Bangkok - Kanchanaburi
I love Thailand.... everything is so different, from the super scary traffic, the people, the food, the smells and the way of life in general! They eat rice for breakfast! Mentalists!!
Anyway what I have been up to... I met up with my intrepid group and group leader "Noi" there is 12 of us in total! 4 English, 1 Swiss, 2 Canadians and 5 Australians! There are only three girls and one guy travelling alone and the rest are couples but everyone is reall nice so it is cool. After our pre dep meeting most of us went for a meal, I had Thai Green Curry which I think I may be sick of by the end of this trip! Suprisingly I actually prefer the way my Mum and Dad make theirs but the ones over here are much more spicy which I quite like too! I was pretty sleepy and think I have bit of jet lag so did not go out after the meal and was probably in bed by 10.30pm!
It was not an early start the next day thankfully so I could get up in my own time... I also got the chance to go to the market near our hotel and buy some bargain T.Shirts! Everything is so cheap ... its brilliant! And I get to bartar again which I have not been able to do since Africa! Although I am rubbish at it, its still fun! We had to re-group at 10am to go and catch a Long-tail Boat.... which was good fun, apparently the quickest way to get through the city is via the waterways! We sped past the Grand Palace that looked pretty impressive, and our first stop was Wat Po my first temple visit and the home of the reclining Buddha! It is bloody huge!! You can barely even get its whole head in a picture let alone the whole body! It was fairly impressive and despite everyone saying you will be bored of temples by the end of your trip I can't see it happening! They are so sparkly!!!!
Ooo I also saw my first Buddhist Monks in their orange robes.... Unfortunatley I have not plucked up the courage to have my picture taken with one yet! But Olivia I promise by the end of the trip I will!!! Had rice for lunch! I think this may be a regular occurance over the next 5 weeks!! We then hopped back on the Long-Tail boat to catch a bus to Kanchanaburi!
The bus ride took 2 hours but it was luckily on an air conditioned bus so was not too bad and I enjoyed staring out the window at Thailand! It really is like a different world... with whole families or old women zipping through the traffic on mopeds!
When we got to Kanchanaburi we got rickshaws (which are the bikes where you sit on the back and a guy pedals) to take us to our base of the next few nights "Apples Guesthouse"... I really liked being on the Rickshaw - it was fun!
This afternoon we used the Rickshaws again to spend a somber afternoon visiting The River Kwai Bridge and The Kanchanburi War Cemetry! For those of you, like me who have no idea what this was watch "The Bridge Over the River Kwai"... In short prisoners of war from England, Australia, America, Holland were used by the Japenese during the second world war to build the railway and bridge and stacks of people died! Visiting the cemetry was actually quite emotional reading all the messages from families of young soliders who died!
We had a group meal at Apples Guesthouse which was buffet style and the food was really nice, again I am exhausted so had an early night... I was supposed to have packed a over night bag for tomorrows Raft House trip but just fell straight to sleep! A Good Day!
Tuesday - We luckily did not have to leave the Guesthouse til 10am to get to the Rafthouse so I had plenty of time to pack my stuff! We are going to be spending the next 24 hours on a rafthouse! Which was like a wooden structure with no sides that got dragged along by a boat! It had three sections, one for eating and a bar area, one where we could keep out of the sun in the day and where we would be sleeping at night and out the back were some bamboo rafts which we could sunbathe on... attached to these were rubber rings on ropes which you could sit in and get dragged along as the boat moved! Unfortunatley I did not do this as the water reminded me off Aylesbury canal and I had no intention of putting anything other than my feet in it.... and only did this to cool down! During our trip on the rafthouse we visited two more temples which were both really cool... but for the life of me I cannot remember what they were called! It was fun sleeping on the rafthouse, we were moored up in the middle of the river and divided from the next person by just a mossie net!! The whole experience was very relaxing and gave us all the chance to get to know the group better!
We departed the Rafthouse at around 8am this morning and got a Songthaew which is a Thai style mini bus to The Jeath War Museum (Jeath stands for Japan, England, America and Australia, Thailand and Holland which were the countries involved and the word Jeath replaced the word Death as it was considered to graphic)- the trip was again very somber, but really interesting seeing photos taken by the POW's and reading newspaper articals! After this we got back in the Songthaew to take a 2 hour drive to Erawan National Park to visit the 7 tiers of Waterfalls! It was boiling hot we decided to walk straight up to number 7 and then swim in each one on the way down! This was really good, by the time I got to the top I was pretty sweaty and relieved to get into the water! Each falls were really pretty, and we spent a total of 4 hours exploring them!
It was then back to Apples Guesthouse, where unfortunately we found out "Noi" our tour guide would be being replaced as he has damaged his foot and will not be able to cope with the amount of walking involved on this trip! We were all pretty gutted as he is a really good guide with an excellent knowledge of Thailand and its culture! Fingers crossed our new guide is as nice!
Wow what an essay - can you tell I like Thailand! Off to get some dinner and some kip!
P.S Happy Valentines Day!! Mum can you collect all my cards and presents from the post office and leave them unopened on my bed!!
Was going to upload photos but do not have time now! Should be able to in a few days when in Chang Mai!