This sleepy town sits on a large lake created by the Khao Laem Dam. There was once a Mon village here, but when the dam was built in 1983 it was almost completely covered by water. (Some parts, including a temple, are still visible beneath the surface.) The sanctuary-seeking Mon, who arrived in the area 50 years ago from Myanmar, were relocated to a village on the shore opposite Sangklaburi.
The Mon village has a temple
with Indian and Burmese influences and a bronze-color pyramid chedi that's beautifully illuminated at night. A dry-goods market in the village sells Chinese and Burmese clothes and trinkets, with Mon dishes available at nearby food stalls. Get here by car or boat, or walk across the country's longest wooden bridge.
Due to its proximity to Myanmar's border, Sangklaburi is also home to Karen and Bangladeshi communities, who you'll spot in the town's small night market. Jungle trekking and visits to Karen villages are popular activities for visitors. You can also cross into Myanmar at Three Pagodas Pass with a passport photo and $10 (U.S. currency only—there's an exchange facility at the border), but you can't go any farther than the Myanmar border town of Phayathonzu.