Ban I-Tong, a pretty charming village in the mist, the mountains border Thai-Myanmar

I have never planed to visit the Ban I-Tong before. My trip buddy and me just wanted to to spend time in the Kanchanaburi Province for 3 days. We just planed to go to the Kanchanaburi by the train which I told the story of my wanderlust in The Death Railway beyond The Bridge over the River Kwai.

IMG_3355Kanchanaburi Railway Station, thank you photo by Mr.Håkan Larsson 

From that story, when we finished our lunch we decided to visit the Saiyok Noi Waterfall. It is about 1.5 km. from the Namtok Station. We took a “Song Thaew” to the Saiyoik Noi Waterfall. The Song Thaew is a pick-up car with a high roof and there are two long seats. We were very disappointed because of water less at the Saiyok Noi Waterfall.  Yes, I knew the waterfall lacked of the water because of the severely drought last year in Thailand. Anyway the landscape is very nice. The tress on the forest trail is still green. We hoped that the water was coming soon because of ้raining heavily on that time.

P_20160812_154111The Saiyok Noi Waterfall without water

We took a little time at the Saiyok Noi Waterfall. Then I got an idea to go to the Sangkhla Buri District. It is the most northwest district on the border of Thai-Myanmar. There are many interesting places there. We took await the bus at the Saiyok Noi Waterfall bus stop. During the time we waited the bus we tasted some snacks there. They are the snacks made from the bananas, the taro, sweet potatoes, tasty! I bought them some.

P_20170711_150923

P_20170711_150850Snacks shop

The bus came and we took a seat on the back seats of the bus. I told a ticket collector we would go to the Sangkhla Buri. He told me that the bus went to the destination at the Thong Pha Phum District because of time limitation. Then we changed a plan to stay a night at the Thong Pha Phum District. It was a nice green view on the roadsides to the Thong Phu Phum District. The distance from the Saiyok Noi Waterfall headed to the Thong Pha Phum District 82 kms. We arrived at the Thong Pha Phum District and stayed a night  at the Thong Pha Phum Place. It is a small new hotel, not bad. We knew it because of a suggestion of the bus ticket collector.

IMG_3258A bus to the Thong Pha Phum District, thank you photo by Mr.Håkan Larsson 

IMG_3254A pretty nice natural view along the roadsides to the Thong Pha Phum District, thank you photo by Mr.Håkan Larsson 

IMG_3255A pretty nice view along the roadsides to the Thong Pha Phum District, thank you photo by Mr.Håkan Larsson 

IMG_3263A small market near the junction  to the Thong Pha Phum District, thank you photo by Mr.Håkan Larsson 

IMG_3265A bridge over the Khwae Noi River the entrance to  the Thong Pha Phum Town, thank you photo by Mr.Håkan Larsson 

We checked in at Thong Pha Phum Place and showered and got a plan to wander around a small district. Yes, it was a good thing to do in the evening. My buddy showered before and dressed up. He prompted to wander and dinner. Then I showered. When I finished I  founded that he deeply slept. Ummm…what I could do, so I did the same.

P_20161017_135117The Thong Pha Phum is somewhere in the valley, view from the Vajiralongkorn Dam

Well! We got up at 7 pm. and we went to dine. The town was very quiet. There was not any restaurant around the hotel. I asked the receptionist where we could dine. He told us to go somewhere….not a good idea to walk around the quiet town and everywhere closed. Only 7-eleven and a small grilled pork stall were opened. So my buddy bought the grilled pork and a piece of sticky rice and the chicken skin fried. We had to dine with something like these that evening. It was not any matter for me I bought some banana and taro snacks from the Saiyok Noi Waterfall….tasty.

We got up in the morning without any plan. The first thing we had breakfast in the a pretty market. I asked someone in the market how to go to the Ban I-Tong. She told me that we must go there by a Song Thaew. We wandered from the market then I saw a Song Thaew which has written on its sides “Ban I-Tong”. I asked the driver we wanted to go to the Thong Pha Phum National Park. He told us that nothing in the national park. He recommended us to stayed at the Ban I-Tong Village and he booked a room for us and I got a discount 200 bht. How nice it was!

IMG_3268A small market in the Thong Pha Phum town, thank you photo by Mr.Håkan Larsson 

IMG_3267A nice mountains view from the Thong Pha Phum town.  A Soong Thaew Bus Stop is behind the yellow ads. cutout. Thank you photo by Mr.Håkan Larsson

We booked the Song Thaew to go to the Ban I-Tong already. We had time to walked around the small town. We walked to the Khwae Noi Riverside. It was not as good as my thought. There is a resort on the bank. My buddy complaint why we did not stay there last night. I told him that we did not want any nice view because we tried and fell asleep.

