Jungle hotel in Thailand: absolute silence and adventure
Jungle hotels are a separate phenomenon in Thailand. Jungle hotels float on the water and are devoid of luxury. Still, the night in a jungle hotel in Thailand gives a real Thai feeling. The tranquility and simplicity make it a special experience. The tourist should not count on much luxury. It is walking with an oil lamp and flushing the toilet with a bucket of water.
Jungle hotel is adventurous
Visiting a jungle hotel is a must if you visit Thailand, is the general opinion. Although I thought it would be a good idea to book something like this in the Netherlands, I suddenly felt sad when I actually had to climb into the boat that had to take me there. This is not about the journey itself, but I am concerned about staying in a non-luxurious environment. No hot water, a toilet that you have to flush with a bucket, large spiders and even rats. Brrr. I should not think about it. Yet there is no way back when I stand in front of the "harbor" where the boats are to be transported. The suitcases are loaded into the small vessels after they have been brought down a long sloping gangway. The little Thai men have it is visibly heavy with the dragging of all that luggage and it suddenly seems like the fool that we have suitcases with luxury such as electrical appliances to an area where there is no power at all.
After the luggage it is our turn and in turn a whole group gets on board. With fast motor boats, the foam along the side and the head of the vessels, we are brought to a desolate area. I suddenly hear nothing. There is silence, only broken by the sound of birds and other animals. After a fairly cold and slightly wet ride we arrive at our destination. Picturesque small huts with flowers, oil lamps and floating balconies are our part. It is indeed not luxury, the water is cold, you have to flush the toilet with a bucket of water, but what a feeling! Even in the evening it becomes clear what this does for people. Everyone gathers at the special bar and we sit and talk to each other well into the night. The light from the oil lamps softens the traits of everyone's face and those who want to go to their room are also accompanied on that route by that special light. It looks and feels that way. In the evening before going to sleep, I lay down in the hammock and let the surroundings soak in on me. It's so pure here, so honest. Only nature is present here (with the exception of the people then) ... The river splashes its waves against the hotel that floats on the water and on the other side a bird makes special cries. All alone, hanging in my mat everything falls into place.
Elephants having breakfast
To enter the room is still a hassle. The oil lamp has to come to see where you are walking, but I'm not used to that much fire. I also don't want to set the hotel on fire, so I'm careful. When I have to go to the toilet at night I grab in vain for a piece of string for the lamp. The oil lamp has since been extinguished due to a lack of fuel. Further on I hear a fierce cry. A spider in size has apparently entered someone's room and a strong man is asked to remove him or to kill him. If I hear the commotion like that, nobody really wants to. Yet it does become quiet at some point. Until I hear furious snoring in the room next to me. The walls of this jungle hotel are naturally so thin that every sound can be heard. However, the silence is most audible. The next morning I wake up early in the morning from the birds that indicate that the day has started. It is followed by a lot of splashing and splashing. For a moment I think that one of the other guests is taking a shower in the river, but on closer inspection it appears that our hotel is suddenly surrounded by elephants with their mahouds. The animals come to wash while we can enjoy our breakfast. The village that apparently lies behind our hotel is still run in the old way and that also means that there is little entertainment to be found. The silence and tranquility is the greatest gift of this jungle hotel.
The destroyed city of Ayutthaya
After a stone-cold early shower the following dark morning (hot water is simply not here), we have breakfast and the suitcases are loaded again. With an extra sweater on we sail the same route as the way there and get on the bus again. We are not used to that much luxury anymore and most people still think about those special days with a little humility. We are on our way to the ancient capital of Siam, Ayutthaya, the city that lies on three rivers and has many impressive relics from a rich past. The city that for a long time was one of the richest in Asia and had a million inhabitants, was so thoroughly destroyed at one point that it could never be rebuilt. In 1767, the Burmese seized Ayutthaya, plundered the city, set it on fire, and most of the monuments were destroyed. That also appears. In the many reunions we really see the remains of all that cultural heritage. The most impression on me is a temple with only broken Buddha statues. Wat Phra Ram, one of the oldest temples in Ayutthaya shows a crumbling leopard above the central terrace and is surrounded by a gallery with stucco serpents, eagles and Buddha statues.
Fishing for good luck
After this impressive visit to a destroyed city, we climb by bike and make a tour through the park. My eye falls on a saleswoman who offers fish in a bag and I ask what that is for. It appears that this is for good luck, especially for others. You make a wish for someone else while you release the fish you just bought into the pond. We do not get lost and then buy the fish en masse and let them go. After all, a little goodluck for someone else is never wrong and always good for your karma.
Insects as a snack
In the evening we spend the night in Phitsanulok, but not before we are brought to our dinner address by bicycle taxi. A group of seniors cycles us to the restaurant in traditional taxis. The men who are quite old, are doing well and are doing very well for their age. It does yield some substitute shame, but the gentlemen seem to have no problem with it themselves. After our dinner, they take us further, but not before we have been to the restaurant of the flying vegetables. The chefs there shoot the vegetables up and whoever wants to can try to catch it on a plateau. We also indulge in fried insects, apparently a local snack. Everything that has wings or legs can be eaten here in a fried state. With a good glass of Thai whiskey next to it, naturally, to enhance the atmosphere. I'll stick to the whiskey alone.
Karaoke in Thailand
Before we lay to rest, we will explore the neighborhood. Across the street, karaoke is done and we sit down on the terrace where almost only Thai people are. An hour later it turns out that the national singing sport is also being carried out in the hotel. A drunken Thai man brings his new love (or which we think is his new love) a aubade that sounds terribly false. He does not have much audience, we are the only ones who can still enjoy his qualities, or in fact the lack thereof.
Video: Thailands Top 5 Riverside Resorts and Hotels in Kanchanaburi Nature, Luxury, Adventure, Culture (February 2020).
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