Thailand - Central Thailand (PDF Chapter)
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This is the Central Thailand chapter from Lonely Planet’s Thailand guide-book.
History lives and breathes in central Thailand’s misty valleys and jungle-fringed rivers. The region’s crowning glory is Ayuthaya, Siam’s former royal capital. The town is practically an open-air museum, with dozens of breathtaking temple ruins peopled by stone Buddhas. Khmer-style temples are also a draw in Lopburi, 50km north, though the atmosphere is far less serene in Thailand’s ‘Monkey City’.
Heading west, Kanchanaburi’s museums chronicle the dark history of the Thailand–Burma Railway (aka the Death Railway) and WWII memorials pay tribute to thousands of lost lives. Scenery gets wetter and wilder following Mae Nam Khwae Yai northwest. The river’s tributaries are hugged by sedate villages (and the occasional riverside resort) and skirt national parks such as the waterfall-kissed Erawan and Sai Yok.
Life dawdles at an even slower pace in Sangkhlaburi in the multi-ethnic northwest, where villages and national parks bordering Myanmar have a beguiling, frontier feel.
- cycle between enigmatic ruins and colossal Buddhas in Ayuthaya, and watch the sunset paint them gold
- be rendered speechless by the harrowing history of the Death Railway in Kanchana-buri
- clamber up seven levels of waterfall to splash in aquamarine pools in Erawan National Park
- restaurants & accommodation
Coverage includes: Ayuthaya Province, Ayuthaya & Around, Lopburi Province, Lopburi, Kanchanaburi Province, Kanchanaburi & Around, Nam Tok, Sai Yok National Park, Thong Pha Phum National Park, E-Thong, Sangkhlaburi.
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