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It was a last moment decision, but a very large group going. Kanchanaburi, where we had not been since Christmas, was now the goal for a very large group of not only my ATI coursemates, but a large number of friends and coworkers we had all met since then. Having some things to take care of before hand, I took a later bus and arrived to find a gang of nearly 15 huddled closely on wobbly street chairs around the 10 baht drink stand.

One of the largest crowds I've ever seen at the 10 Baht Drink Stand.

One of the largest crowds I’ve ever seen at the 10 Baht Drink Stand.

kanchanaburi-sugar-member-2Nearly 2 hours of getting reacquainted with people we hadn’t seen in a while and meeting many more, most decided 1:30 was a good time to quit and head to sleep. A few others of us decided that the rest of the night strip of Kanchanaburi still beckoned. This started with an oddly-placed Elvis impersonator singing under a Christmas banner still up from when I was there last and it finally ended at the makeshift nightclub, the Sugar Member.

The Sugar Member Bar.

The Sugar Member Bar.

Except, the night didn’t quite end there, but kept on going. Despite being the height of the slow season in Thailand, Sugar Member was hopping and not only with our group. Dancing and buckets amidst the recently remodeled blacklight décor, the time went by quicker than any of us seemed to realize.

When things get caught in the ceiling...

When things get caught in the ceiling…

When someone photobombs, drinks you bucket, and disappears...

When someone photobombs, drinks your bucket, and disappears…

Thankfully no violent scenes seemed to erupt as I’ve seen all too often at all-nighter bars, but odd happens did begin in the later hours. Shirts came off. Some were thrown into the ceiling, prompting the entire dance floor to work together to get them down. Random showings of pushups started. Odd, but genuine fun.

No idea why the push-ups started.

No idea why the push-ups started.


As the sunrise neared, the bar slowly began to empty out. Come first light, the last of my friends decided to head back to her guest house. Soon after, I walked through the sliding door of the alien and the astronaut making contact, and a few people had joined Sugar, the owner of the bar for some final drinks on the bench outside. They invited me to join them for a while.

Still, come 6:30 the night had finally caught up with me, and I did want to do stuff that day. So, saying goodbye to Sugar and her crowd, I caught a great still morning scene over the Kwae River, reflecting everything in sight.

First light over the calm Kwae River.

First light over the calm Kwae River.

Benjamin Williams

Hi all, my name is Ben. I’m a native Michigander with a passion for human culture and new places, and more than that, new experiences. I have degrees in archaeology and writing, pursuing a career in the latter. However, I never quite lost that fascination for archaeological theory. For the past 11 years, I’ve been living and travelling between Asia, Europe, and North America, documenting ancient sites and the peoples who built them, and then adapting them into practical archaeological travel information at

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