After an uneventful night bus to Bangkok (except for the guy sat next to claire who snored the whole way and kat falling over in the toilet) we got the bus to Kanchanaburi and headed for the jolly frog hostal which was right on the river Kwai.
Good choice! We had a massive room with its own balcony overlooking the river which was bigger then some of the rooms we've stayed in.
In true backpacker style we all crashed out till the afternoon then headed to a bar which was dubious to say the least! it was all made out of bamboo huts on stilts all linked by bridges and wasnt the most stable structure we've ever been on, wouldnt like to be up there on a windy day!
We had an amazing couple of days going round all the WWII sights including the Thailand Burhma railway centre which took you through the whole process of the build, the main cemetry which was divided up into sections depending from which country they had come from. It was shocking to see so many little white crosses, and there were many more just like it over the city. It really showed just how many people lost their lives building a bloody railway.
We went up to the actual bridge over the river Kwai and walked across it, there is a train but we thought that was a bit tacky. Kat had a strop over the number of japanese people there laughing and smiling and having their photos taken next to the bridge, show some bloody respect damn it!
After that experience we went for a ride out to the countryside where we found a temple and some lovely people selling all kinds of yummy food. The locals looked a bit confused as to why there were 3 english folk sat outside their temple munching but they were all really friendly and we had our first (of many) drinks in a bag, very exciting but a bit hard if you want to put it down, as claire found out!
Heading back to the city we stopped at the jeath museum which was possibly the most random museum in the history of museums which was just a load of random crap with the occasional WWII bit thrown in for good measure and some rather questionable manaquins with far too little clothing considering what they had underneath, not one for the kids!
The following day we decided to get a jeep as we wanted to go up to the hot springs which was too far to do on mopeds.
We made it up there after some dodgy map reading and headed to the stream which you have to go in first before going into the pools.
As usual the locals girls were all fully dressed so we got some interesting looks when Kat and Claire emerged in their bikinis!
The 1st pool was just a nice warm, the second was at Kat bath level and the 3rd was Claire bath level, otherwise known as burn your skin off temp.
Kat couldnt get in past her legs and Claire and Coop both near fainted when they got out!
After that interesting experience we headed to hell-fire pass where the hardest section of the railway was built as it was in solid rock and the highest number of fatalities was.
This was some place, we were given head sets which told you the story as you went round, we struggled just walking some of it and the POWs had to do it every day with no shoes or water and heavy equiptment on their backs. Most of them weighed less then Kat, what does that tell you!
You could still see marks in the rock where they had to drill into the rock to put the explosives in, everything was done by hand, even the clearing of the trees and rock once theyd blown up a section. It was haunting to see that, it made it all that much more real.
We all agreed it was the most amazing place we'd been to in Kanchanaburi and brought it all home for us what the POWs went through.
After that we all needed a beer so went to watch the sunset over the bridge.
The next day Kat and Coop went up to the three pagodas which is where the railway crosses over from Thailand to Burma.
We started the day in total embarrassment when we were sat on a step waiting for the bus and everyone stood up and faced us, it wasnt until the national anthem started playing that we realised we were sat at the bottom of the flag pole as they were raising the flag. Turns out they do this at 8am every morning, wish someone had told us!
After an 8 hour bus ride we finally got to the 3 pagoda, which wasnt very exciting, just 3 small mounds really and some market stalls round it.
We couldnt even go across the boarder coz it had been shut for 2 years, thanks lonely planet!
We did meet a very cool burmese boy at the boarder though who spoke just like shorty out of indiana jones! He was the only person there who spoke any english, but we couldnt figure out why he had an american accent!
We had a chat with him and learnt there was a half hour time difference with burma and he was 12, but looked about 8.
The bus journey back was a interesting as we missed the last bus and had to get a songtaw to the next town to catch one from there.
One massive thunderstorm later and a few near death experiences we got back to the jolly frog just as claire and a bunch of people she'd met that day were heading out for a beer (theyd already had 'a few' by this point!) so we decided to join them.
The group claire had met were a couple called dom and anna from falmouth, rosie from coleville which is the next village from hinkley, max from america who was a bit odd and dom from canada, known as canadian dom from then onwards!
We had a few tipples in a local bar (local bar meaning some stools on the side of the road) and made friends with a group of locals who turned out to be the local biker gang and started waving their guns about, the doms were pretending to shoot each other in the head until they realised the gun was actually loaded and decided they didnt like that game anymore, funny that!
Kat got chatted up by a thai boy in the toilet who decided he was her thai boyfriend and told us he was a film star and had been in rambo, so a good back up if she ever decides to settle in thailand!
As usual there were some drunken falling overs, claires being the most spectacular as she ended up on the floor before even realising shed fallen off her chair!
We retired to the pontoon at the jolly frog and Kat got told of by Max for poking the stars with his laser pen, apparently it was only allowed to be used for sensible pointing of the stars, not poking, but i dont think the stars were that bothered.