I am not sure why, but I always wanted to go and visit the Three Pagoda Pass. I suppose there is a certain amount of romantic notion surrounding it. A remote border pass in the hills between Thailand and Burma. When I was in Pakistan, I made a pilgrimage up to the Khyber Pass that overlooks Afghanistan for much the same reason. It was a historical location. The three pagodas mark the spot where the war elephants of the Burmese army marched into Thailand during the wars with Ayutthaya. It is also believed that Buddhism spread from India to Thailand through this pass. The infamous Death Railway was also built through here during World War II.
For a number of years I had the Three Pagodas marked on my wall map. It was a 200 km long road all the way from Kanchanaburi and then back the same way. It was literally in the middle of nowhere and I thought I would never get a chance to go. However, last year I decided to go for a holiday to Sangkhlaburi. From here it was only a hop, skip and jump to the pass. So, was it worth it? Well, not really. The three, whitewashed, six metre high pagodas were a little on the pathetic side. They looked a little lost on a giant, grassy, roundabout close to the border with Burma. I wouldn’t suggest that you come all the way here for the pagodas, but if you are doing it as a side trip to Sangkhlaburi then for sure do a pilgrimage to the border. And if it is open, and you can get your passport and documents in order, you could even cross over the border for the day.