Gadabout's Corner

Bird of passage

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OXFORD on Foot: Must Do’s List

Matthew Arnold addressed the amazement of Oxford in his Thyrsis way back in 1865 in which the beauty remains until today, despite over 150 years later.

Oxford is probably the best city to represent the civilization of the Victorian Era, with early establishment back in the 12th century. The result is an architectural masterpieces that keep inspiring artists, writers, fantasists and we travellers for years.

Every corners of this city is awakening, so it’s best to take your time and explore it at your own pace and on foot. Please, let me show you how you could easily wander around Oxford, from my own experience.

How to get there from London?
Must Do’s List (On Foot)

Exploring and covering the whole major scenes in Oxford takes time, not because it’s big but because you’ll stop and be amazed by what you see every 5 minutes.¬†I’d suggest you use this list as a guide, because it’s organized by putting places in the same area together.

I. Magdalen College
  • Punting along River Cherwell
  • Addison’s Walk
  • Magdalen Chapel
    • Daily from 1PM – 6PM
    • Daily from 10AM – 7PM in Jul – Sep
    • Admission fee: 6¬£

Let’s start by heading East toward the farthest spot; the Magdalen College. Once you arrive here, the first thing you could do is punting along the River Cherwell, which you can hire from the Magdalen Bridge. You could also keep going to the Addison’s Walk, which is a trail that goes around a small island that is surrounded by the river. From Addison’s Walk, you’ll be able to see the Deer Park, the Magdalen Tower¬†and the Magdalen Bridge.

After this, you might wanna have look around the College’s buildings and spend some time at the Magdalen Chapel.

II. Queen's Lane to Catte Street

Radcliffe Camera

  • Queen’s College
  • University Church of St Mary the Virgin
    • Mon – Sat from¬†9.30 AM – 5PM
    • ¬†Sun from 1PM – 5PM
    • No entrance fee
    • 4¬£ to climb the tower
  • All Souls College
    • Mon – Fri from¬†2PM – 4PM
    • No Entrance fee
  • Radcliffe Camera
  • Hertford College
    • Daily from 2PM – 4.30 PM
    • No entrance fee
  • Bridge of Sighs
  • Trinity College
    • Mon – Fri from 9AM – 4PM
    • Sat – Sun from 1PM – 4PM
    • Admission fee: 3¬£
  • Sheldonian Theatre

Sheldonian Theatre

Five minutes walking from Magdalen College, you’ll ended up at the Queen’s Lane and the first thing you could see is the elegance Queen’s College. You could only go inside if you make an appointment in advance at the Visitor Information Centre. It’s free!

Then from Queen’s College, keep walking along the High Street and you’ll see the University Church of St Mary the Virgin. At this church, you could go on top of the tower and get the best view of the Radcliffe Camera.

After that, turn right to the Catte Street and you’ll be at the Radcliffe Square, where there are so many things to see; All Souls College, Codrington Library, Radcliffe Camera, Bodleian Library, Hertford College and its Bridge of Sighs.

All Souls College

From Bridge of Sighs, you might wanna turn left to Broad Street and check out the Trinity College and the Sheldonian Theatre.

III. Turl Street
  • Exeter College
    • Daily from 2PM – 5PM
    • No entrance fee
  • Brasenose College
    • Mon – Fri from 10AM – 11.30 AM
    • Sat – Sun from 9AM – 10.30 AM
    • Admission fee: 2¬£
  • Covered Market

From Broad Street, turn left onto Turl Street, then take another left to Brasenose Lane and stop at the Exeter College and maybe have a look inside their Dining Hall and the Chapel.

After that, make your way to Brasenose College and have a look around the Covered Market. There, you could buy souvenirs, and get some food.

IV. St Aldate's Street
  • Alice’s Shop
    • Daily from 10.30 AM – 5PM
  • Christ Church Meadow
  • Christ Church College
    • Mon – Sat from 10 AM – 4PM
    • Sat from 2PM – 4PM
    • Admission fee: 7¬£ – 9¬£
  • St Aldates Church
  • Carfax Tower
    • Daily from 10AM – 4.30 PM
    • Admission fee: 2¬£

View from Carfax Tower

From the market, get yourself to St Aldate’s Street and you might want to make your way down first so you could slowly make our way back up.

