Stay in comfort in the middle of remoteness. Our houseboat is located in Khao Laem Lake close to the Burmese border. It's a less known and peaceful area with stunning cliffs, submerged temples, local fishermen and flushing waterfalls. Every day we anchor a new place and during your trip our guide takes you on small adventures like bamboo rafting, a trekking in the tropical forest and explorations of local villages. A Lake House adventure is a balanced mix of activities and free time to relax or explore. Have a gin tonic by sunset, kayak to a small island nearby or go for a swim in the moonlight. A perfect trip for both families and young travellers who are looking for a unique Thailand experience.
Included: Meals: 6 x Breakfast, 7 x lunch, 6 x dinner
Accommodation: 4 nights at a house boat in dorm room & 2 nights at a local resort in Kanchanaburi
Entrance fees: All entrance fees to national parks etc.
Transport: Minivan, soengtaew, long tail boat, and bamboo rafting
English Speaking Guide: Go Beyond’s English speaking tour leader/guide on the house boat and Local English speaking tour leader/guide in Kanchanaburi Not included: · Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks
· Transport to starting place at New Road Guest House
· All other expenses not stated as included in the above
· Transport to/from starting point (New Road Guest House, 1216/1 Charoen Krung Rd., Bangrak)
· Embark on a fantastic journey into the Western part of Thailand combining history, nature and a peek into life well beyond the beaten track
· Be captivated by the sheer beauty of the peaceful, spellbinding and remote Khao Laem Lake
· Kick back in your hammock and watch the beautiful nature slowly passing by the houseboat
· Explore the bridge over the River Kwai and be reminded of the WWII history
Day 1: Flow overland from Bangkok to Khao Laem Lake. Embark the Lake House
Depart from New Road Guest House in Bangkok at 08:00 and as you leave Bangkok behind the landscape starts to change. Stop near Sai Yok Noi Waterfall to have lunch at a local restaurant. Continue your flow into the mountains and lush forest where the lake is found, close to the border of Burma (Myanmar).
Depending on traffic expect to arrive in Sangkhlaburi around 15:00 and embark the Lake House. Breathe in the fresh air, take in the serene surroundings and check out your floating home for the days ahead. While you sail to the anchorage for the night, meet your fellow travellers and Thai staff over a home-cooked Thai dinner. Enjoy a drink (or two) at the bar and kick back to enjoy the first of many sunsets as the darkness slowly takes over. (L, D)
Day 2: Jungle walk to a waterfall OR climb the Lijia Cave (Temple of Gloom), and visit a fisherman's village
Wake up for a hearty breakfast, served each morning between 08.
00 and 09.00. Depending on the season and water level you will either do a short jungle walk to beautifully flushing waterfall, or you will explore the Lijia cave and the nearby local village.
The waterfall is cascading and impressive when the water level is high (usually Sep-Mar), inviting you for a swim after the short trek through the jungle. As the water level detracts, you will instead do short trek to Lijia cave where you can explore the inside. If you are lucky, you might find a few treasures. It is believed that Japanese soldiers left these treasures, including gold, in the area when they built the Death Railway during the World War II.
If time allows, you will visit a local fisherman's village, where houses are built on floating rafts, fishes are farmed next door, and you get around by boat.
When back on the Lake House you will be served a nice Thai lunch. The afternoon is free for you to enjoy Lake House living. Swim in the lake, do a bit of fishing, kayak the calm water or doze the afternoon away. As day turns into night, enjoy a delicious Thai dinner and watch the stars spark high up in the sky. (B, L, D)
Day 3: Go to a remote village only accessible by boat, and kayak below steep cliffs
The Lake House will start moving early morning, and while you have breakfast, arrive at Bee Island.
Change to long tail boat and head to the southern part of the lake, where you will notice the landscape changing yet again. Your destination is a remote village only accessible by boat, which gives a unique and friendly island vibe ambience. Visit the local pagoda built on a steep cliff and surrounded by a big lotus pond. The sacred pagoda is accessible by a walking bridge, but only men are allowed to pass, and climb to the top. But dread not, the pagoda is beautiful from a distance, and the sacred vibe, spirit houses; local vibe and smiling kids are more than worth the trip in itself.
