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HBR May 18th, 2004 05:46 AM

River Kwai/ Kanch Advice
We're thinking of following the advice of JamesA and others and exploring this area as part of our late August trip with kids ages 10 and 12 (probably instead of Chiang Mai). The River Kwai Jungle Rafts looked fun -- however, is it buggy since it is right on the river? Is it safe to swim in the river itself? Or is the River Kwai Resotel a better bet? Any thoughts on the appropriate amount of time to spend in the area? We would like to try some of the "soft adventure" options. Also, has anyone used the tours that seem to be associated with those hotels? Does one need to book in advance or can it wait until a couple of days before? Thanks!

Guenmai May 18th, 2004 06:53 AM

I just did the River Kwai and floating market on a day trip from Bangkok. I booked the day excursion through my hotel and it was $40. in 1998 and was a 12-hour excursion. We were only about 12 people on the excursion...which worked out fine for me. I didn't want to spend a lot of time in that area. As for swimming, I wouldn't swim in that water...not the water in the area of the floating market or the River Kwai. I remember very black, mucky-looking water pouring into my little wooden boat.Bon Voyage.

JamesA May 18th, 2004 08:51 AM

Forget swimming in the river ( same would apply to any river in the tropics ). Having bugs around I'm afraid is all part of the 'tropics', but I honestly do not find bugs in Thailand that much of a problem. The resotel is nice, but the River Rafts are certainly an 'experience', just appreciate you are 'up the jungle river' and take the necessary precuations, it is well worth the effot as you will remember the nights you spent with the kids on a raft up the River Kwai in Thailand ' a LOT' longer than some 'hotel you stayed in somewhere', it can make for 'magical memories' and those photos and/or videos you will cherish for years to come. There is a great deal to see around the whole area so do get out and about, and remember it is also an amazing experience for the kids (and yourself) that makes the world of difference from sitting in some non-descript hotel room, if you are young at heart then you will have a great time. The Hot Springs, Hellfire Pass ( of great importance re-WWII ) is a must. If you can spare the time to visit the War Cemetries they are a sobering experience. The River Kwai is history plus adventure. Enjoy. The tours from the hotels/accommodation should be fine, you will find all the brochures available and can pick and choose at leisure.

HBR May 18th, 2004 09:10 AM

Thanks. I didn't think that swimming in the river looked like a good idea, but the River Kwai Jungle Rafts web site seemed to suggest it as an activity. How long would you recommend staying in the area?

Peteralan May 18th, 2004 03:27 PM

I did swim (!!) in the river .I am not a strong swimmer and am not used to rivers having been brought up beachside. I panicked a bit as the river current was extremely strong and started to carry me away. I got out quickly and won't be repeating the experience.

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