IMG_3270A resort at the Khwae Noi River, thank you photo by Mr.Håkan Larsson

IMG_3272The road down to the Khwae Noi River, thank you photo by Mr.Håkan Larsson

P_20161016_110544The Khwae Noi River at the Thong Pha Phum Town

Ban I-Tong is a small village on Tanao Sri Range, the border of Thai-Myanmar Mountains in the Western Thailand. It is a far most village. It is far from the Thong Pha Phum District, the Kanchanaburi Province about 70 kilometers.

The road heads to the Ban I-Tong is very beautiful mountains scenic. I just love something like this. We enjoyed the view along the roadsides and took some photos. By the way we are amateur photographers so our photos not too good. However you all have seen them.

 

P_20161016_120644The green road headed to the Ban I-Tong.

P_20161016_115415A fishing village in the Vajiralongkorn Reservoir, the diver stopped by taking some fresh fishes to the restaurants at Ban I-Tong.

P_20161016_124404A road on the mountains to the Ban I-Tong

The village is in the area of the Thong Pha Phum National Park. Sometimes it is known as Pilok Mine (Mueang Pilok). Pilok was a tin mine site. Nowadays it is just a village of the old mine community site.  A famous one of tin mine near the village is the Somsak Mine. Somsak was died many years ago but his wife, an Australian lady, lives there. Their mine is become a resort. She bakes an original her own formula cake recipes. She has also taught the villagers bake her own formula.

ban-i-tong

Route Map to Ban I-Tong , Thank you for reference : Google Map

WPPhysical Map of Kanchanaburi

When we entered to the area of the National Park I noticed that the road is not quite good as the standard of the provincial highway. The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation does not allow to construction in their area, just for repairing only.

P_20161016_130232

P_20161016_131713The road in the area of the Thong Pha Phum National Park

P_20161016_130501The mountains view from the Provincial Highway No.3272, Thong Pha Phum to Ban I-Tong

We past the Thong Pha Phum National Park for a while we just arrived at the village. All 70 kilometers we have passed we were exciting with the mountains green view and appreciated to take a look at the roadsides all the trip.

When we arrived at the Ban I-Tong Village it was raining. The driver took us to the resort. The resort owner stood on the old wooden buildings that made me upset where is his resort!

After said greeting he let us downed the stair to that did not make me feel better. Then he took us to the new building and got into the room. Oh! Yeah! It was a nice room and has a terrace to take a look at the Chang Phueak Mountain. What a wonderful resort, the Pilok Hill House!

14786904_1767553676829202_1062667864_oThe stair downs to the resort

p_20161016_180440A pretty resort, Pilok Hill House, it’s a nice room and of course a hospitality resort with fine friendship services.

P_20161017_110551The Noen Chang Phueak is in the far nost, view from the terrace of the Pilok Hill House.

We rested for a while. When the rain was slightly dropping we went out to explore around the Ban I-Tong Village.  We walked up to the top of Noen Sao Thong.

p_20161016_145152Trial grass flowers,#Billygoat-Weed, Chick Weed #Ageratum Conyzoides, on the raining day.

The weather  is so fine all the year, average 16c – 27c degree. There is some rain here so the mist is always coverage over the mountains all year round. We explored the village while it rain slightly. We stayed a night at the Pilok Hill House without turning on the fan of the air-conditioner.

The villagers were supported to cultivate the plant from the cold zone. Here we could found the flowers which can grow well in the cold climate.

P_20161016_175044The blood drops under the rain drops! 

There are many tourist spots in the area nearby the Ban I-Tong Village, the Thong Pha Phum National Park, the Chokkadin Waterfall, the Somsak Mine (Pilok MIne), the Noen Chang Phueak (Chang Phueak Mountain), the Noen Sao Thong (Sao Thong Mountain), the Noen Chang Suek (Chang Suek Mountain).

P_20161016_153206The Noen Chang Phueak view from the Noen Sao Thong

P_20161016_152553The Noen Chan Suek on the far most, view from the Noen Sao Thong

We just arrived in the late afternoon and we must go back in the late morning though we have not visited any place. We just walked around the village and spent a wonderful night with the guys who they are the owners of the resorts and their friends. We had a small party and sharing our experiences. So nice!

P_20161016_144851A clear water pond is in front of the village. I guess that it was a pond once it was a tin mine.

