23 May 2024

Tourists, both Thai and foreign, flocked to Saphan Mon (Mon Bridge) in Sangkhla Buri district of the western province of Kanchanaburi on a misty Sunday morning to enjoy the views of the river and to get a sense of ethnic Mon culture and traditions.

After the rain last night there was less smog and the weather this morning was cool with light a breeze, even though Kanchanaburi is one of the provinces with most hotspots and PM2.5 dust pollution.

Some of the tourists wore Mon costumes for photo shoots, with Mon boys carrying earthenware pots on their heads, as they offer to act as paid guides.

One of the Thai tourists, “Joobjaeng”, said she saw the beauty of Saphan Mon on social media while she was in the United States and decided to visit the bridge when she was next in Thailand.

Another Thai tourist, 80-year-old Ratchanee Somnark, said that this was her first visit to the bridge, with a group of about 40 friends from Hat Yai, and that she was impressed despite the smog.

The building of the bridge was an initiative by Luang Por Uttama, the late abbot of Wang Wiwekaram Temple in Sangkhla Buri district in 1986. It is about 850 metres long, spanning the Songkalia River and is reputed to be the world’s second longest wooden bridge.