A very good friend of mine, Karen, with whom I’ve been on various adventures, invited me for a weekend in March to visit Kanchanaburi where she was participating in a Duathlon. I jumped at the opportunity because I love Kanchanaburi and had not been there for some time and I wanted to support her in the duathlon.
I assumed that we would be staying just outside Kanchanaburi in a lovely hotel. It was not until much later I discovered we were glamping overnight! I know glamping is a posher version of camping but it is not really my cup of tea! I had had several experiences of camping – at college, supporting orphans on a trip, escorting school expeditions – in which, although I had enjoyed the activities involved, I had hated sleeping in a tent with all the facilities miles away!
An exaggeration I know, but I do need a toilet at hand! I began to wonder what kind of “glamp” I would be staying in! We set off at 7am on the Saturday morning and, due to the route taken, had a relatively traffic free drive. On arriving in Kanchanaburi, we parked and visited the Bridge over the River Kwai which was teeming with people who had been let off a train to experience the bridge and its surroundings. We met up with a group of monks from Burma, one of whom was studying in Ayutthaya and waved at the passengers on the train which was continuing on its journey. The atmosphere was very friendly.
After lunch, at the riverside restaurant, we set off to our destination which I thought was just a few kilometres away but which turned out to be 100km North West of Kanchanaburi en route to Sangkhlaburi. The drive was beautiful. Karen registered her participation in the Green Earth Duathlon at The River Kwai Village Hotel and we made our way to the glamping site, Hintok River Camp. I really didn’t know what to expect but was a little concerned how far away from the main road it was and the isolation of the countryside we were driving through! However, when we got there it was a great venue with lots of visitors and a great atmosphere.
Our “glamp” was comfortable and had every facility you would need housed in canvas. It was steps away from the camping experiences I’d had previously! The meals there were excellent, too, particularly the evening BBQ. The scenery surrounding us with theriver was beautiful.
“I had hated sleeping in a tent with all the facilities miles away! An exaggeration I know but I do need a toilet at hand! I began to wonder what kind of “glamp” I would be staying in!”
The Hintok River Camp has a very interesting history. From July to September 1943 it was a British Prisoner of War Camp of 300 where 79 died. Today, it remembers that time by maintaining aspects of that era. For example, there is still the steep and difficult 250 feet climb which the prisoners had to use everyday to work on the railway and the kitchen is now the museum.
There is an original tank and a tent at the entrance. After registering, we took a scenic drive to the Sai Yok Yai National Park which was beautiful. We took a great trip along the river and saw so many people floating in their lifejackets downstream which is one of the most popular activities available there. There were many floats transporting many people and there were many places to stay on the river. The area was buzzing and the countryside was beautiful. After our boat trip we headed back to the ‘glamping’ site for a delicious BBQ.
I would encourage anyone to go and stay at the Hintok River Camp. It is a great venue and a wonderful jumping off spot to see the great National Parks and scenery around the area. If it had not been for Karen, I wouldn’t have known about it and if I had, the idea of ‘glamping’ would have put me off! As it turned out it was a wonderful weekend in every way. I would certainly go ‘glamping’ again! The only disappointment was that I didn’t see Karen start or finish her duathlon! She did forgive me, however!