of the air and light polution and it was nice to just lay down and look at the sky.
We also tried to take some photos to post for Valentine's on our travel page and that was a fun experience. The lighting was amazing because it was sunset and the sun was just getting behind the hills but there was an interesting turn of events at some point.
So remember how our room was on the last raft? Well everyone jumping and floating downstream in the river and wanting the full trip towards the end has to come up from our raft. It's the very last stop and then you just float away.. somewhere. So this guy saw us taking photos and very awkwardly went right infront of our camera and then did a little dance going forward and backwards a few times not understanding where exactly is the phone we are taking photos with. It resulted in about 6-7 photos of him photobombing us.:D
This little friend came for a visit in the morning. I believe he's part of the Mon Village I'll show you around next time and he comes down every morning with his handler to be fed with fruits. Seemed like a fairly young elephant and was acting quite comfortable around humans on his own.
From here on we spent the whole day around the jungle and local village behind our resort. I will be showing these in my upcomming post though since I already went above my upload limit for photos yesterday and had to delay this one. Enjoy the rest of the week and I'll see you next time!