We were just planning on going to Nahkon Pathom for the day. We, being three of the other Western teachers and I. I hadn’t been into the city yet and there were some wats we wanted to see and explore.
However, the powers at be had other plans for us.
The powers at be, being the Tae Kwan Do teacher at our school.
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The Thai people have a saying “Mai Bpen Rai,” which essentially means, whatever will be will be. Go with the flow. Just let life happen. It’s not really just an expression, but more so a way of life. Mai Bpen Rai is an essential part of the Thai way of life.
So, when the Tae Kwan Do teacher told us that he was going to drive us to Ratchaburi Province–the province directly west of Nakhon Pathom province, where we live–for a day trip INSTEAD of our original plan to go into the city of Nahkon Pathom, we just kind of looked at each other and thought, “Mai Bpen Rai.”
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A few hours later, we found ourselves in Suan Phueng, one of the most western districts in Ratchaburi Province. This is a gorgeous area that has become a major weekend getaway spot for Thai people. As we were driving into Suan Phueng, the Tae Kwon Do teacher pointed at the mountains in the distance, “Behind those mountains is Mynamar.” Mynamar is a vast and beautiful country that I’ve heard such good things about–and we were so close it. However, a trip to Mynamar would was not on the books for today.
Today was for exploring Suan Phueng. And let me tell you. Suan Phueng is crazy! It is SOOO touristy, but so exciting and interesting. Our first stop? Bann Hom Tien.
Bann Hom Tien is this beautiful little village, which primarily sells candles and other wax goods. Upon walking in, the first thing you notice is that there is wax everywhere–from the stars above the entryway to the wax statues around the complex.
This place really is quite eclectic. Most of the shops sold candles and other wax goods, but there were also tons of mugs, bags, and other items to purchase. The decor was…quite hipster, to say the least, and it was really just a pleasant and quaint place to walk around. There really isn’t a whole lot to do here besides buy stuff and admire the quaintness of the place. There were also a few venues to get food. We were trying to figure out what the purpose of Bann Hom Tien was and came to the conclusion that it’s just a money making tourist trap–an adorable money making tourist trap at that.
After spending a couple hours in Bann Hom Tien, we then drove to Bo Khlueng Hot Springs, which was fifteen or so minutes down the road. And boy, the road was interesting. The landscape is littered with all of these absolutely 100% kitschy tourist stops and resorts. Unfortunately, given that we were in a car, I didn’t get any pictures of landscape–but take my word for it, it was weird. It felt almost like a dream it was so strange.
The hot springs themselves were so relaxing. We got there, bought tickets (and, unfortunately, we got charged more for our tickets because we are westerners), changed into our swim suits, and went for a swim in the hot springs. It was unbelievably relaxing to just chill there.
While there, we noticed this little boy who kept staring at us. He would come up to the edge of the water, look at us with his hands on his hips, walk away, and then come back and look at us some more. We were so confused…until we found out later that we were the first westerners he had ever seen. No wonder he was so curious!
We stayed in the water until we were pruny, stopped for some coconut ice cream, and then headed back to Nakhon Chaisi. On the drive back, we made a few more quick stops, including dinner.
It was an overall exhausting day and I collapsed into bed when I got home. That said, it wasn’t too shabby for a last minute trip.
I definitely hope to get back to Suan Phueng sometime in the future–there’s so much more we didn’t see while there, including an amazing waterfall not far from the hot springs!
Am I glad our plans changed last minute? ABSOLUTELY!