Sangkhla Buri Travel Blog› entry 26 of 49 › view all entries
Sangkhlaburi is a small town only a few kilometers east of the Burmese
border. It is a melting pot inhabited by Thai's, Burmese, Mon, and
Karen hill tribe minorities. Little English is spoken here and you
will hear as much Burmese, Mon, and Karen being spoken as Thai.
I found the longyi (Burmese sarong) to be nearly ubiquitous. Women
wore colorful floral prints and tied them at their left side. The men
tied their checkered print sarongs at the navel, although a man in a
floral design was not unusual. Dad, Rich- I bought one for each of
you. You boys better wear them.
With only three guesthouses, this town has yet to be tainted by mass
tourism. The locals were as intrigued by me as I was with them. It
was so refreshing to be in a place where the people don't rely on
tourism for a living.
and strained across the language barrier to be helpful. They weren't
pushy and little of the merchandise was geared toward tourists. I got
the impression that they weren't desperate for my business because
most of their customers came from the local population.
When Alex and I arrived in Sangkhlaburi, it was still a big holiday
weekend. I encountered a few Thai tourists on holiday from Bangkok.
Many of them spoke English well and were eager to speak to me when
they spotted me wandering the streets. They wanted to know why I was
in such a remote part of Thailand alone. When I told them I was
traveling solo since my boyfriend had to head back home, the response
was invariably a wide eyed "Ooh.
[Not to worry everybody. Although many people showed concern for me,
I felt pretty safe because I had Alex around. For the most part, Alex
and I did our own thing during the day, but we had adjacent rooms at
the guesthouse and habitually ate breakfast and dinner together.]
For some Thai tourists, my presence in this humble remote town was
more interesting than the town itself. At one point, ten of them
whipped out their cameras and asked to take photos with me. You can
probably imagine my embarrassment as each took their turn smiling next
to me as a photo was taken. Later that day, a large Thai family
shoved their children my way and pulled out three different cameras to
capture the moment.
Sanglakburi was a magical kingdom, and for one day I was like Snow White--taking pictures with all the tourists.