P_20161016_162923We waled on the path past the nice resorts, home stay, coffee shops.

p_20161016_150526Wat Mueang Pilok, it is on the mountain before the Noen Sao Thong.

P_20161016_150849The abandoned temple 

P_20161016_155211The indicator of abundance rainforest, it is on the roadside to the Noen Sao Thong.

P_20161016_161440.jpgThe Ban I-Tong Village, view from the camp ground, it is on in front of the Wat Mueang Pilok.

IMG_3208The habitats, thank you photo by Mr.Håkan Larsson

A pretty village is on the mountains. Its altitude is about 1000 meters above mean sea level. It’s such a kind of rainforest climate so always green.

P_20161016_151921The starting of gas pipeline from Yadana Site, Gulf of Bengal, Myanmar to Thailand, it is a project of PTT. The Burmese Military Campsite is on the left side of this picture.

A mountain on the west of the village, it is called “Noen Sao Thong”. Its official name is the “Forever Friendship Thai-Myanmar”. From this point we can see a small town of Myanmar. There is also Myanmar Military Campsite there on the border.

P_20161016_151840The announcement memorial of the Forever Friendship Thai-Myanmar

p_20161016_152217Stairway to the top of the Noen Sao Thong

p_20161016_154150A view into the land of Myanmar, we can see the metering  station TOTAL EP Myanmar.

p_20161016_153101On the top of Noen Sao Thong where are located  the poles of the Thai flag and the Myanmar flag.

Once three decades ago, this area was dangerous. It was a fighting area of the ethnics groups of Myanmar, Burmese, Karen, Mon. When we explored around the village we could found many hole bunkers on our trail.

P_20161016_160832The hole bunker on the road side up to the Noen Sao Thong

p_20161016_162931A very small market of the Ban I Tong Village

Talat Ban I-Tong, Ban I-Tong community market, the villagers are 3 ethnics, the most of them are the Mon, the Burmese and the Thai are just a little.

p_20161017_085420The villagers were making merit on the Lent Day.

P_20161017_091643The villagers were making merit on the Lent Day. 

P_20161017_093457He is a receptionist of the Ban I-Tong Village. He always stands by at the campsite in front of the Wat Mueang Pilok.

P_20161016_161537The campsite in front of the Wat Mueang Pilok

The most people in the village are the Buddhists. They are highly faith and respect in Lord Buddha and always make a merit with faith. However there is a Christ Church in the north of the village.

p_20161016_180823A memorial bridge of mine!

The stream flows from the border mountains Thai-Myanmar. This stream is on the north of the village. It flows from the west to the east.

p_20161017_101819Old style coffee shop, It’s so cool.

IMG_3213The villagers’ habitat, thank you photo by Mr.Håkan Larsson

p_20161017_123656Viewpoint on the Provincial Highway No.3272, Thong Pha Phum to Ban I-Tong, the Thong Pha Phum National Park, we can see the Vahiralongkorn Reservoir among the mountains.

P_20161017_123745The mountains is covered with the mist. Viewpoint on the Provincial Highway No.3272, Thong Pha Phum to Ban I-Tong, the Thong Pha Phum National Park

P_20161017_134729The Vajiralongkorn Reservoir, on the way to the Ban I-Tong

How to go to the Ban I-Tong! If you go ahead to the Ban I-Tong by bus or van, you must depart from Bangkok very early. Check out the timetable of the bus or van to Kanchanaburi at the Bangkok Bus Terminal, Southern or the bus to Sangkhla Buri at the Bangkok Bus Terminal, Northern and Northeastern. Both terminals have the buses and vans go to the Kanchanaburi Province and the Sangkhla Buri District. Buy the ticket to the Thong Pha Phum District. When arrives in the Thong Pha Phum District takes a Song Thaew to the Ban I-Tong which the last one to this village is about 11.30 am.

P_20161017_134824The Vajiralongkorn Dam, on the way to the Ban-I Tong

If you go the Ban I-Tong by train you have to stay a night at the Thong Pha Phum or somewhere in the Kanchanaburi Province. Because the train will arrives in the Kanchanaburi Station at 11.00 am and the Nam Tok Station 12.00 am. It is too late for the last Song Thaew which goes to the Ban I-Tong.

P_20161017_135328The Vajiralongkorn Dam, on the way to the Ban-I Tong

Everyone!!! Who gets a plan to visits Thailand and requires a traveling plans, please send text to me on Contact.  I will give you a traveling plan and a free copy of Tout Thai Hi-Way Map 77 Provinces!!!

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