Continue the street until you reach Alice’s Shop. This is the place that inspires Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland way back over 150 years ago. It’s right next to the¬†Christ Church Meadow, which is a perfect resting place.

From there, you could make your way up¬†by visiting the Christ Church College and have a look inside their Dining Hall, which is the same one as the Hogwart’s. You also don’t wanna miss the Christ Church Cathedral and the Tom Tower. Then you cross over to Christ Church Cathedral School and St Aldates Church.

Keep walking along St Aldate’s Street until you see Carfax Tower on your left. You definitely have to climb this tower as it will give you one of the best Central Oxford skyline view.

V. Cornmarket Street
  • St Michael at the North Gate
  • St Mary Magdalen
  • Martyrs Memorial
  • Gloucester Green Town Square
  • Wesley Memorial Methodist Church
  • Nuffield College
    • Mon – Fri from 9AM – 5PM
    • No entrance fee
  • Oxford Castle
  • Castle Mill Stream

From Carfax Tower, take the exit to Cornmarket Street and keep walking until St Michael at the North Gate is by your right. Not too far, you’ll also see St Mary Magdalen and Martyrs Memorial.

From there, turn left onto Beaumont Street and left again at Gloucester Street. If it’s Wednesday, Thursday or Saturday, you definitely have to check out the Gloucester Green Town Square. During these days, there will be the open air market that sells everything! If you can’t find it, it’s exactly where the National Express Bus Station is.

From there, you should keep walking along New Inn Hall Street and stop at Wesley Memorial Methodist Church. Next, walk toward the Nuffield College, explore the Castle Mound until you reach the Oxford Castle.

From the Castle, turn into Tidmarsh Lane and find the Hythe Bridge. By the bridge, you’ll see a small walking trail that will allow you to walk next to the Castle Mill Stream in which you can choose to turn or stop however you want to. This trail is wonderful! It’s a perfect place to relax and call it a day.

Where to eat best pub meal?

A lot of walking will be done, so there will be a lot of eating as well. Here is the list of where you should eat in Oxford.

  • The Eagle and Child
  • The White Horse
  • Turf Tavern

Where to stay?

  • YHA Hostel
  • Airbnb
    • Unique Artist’s Riverside Studio
    • Narrowboat on idyllic Oxford Canal (Ben the Boat)

 

 

 

 

 

The Best of KANCHANABURI

Thailand is one of the most popular destinations¬†for many reasons, not only for the tropical weather, islands and parties but also for the pure culture, history and nature. This time, let’s not talk about the beach because that’s the only thing that can’t be seen in Kanchanaburi.¬†To make up for that, Kanchanaburi offers a full package of historical sites, jungles, rivers, waterfalls, animals and one of many doors to Myanmar.

The Best 10 Places to Visit in Kanchanaburi
Muang Kan

Muang Kan

  1. Erawan Falls
  2. Huay Mae Khamin Waterfalls
  3. Sai Yok National Park
  4. Kroeng Krawia Waterfalls
  5. Baan Songkaria Resting Restaurant
  6. The Bridge Over the River Kwai and the Death Railway
  7. Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum
  8. Prasat Muang Singh Historical Park
  9. Wooden Mon Bridge
  10. Underwater City and the Sunken Temple

Kanchanaburi has many water areas and green mountains so it’s gifted with waterfalls and rivers. It’s a great place to¬†admire tranquil views and enjoy water activities. There are monkeys everywhere as well.

I. Erawan Falls

One of the most known waterfalls of Kanchanaburi is the Erawan Falls that is located within the area of Erawan National Park. It is a 7-levels waterfalls with blue pools for you to swim with the fish. It’s a grand fish spa.

 

At the first level, there is a security area where they make sure you don’t bring food into the higher levels. If you are bringing bottles of water, you are required to make a deposit and they will return the money on your way back. This is so that people don’t leave any waste. I’d recommend at least a bottle of water as you will be trekking for about 45 minutes in this tropical heat. If you want to eat, there is area suitable for picnic in this level as well.

There is a 2 metres deep pool at the third level, a natural water slide on the fourth level. The 7th level though, gives the best view and there is a massive pool of blue water with loads of fish. There is also huge cascades that you can sit under while it massages your back.