Once back at the Lake House, have lunch in the finest scenery. In the afternoon, go by kayak or long tail boat around the steep cliffs, and if time and season allows, you can explore a small cave. See if you can spot some of the monkeys searching for food in treetops, a passing eagle or flying hornbills. Late in the afternoon, the Lake House will slowly move northwards while you relax on the sundeck or in a hammock, have a sundowner and enjoy a fine dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 4: Explore the flooded temple and (former) secret temple
It will be a slow morning embracing the fine scenery as the Lake House sail northwards. You will also have time to kayak around the Lake House, see if you can catch some fish or float away in a tube on the lake.
Late in the afternoon you will visit a temple that only few years ago was unexplored and overgrown. It is now easily accessible, but still well worth a visit in all of its sacredness and rustic charm as it is still covered in trees. Continue to the flooded temple, which is covered by water half of the year, and you can kayak inside; and the other part of the year, when the water detracts it is fully visible and accessible by foot. Anchor not far from Sangkhlaburi this night, and you can enjoy the last night on the boat. (B, L, D)
Day 5: Hike and bamboo raft the Songalia River. Depart towards Kanchanaburi
Enjoy an early morning breakfast and prepare to disembark your floating hideaway at 09:00 latest. You need to pack all your bags and belongings, as it will be transported to a rest house while you are out exploring. We recommend wearing clothes and shoes that may get wet and a dry bag for your camera.
Around 09:30 you will be picked up and go by local Songthaew or four-wheel drive to the wooden Mon Bridge in Sangkhlaburi town. Not only is it the largest wooden bridge in Thailand that connects the two sides of Mae Nam Kwae Noi, it also connects the three ethnic communities Mon, Karen and Thai. Cross the beautiful bridge by foot and at the other side, continue by car to the outskirts of Sangkhlaburi from where you do a short hike through the forest, along the riverbed. Cross river streams, walk over simple bamboo bridges and through dense grassland. At an opening in the forest, change means of transport to bamboo rafts or rubber dinghy's, depending on the season and water level. Sit back and enjoy nature slowly passing by, the dense jungle leaning over the river. Occasionally, steer through a small rapid before you reach an opening in the jungle and a simple lunch is served at the river bank.*
Go back to the rest house in Sangkhlaburi and if you have more energy, explore a bit more of Sangkhlaburi or lean back with a cup of coffee. In the mid afternoon, start your drive towards Kanchanaburi, where you stop for a quick dinner on the way. Upon arrival, check in to your resort and the rest of the evening will be free for you to explore the city. Dinner will be served at the resort in the evening, and the staff/guide on location will tell you what time and explain the program for the day after. (B,L,D)
Child age: 2 to 11. Infants below 2 years
Child rate: See “Rates”. Infants are free of charge
This tour is recommended for: All ages
Please be aware of: The trip is carried out on a lake, so please keep an eye out for small children and it is advised to bring along your own swim gear for the children’s safety.
4 nights at a house boat, which offers 1 shared dorm room with 6 beds and 7 nice standard rooms (suitable for 2-4 people). All have French balconies with lovely views, fans, mosquito nets and shared toilet/showers. Note that the period roughly from Mar to Jun are the hot months. Expect warm nights where open windows and ceiling fans can help ease the heat.
2 nights at a local resort with private bathroom in Kanchanaburi.
Minivan, Rafting, Songthaew, Long tail boat and Walking
Depature all year. Nov – Feb is the cool season, where the temperature is pleasant during day time and the mornings might be a bit chilly. This is also the most busy month.
May to Oct is the rainy seasons. This is, however, also the season where the surroundings are most lush and colorful.
Mar – May is considered the hot season, where temperatures are at their highest and there is a small chance of rain. This is also roughly the season where the water level in the lake starts to decrease and parts of the itinerary may have to be adapted. This could be by using songthaew instead of long tail boat, going to different villages and/or substituting experiences. We guarantee you; you will not be disappointed though!
Sangkhlaburi, Khao Laem Lake, Kanchanaburi, River Kwai, Erawan National Park
· A warm jumper
· Mosquito repellent
· Passport (moving close to border)