Kanchanaburi is better known for the dark history of the post Second World War, the Death Railway, and Hellfire Pass which took many lives of the prisoners of war. However, there is a more serene and uplifting side of Kanchanaburi that few except the locals have discovered.
Kanchanaburi is a western province with many national parks, UNESCO heritage sites, and huge lakes with waterfalls. Exploring the natural beauty of this province starts with a trip to one of the largest lakes known as Khuean Srinagarindra, or Srinagarindra Dam. The drive to this lake is approximately three hours from Bangkok.
One of the most interesting resorts on this lake is the Phupai Lake and Resort, situated in a small cove with the main block of the resort on a hill overlooking the lake and water chalets at the lake side. The sweeping and commanding view of the lake as far as the eye can see with its many islands around offers a magnificent view, especially in the early mornings and during sunset.
Phupai Lake and Resort is not a very large resort and few foreign visitors frequent this place but it is very popular with the locals and is fully booked during weekends and public holidays. The resort consists of wooden panelled floating chalets, a newer block of larger rooms for families of 4 persons which are all at the water edge, and another block of rooms at the top of the hill. There is a jetty for boats and water sports, a dining area, mini mart, little café, reception and lobby area. Do not expect a four star establishment but all accommodations are very comfortable with air-conditioning, hot water, television, and daily supply of ice for cold drinks.
Meals are served 4 times a day and ordered in advance with your bookings. They provide several set menus after you have made your room bookings which you can select. Unfortunately because of the isolation of the resort, the restaurant does not provide ala carte meals on an ad hoc basis. There are however a very good set menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and supper. Food is freshly cooked and very tasty especially after all the fun activities available during the day. There are also a small stage and karaoke sessions in the evenings for those who would like to belt out a few numbers before bed time! Pictured here are a few dishes from the menu. The fish is freshly caught from the lake, deep fried and topped with a nice sweet and sour sauce. The glass noodle salad is nicely marinated with lime juice and herbs while fried rice is served as a staple during the morning breakfast buffet. Watch is by courtesy of ZALORA Thailand in the picture.
The resort has ample facilities for lakeside entertainment. The floating lodges by the water edge has an open patio and jetty for kayaking, fishing and swimming at the lake. All the units provide a pair of life jackets for water activities. They even have bamboo raft rides for those who like thrills and spills.
Arrangements for outdoor excursions are available by early requests and day trips include a two hour boat ride to the Srinakarin Dam National Park where there is a great and very beautiful waterfall and another trip to the King Naresuan caves. This is the double decker lake boat that brings you on excursions during the day.
The PhuPhai Lake and Resort is a great place to get away for a few days in the quiet of nature with a cool breeze blowing in during the evenings and early morning mists that gives it a dreamy allure. Even the elderly can enjoy the water chalets and not be daunted by the steep hill up and down the main resort area to the water chalets. There is a small tram lift on one side of the jetty for those who are unable to climb the steep stairs. This is a great way to enjoy the calm and peace of Kanchanaburi province in the cradle of the great lakes.