Kanchanaburi - Elephants, Waterfalls, Rafts etc
Trip Start May 13, 2007
10Trip End Jul 26, 2007
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On getting off the bus in Kanchanaburi, I realised my guesthouse and the town centre were quite far away, so I decided to look around for a taxi, apparently such things don't exist out here, what they have instead is something which resemble a rickshaw. A man on a bike with a little sheltered seat on the back for passengers. I felt so mean getting in with my huge, heavy rucksack and him having to pedal 2 miles in the sweltering heat to the guesthouse! He didn't even break a sweat or seem out of breath though!
www.pongphen.com) is really nice, I have my own little bungalow right on the river with a little veranda at the front with a table and chair - all for less than 2 pound per night! the guesthouse also has a bar which shows films every night.
I arrived midday, so had a shower and something to eat at the guesthouse and headed straight out into town. Not really knowing much about the history of the bridge on the river Kwai and the death Railway, I visited the memorial museum first. It was really moving, I hadn't realised that over 100,000 prisoners of war had died building the railway in forced Japanese labour camps. Thousands of them were British.
I didn't sleep very well as I was afraid my alarm wouldn't go off and I would miss my 8am pick-up for my tour. The situation wasn't helped by 2 geckos in my room who were making loud (what I assume to be) mating calls! I never realised they could even make a noise!
I was joined on the tour by an Australian girl, a french couple an Argentinian girl and the typical couple of older, fat British man with young pretty Thai girl. i've seen that a lot here, its sad for the girls, i think. The man annoyed everyone else on the trip with the degrading way he spoke to his girlfriend all of the time, like she was stupid. anyway, enough of me ranting!
First stop was the elephant camp, the bit I'd been most looking forward too! The elephants were huge! They put a seat on the back and me and Siany, the Australian girl got in, and the elephant trainer sat on its neck - I don't know how he kept his balance. I don't know how I kept mine while the elephant lumbered around!
After that, it was back in the minibus to Erwan National Park, where we would be trekking up seven levels of the famous waterfalls there after having some lunch in a restaurant there. the begining of the trek started out fine, it wasn't too steep and there was a clear path to follow and our guide was with us. When we got to the second level, we all went for a swim in the pool at the bottom of the waterfall. It was so refreshing, that is, until the fish started to bite!
I had a quick nap and a shower, then we'd all arranged to meet in a restaurant for drinks and something to eat. It was nice to get to know everyone and I got to speak Spanish (which is getting rusty) with Annelli, the Argentinian girl! So after food and a few beers I went off to bed, but again found it difficult to sleep, this time because of the heat. oh, and I've realised why the beer is affecting me a lot more here that at home - turns out its 7%!
Today is going to be spend chilling out and looking around the town. Tomorrow I'm leaving for Ayuthaya, the city of ruins.
Again, you can see all of the photos from Kanchanaburi (its takes too long to upload them to this site) at www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=21973&l=bb399&id=559965371