We stayed at this lovely resort last October, unfortunately only for one night. Our Thailand holiday had been booked through a travel agent at home, we wanted to do some tours of the Kanchanaburi region but none of the organised tours our agent showed us covered everything we wanted to see so we decided to organised that part of the trip ourselves.
Well as it turned out it was one of the best parts of our holiday and it all went like clockwork.
I emailed the resort from home (Australia) and got a reply within hours. I rang them and arranged a booking, easy. We arranged a transfer to the resort from our hotel in Bangkok the night before we had to leave, the taxi picked us up early the next morning and we were off, (at a considerable pace I might add), and after a slight diversion to the floating market, our driver delivered us to the Kanchanaburi bus station.
We had phoned the resort just before arriving in Kanchanaburi so they arranged for a taxi driver to meet us at the bus station who took us straight to the resort, free of charge.
What a beautiful surprise this resort was. Quite small (which suited us), just lovely gardens and individual cabins right on the river Kwai. Lovely hosts and staff as well. The cabins were very comfortable and beautifully designed. There was no TV reception but the resort had a wide selection of DVD's you could borrow if you wished.
We dropped off our baggage, we were keen to get exploring the area so the owners organised for our driver to take us to all the sights we wanted to visit. On the afternoon of our arrival we visited the Tiger Temple, the Bridge over the River Kwai and the JEATH museum at Kanchanburi. We then went back to the resort for a bit of lounging around and a lovely meal.
We spoke to the owners and told them what sights we wanted to see the next day and also that we were keen to travel back to Bangkok using the public transport the locals use. They gave us some advice and which bus to catch and reassured us that the public transport was safe and reliable, we were given specific advise to get one of the mini buses as the larger buses can take all day to get to Bangkok.
The next day the resort owners organised another Taxi take us to the Hellfire Pass Museum and the trestle bridge on the Death Railway. He then delivered us to the bus station at Kanchanaburi, showed us which was the correct bus to get on, spoke to the ticket seller, helped us buy our tickets, put our luggage on the bus and waived us goodbye. (As a side note, the toilets at the station & the trestle bridge were squat toilets, I suggest you put some toilet paper or tissues in your bag in case you come across these toilets as there is usually none provide, also at the trestle bridge you have to pay a small amount to use them so have a few coins on you)
The bus ride back to Bangkok was a great experience. We were the only tourists, all of the other passengers were locals. I must say I felt safer on this trip with the bus stopping at each town along the way, than I did in our private taxi hooning along at 130 kph! There was also no pressure to stop off at the tourist spots.
We were a little bit concerned about what we were going to about finding a taxi when we got to Bangkok, but we knew we had lots of time so it didn't really matter if it took us a while to get back the hotel. If we had to walk to find a taxi so be it.
When we got to Bangkok, our bus pulled into a massive roundabout absolutely full of buses and taxis and people, it looked like chaos, we didn't know if we could even get off the bus without being run over!
Well!!! Our bus pulled up, our bus driver indicated to us to handover the directions to our hotel (hotels in Bangkok give you little business cards to show taxi drivers where to take you), he got out in the middle of the traffic, flagged down a taxi, told the driver where to take us, told us to quickly get off the bus, he grabbed our luggage, threw it into the taxi with us throwing ourselves quickly in behind it. The whole changeover took less than 30 seconds. In the taxi I turned to my husband and said "that was too easy!". We were whisked off into the traffic by the taxi driver (who used his meter) back to our hotel. The whole trip from Kanchanburi to the Radission hotel for two of us cost 280 bht!
Our hosts at the Oriental Kwai Resort and our drivers made this whole experience just terrific.
I am so glad now that we didn't go on an organised tour, we had lots of time to stop and look at whatever we wanted to, we didn't have to stop at places we weren't interested in and we got to experience a little bit of the locals daily lives by travelling on their public transport.
So I can definately recommend you stay at this resort and consider taking the slow road so you can experience a little bit of the real Thailand.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Small and peaceful resort at the famous River Kwai, centrally located at only 15 min. drive from Kanchanaburi downtown and on the way to sights as Erawan waterfalls, Elephants world & Hellfire pass. The 12 cottages are spread throughout a teak forest and beautiful tropical garden. The cottages have all facilities to make your stay as comfortable as possible and are designed in a warm Thai style. The resort has a cozy restaurant on site that overlooks the River Kwai and in the garden you'll find a lovely swimming pool. Tour, local taxi and transfer service available. Massage facility available at Jay's Spa and free fitness room. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Oriental Kwai Hotel Kanchanaburi
- Hotel Oriental Kwai