River Kwai Jungle Rafts Hotel


Definitely the best hotel we had in Thailand. Lisu Lodge was a close second, though. Why we prefer this one, still? It just oozes vacation. It’s pretty basic (although it has all you need), but it’s just very appealing to the eye and has a calming effect. The wood, the plants and flowers hanging on the balconies, the lanterns they light up when it gets dark… The best.

We came here thanks to our good friends from Ghent, who we got to know on one of our vacations in Mexico. They fell in love with Thailand and recommended this place to stay at. Man, are we glad we did!


Unique arrival

It’s a floating hotel – which is exactly what it sounds like: the entire construction is built on wooden blocks. From the first to the last floating room, including the common areas. So, when we came from our visit to the Bridge River Kwai and the cemetery (see other post), we took a long-tailed boat. We actually passed another similar complex, but recognized from the photos that we had seen when we approached ours – it’s really unique to arrive at your hotel this way. As it was lunch time, we got to put down our bags and sat down at lovely wooden tables, to get – yes, of course – another rice dish. It was good, nothing to complain about – but you have to know both my husband and I got sick in Bangkok (we think because of fish not fully cooked), so nothing really tasted good and we were just tired of the rice which is being served with every meal. But that really doesn’t say anything about the food at the hotel – our family confirmed it was good – it’s just that we weren’t in the mood. The Fanta that they served though, made us survive (yes, the fluo orange one).

Elephants, anyone?

Our friends already advised us that – if we could somehow choose – we should get one of the rooms at the end of the row (left-end if you’re standing faced to the front of the hotel). And indeed, that’s where we were heading to, when they appointed our accommodations. Yeeuuh!

Why was that important? Well, because elephants regularly come to drink and bathe on that side of the river, at the back side of the cabins. So indeed, we could witness these magnificent creatures from up close twice. A big bonus, that’s for sure.

No warm showers, sorry

The only downside was the fact that there’s no hot water. Then again, we’re talking about Thailand here – if there’s any place you can go without hot water, this is it. So even I didn’t really care. Again, the fact that you can take your shower in a room entirely made of wood is amazing (and at the same time keeping an eye on the elephants outside).

River jump (in elephant droppings?)

My husband wouldn’t be my husband if he wouldn’t want to take a swim from the most left-end balcony up to the main platform (which is a typical thing to do there, apparently). If you want to give it a try, you need to put on a swimming vest. They also warn you to not stay to close to the construction, as the current is stronger there and it can get fast. My husband went in, together with his dad and my mom (the daredevils). But my mom apparently didn’t get the warning on the current – so she went fast… got into a panic a little bit, then into hysteric laughter – and my father-in-law needed to rescue her out… Hilarious. But so, if you want to give it a try: just be aware.

Also, afterwards we heard that it isn’t the most sanitary place to take a swim (maybe not that surprising knowing what the elephants do on the other side of the rooms). Although it’s on the other side, I guess, water (and everything in it) finds its way, right – so, yeah, maybe not the greatest idea. Anyway, I tried it the day after and am still alive, so I guess it doesn’t hurt.

Romantic nights

As I said, as soon as the sun goes down, they light up the gaz lights that are standing outside of each cabin, which just creates the most romantic atmosphere. Inside the mosquito nets are pulled down over the beds, which really adds to the vibe, I think. And then you don’t hear anything outside except for crickets (and our parents gibbering…).


Or maybe not?

One of the 2 nights we stayed at the hotel, we were invited (together with the other guests) to a performance of the local Mon villagers, called the “Cultural Mon Dance Show”. We were curious and didn’t really know what to expect. How to describe it… Particular? Different? Original? I wouldn’t say we immediately ordered their CD, to be honest. It’s not really our taste, let’s leave it at that. Of course, we contributed a fee, which supports the Mon community.

Visit the Mon Village

The second day of our stay, we went to the Mon community, where our guide told us more about this ethnic group from Burma (now Myanmar). We saw how they lived, how their schools look like and how they make a living.

Just chillax

In the afternoon, our families wondered around the Death Railway with our guide. As by then my husband was at his worst (health-wise), we stayed on our balcony, enjoying the tranquillity (our families are a lot more noisy than we are) and took a nap in the hammock. That was very satisfying indeed…

Of course, you can also book a Thai massage, which the ladies of our group did and which I enjoyed a lot. How can you not enjoy a massage in this setting? Well, ask my mom – but she just isn’t into massage… weird…

Other Accomodations worth visiting