Tigers and Waterfalls
Trip Start Feb 28, 2012
40Trip End Nov 22, 2012
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OK so been in Kanchanaburi for about 4 days i think, managed to catch up on sleep finally and spent the few days mainly looking at the sites; hired a mountain bike for 3 days and biked everywhere!! On the second day i tried getting some money from an ATM just for nothing to come out - just what you need on a street in Thailand right? So i jump on my bike and bike to the city centre but i get beeped at a lot and notice theres no other cycles on this main road so guessing thats why, undeterred i continue only to find the banks shut - its Sunday - of course they are shot so i decide to find a way back via some sites and away from that main road and though i get lost and find zero sites i see loads of side streets and rivers and shrines (shrines and mini temples and Buddha praying areas are absolutely everywhere - you literally have nothing and run down shacks for a bit and then this huge colourful Buddha statue).. i remember stopping at a local food place, well actually when i sit down i realise its just a womans house and she is cooking from outside the front of her house but like most experiences i have had so far, at first she looks horrified when i get off my bike and approach her but then, phrasebook to hand, i manage to ask what she recommends and she smiles, sits me down and brings me a great freshly cooked Pad Tai - you know every time i ask what they recommend or whats good i get a Pad Tai - i think they know tourists like a Pad Tai so my mission is to ask what the recommend but say 'but not a pad tai!'... Anyway, not too disimilar to tradespeople all over the world learning Del Boy phrases like "luvely Jubbly' to impress the shoppers, i too have developed a few lines like: A Roy Mahk 'That was delicious' after a meal which they always love and after saying hello i now say ah gaht dee na 'what a beautiful day'... what they say back to me is a mystery but i smile and that seems to do...
So anyway, next day i go to the bank, they laugh at me for about half hour of trying to explain the problem, but not in a condescending way, more in making you feel better in that they really dont understand my yorkshire accent Thai but like that i am there and trying to speak Thai as they dont know English..! That afternoon i go to Tiger temple too, i have more pics but the ones uploaded give you an idea. It costs 600 Bhat for the 2 hour round trip taxi and entry (about 12 quid) and i pay an extra 500 bhat to be one of twenty people who stay after and your put in a cage whilst the tigers start playing and fighting with each - got some great videos of this but cant upload so will save them for when i get back - scary stuff tho...
Next morning i go off on my bike again to the Bridge over the river Kwai which you instantly recognise from the film - it seems a very distinct style bridge for some reason; there's loads of tourists there and im noticing there does seem a lot of French, Germans and some eastern europeans about but loads of French at the bridge and at the tiger temple too - on my videos all you can here when the tigers get a bit fiery is these Frenchy's all saying 'ohh la la', 'putain' and 'ohhh' & 'ayyyy'...!
Instead of going on the train which goes over the bridge i decide to go to Erewan falls but i get a motorbike and bike it, its a 150km round trip but the driving here is safe and pretty easy but the dusty air really sets my sinus off and my eyes have been watering for about 24 hours now but it just tells me if i do it again i should get a snood type scarf and wrap it round my face.... You'll see for the few pics that the falls are sooooo beautiful and i have a swim, have my feet nibbled at by loads of the fish and am glad i changed plans to go there....
So thats a shortened version of Kanchanaburi and at dinner today i took a 3 hour mini bus to Sangklaburi, 200km+ north; so hot right now too but it seems a lot quieter here, not nearly as touristy which is what i wanted and the plan here was to see the few shrines and temples there are and also try volunteer at this orphanage here too but having arrived and booking in to the Burmese Inn, which costs 400 bhat by the way and i am finding my 10 quid daily budget just aint happening, i am seeing that prices are certainly higher everywhere than they were and are in my 2088 lonley planet guide! as it said this place was 150 bhat and i know thats only 8 quid instead of 3 quid but its still a hefty hike and budget cutter too.... but anyway after eating in the usual, very low key, almost run down local eatery i walk out only to find the most modern, retro style cafe i have ever seen - right out of Hebden Bridge and selling machine made Mocha's and Latte's - its air-con-tastic too and so ive been here now emailing, uploading pics and updating this for about an hour and a half and on my second mocha now!! Strange but blissful... so tonight i am gonna buy some water, go back, shower, just eat at the inn if it looks OK and read a bit and learn so more Thai and start early tomorrow to see the temples and arrange the volunteering so based on what they say i can do and when, i will then be taking the bus either to The Three Pagodas which is on the Burmese border and for 500 bhat you can do a day pass in to Burma and it seems a shame whilst here not to see Burma if only for one day, or i go north again about 100km i think to Um Phang i think its called and think it will be like here but probably smaller again.... so gonna sign off now and quickly search online for anything else here in Sangklaburi to do and also a cheaper hotel for tomorrow....
I hope you are all good, missing you all but also having a great time; wishing you had some of this 35 degree+ heat but i will also gladly accept it for all of you and just continue to tell you about it...!
Love Lee. x