We stayed at this place because our go to Kanchanaburi abode the Jolly Frog was full. Our songthaew driver had told us this while we were sitting in the back of his truck waiting for more fares, and made two attempts to take us to the Sugar Kane instead, but we assumed he was fibbing and insisted once he lowered his fare to our satisfaction that he take us to the Frog.
Damn. The Jolly Frog was full. And there goes our ride. Fortunately the Sugar Cane wasn’t too far so Deirdre left me with the bags while she went to find it and check out other options nearby.
In the meantime I’d found a roped off piece of street furniture that seemed to serve as a taxi stand and tour office and after dragging the bags over settled in for a while until I noticed the urine smell.
A bag of pills were on the table. I shouted after Deirdre I’d found some drugs, a little too loudly perhaps, and she asked later if I’d taken them. It’s unlikely this will ever be a question on Mr and Mrs but I would have thought after 20 years she wouldn’t need to ask if I swallowed random pills found on the street.
Deirdre came back just as I was beginning to wonder why I wasn’t being kept company by a beer and we schlepped our bags down a short alley to what she thought was The Sugar Cane but turned out to be River Kwai Mansion, a six story block of wear and neglect. (The Sugar Kane is nearby, costs 150-250thb, looked quite nice from the outside, but was full too).
We paid 350thb plus 150thb deposit for the key for an ensuite double room. The receptionist rarely looked up from her phone in her dealings with us but returned our key deposit without prompting next morning.
The first thing we noticed was we didn’t have a bathroom, though it was quickly found hiding on the balcony. Six floors up Deirdre didn’t much like this. I wasn’t keen either. To get to the bathroom meant leaving our room through the balcony door that could not be closed properly from outside, leaving a gap for any lurking mozzies to enter (we have since discovered mosquitoes that bite humans prefer to fly at heights under 25 ft). Another door leads to the shower and toilet. In between is the sink with a good view in three directions, though not of the river.
The room itself is sizeable, furnished with quite comfortable twin beds – though the pillows are a bit too plump for us – a dressing table with a horribly stained chair, while a broken TV and a working fan occupied the only two plug sockets in the room. Another fan on the ceiling didn’t work. The wifi worked well in the outside reception area, where there is tables and chairs, but didn’t reach up to the 6th floor. There is a lift.
Sometimes we have to do cheap and dingy when travelling but in Kanchanaburi there are plenty of places with charming outside areas that compensate for any indoor inadequacies, and they are cheaper too.
River Kwai Mansion, 77 River Kwai Road, T.Tamakan, A.Muang, Kanchanaburi.