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II. Huay Mae Khamin Waterfalls
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Huay Mae Khamin Waterfalls

Not too far from Erawan National Park, Huay Mae Khamin Waterfalls lay beautifully within the area of Khuean Sri Nagarindra National Park. It also has 7 levels and the journey to the top is about 2 kilometres. There is a flat camping area with great view of the river and Srinakarin Dam for a great sunset watching.

III. Sai Yok National Park

Sai Yok National Park has 2 main waterfalls. Sai Yok Noi Waterfall is a smaller fall in which the water is enclosed within a natural pool and it’s great for swimming. The bigger one, Sai Yok Yai Waterfall is a huge waterfall falling into Kwai Noi River. There is a suspension rope bridge that takes you to the other side of the river and it allows you to have a full look of Sai Yok Yai. If you want to spend the night here, there are floating villas for couple or family in which the river is just by your front door like the one operated by¬†Floathouse River Kwai. There’s also another option for a group of over 12 people. It’s a moving floating villa service. The villa is tied to a long-tailed boat and geared along the length of the river.

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IV. Kroeng Krawia Waterfall
Kroeng Krawia Waterfall

Kroeng Krawia Waterfall

Kroeng Krawia Waterfall is located right next to the road number 323. It’s¬†suitable for a lazy day as it can be seen from the road and it’s only 10 metres from where your car is parked so there’s no trekking. If you happen to drive pass it, you should stop and have a cool dip to refresh yourself before moving on to the next destination.

V. Baan Songkaria Resting Restaurant

If you are hungry, only about 5 minutes from Kroeng Krawia Waterfall, there is¬†the Baan Songkaria Resting Restaurant. Their dinning huts are almost in the canal as these huts are elevated, which allows you to soak your legs in the water, while eating. During some seasons, it’s a great spot for swimming or kayaking. You can check with the staff at the restaurant for the convenience.

VI. The Bridge Over the River Kwai and the Death Railway

Kanchanaburi is filled with scars and stories from wars. One of the most painful memory must be from the World War II. The Bridge Over the River Kwai is part of the Death Railway built by prisoners during the war to connect Thailand and Myanmar and used as supplier path for Imperial Japanese Army. The railway is called the Death Railway as over 16,000 war prisoners died during the construction period and the era of the war (Tourism Thailand, 2016.) The bridge is opened to be explored by foot or you could rent a kayak and paddle around the bridge. There is also a scheduled train from Bangkok, running on the railway as well.

If you have seen The Bridge Over the River Kwai starred William Holden before, the bridge in the movie is not from Kanchanaburi as the movie was filmed in Sri Lanka.

VII. Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum

Another section of this long railway that you shouldn’t miss is the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum, which is a railway cutting and there is a safe and convenience walking trail that allows you to explore the actual railway.

VIII. Prasat Muang Singh Historical Park

Prasat Muang Singh Historical Park is an old Khmer town built around the 12th century. This ancient city is very authentic and filled with evidences of the inhabitation. There are many ruins and remains of shrines and monuments to be found in which the main one is Prasat Muang Singh located in the middle of the park. Apart from the antiqueness, the tidiness and trees around the park also makes it a nice place to walk around or relaxing under the shade.

IX. Wooden Mon Bridge

Uttama Nusorn¬†Bridge is the longest wooden bridge in Thailand and it connects the people in Sangkhlaburi with Mon villagers. It’s not far from the Myanmar Border, the Three Pagoda Pass.

The best time to visit this place is in the early morning as you could start of by watching the sunrise over the dam, then see how locals and Mon villagers make merit in the morning by giving food to monks. There will be Mon kids, walking around with powdered face or you could even join some of them for a swim. Across the bridge is the Mon Village, which you can go and have Mon breakfast while observing the culture.

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X. Underwater City and the Sunken Temple
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Sangkhlaburi

Just by the Uttama Nusorn Bridge, there are few boat services taking you out along the river to visit the Underwater City and the Sunken Temple. Because of the operation of Khuean Wachiralongkorn Dam in 1984, Wat Luang Phor Uttama was flooded and drowned in the water but remains are still visible, especially during Summer. Evidences of this sunken temple that was built since 1953 includes pagodas, buddhas, statues, entrances and even arts on the walls of the temple. During other seasons, there are less to see, as only peaks of pagodas and walls are above the water.

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These 10 places are a mix of touristy spots, some unseen attractions and places where there are less tourists and more cultural. There are still more places in Kanchanaburi waiting to be explored as well.

 

 

 

 

 

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