Wednesday, 5 August 2009


Follow the signboards
Saw a sign along the road in Namtok town, Kanchanaburi province. It indicated a left turn to go to Wang Krachae hot spring. It was only 4 kms which was fine, couldn't be too much of search.

It turns out Wang Krachae was also the name of the sub-district. Went past the sub-district office, completed the 4 km, only to find another sign, slightly different to the first one which was placed along the 323 highway, headed for Burma. A right turn this time was required to get to 'Wangkrajae hot spring'. Distance was 3 km. Fine again, getting closer.

The road then slowly deteriorated as well as it got steeper and nearer to the mountainside. Finally the hot spring! But it was eerily silent.
A large car park area was obvious. There were also some small sturdy buildings and the contours of a pool. But much was overgrown.

Where's the hot water?
Getting out of the car disturbed a sunning rat snake; the only sign of life. It slithered away in the direction of two pools. Delicately I went up to the two pools. The greenish water in both of the pools was cool. The two buildings were open and revealed facilities (toilets), both of which could be described to be in a reasonable state of affairs. Looking further around revealed a temple-like structure, in disrepair.

Wang Krachae's not so hot spring: beware of snakes!

Then finally a smaller roofed structure proved to be the hot spring. The source was clear and was hot. However no outlet, so where does the water go? For sure not to the pools. There was also no one around to ask. Will it remain a mystery?

Looks like it, internet is of no help. Only one site, by a Japanese soaker has been able to put a slight mention of Wang Krachae hot spring up on the internet. However translated it reveals less than I discovered:
'Without I find a signboard called "WANGKRACHAEHOTSPRING" along terminal / Nam Toku Station outskirts of the train, R323 on the way and I listen considerably and turned around, but I am good, and understanding it'.

Provincial soaks
Prior to heading off for Kanchanaburi, I'd looked into more detail concerning the hot spring sites of the province.

The previously posted Rock Valley I failed to find out about on forehand. Hindad (next blog post) though, is very well-known and a highlight of Kanchanaburi province, so it seems. Others I obtained from a Thai language hot springs list (starts at KC 01 and continues on next page) These are: Toong Chang, Pong Rong (twice (!), but in different locations, one in Sai Yok district, the other in Nong Prue; Pong Rong translates as hot water), Kao Pang (or Khao Pang, otherwise known as Sai Yok Noi waterfall) and Don Lamyai.

Then there are two apparently in Sri Nagarindra in National Park:
'Huai Mae Kamin: there are 2 hot springs, suitable for bathing'.
I've tried to put up links to these two, but Thailands Department of National Parks website somehow fails to be linked deeply. Find your own way around our site, it seems to imply. Which is a great loss to them. Fancy putting all that information on internet and making it near impossible to find, nor to link to! Oh well, I suppose they have their reasons. Unseen Thailand indeed!

The source itself revealed: a roof, four walls, hot water inside and a fence structure.
But what happened? And where does the water go?

But none of these sources revealed Wang Krachae hot spring. Obviously it had seen better times and not so long ago either. But what had changed lately? Does anyone have some answer?

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