Published: November 22nd 2011November 6th 2011
This trip to Kanchanaburi was exactly was I needed. I was so overwhelmed with the situation in Samut Sakhon that I was ready to break. There was no time to breath before we were going full force with the school. It was a real blessing to have the King announce a 5 day holiday. Erika and I hurried out of town and made our way to meet a bunch of friends who were in Kanchanaburi. The Bangkok flood has really affected everyone in Thailand, especially in the Bangkok area. On the day before Erika and I were to leave to go back to our school, our director called and told us that due to the flood the school would be cancelled for the next week. This is how it has been for many schools for the past month.. Delays..delays...delays…
Erika and I were so thrilled to be able to enjoy Kanchanaburi for another week. Kanchanaburi is a really beautiful place in Thailand and only about 2 hours away from Bangkok. Erika and I both rented a motorbike to share and had our first driving experiences on it! It is such a thrill to be on a motorbike driving
through the country. It's such a different perspective of a place when you get to drive yourself around and get lost here and there. We saw such great things during the moments we were lost. Just another part of the adventure!
Cave Temple- you guessed it, it's an awesome temple in a cave. Just above the cave temple was a beautiful lookout of the River Kwai and some mountains. We had an amazing time just taking in the view. It was such a peaceful place… well when the party boats weren't passing by on the river! These party boats blast loud Thai music and people are enjoying a ride down the river.
Erawan Falls- such a beautiful 7 stage waterfall! On some levels you can swim around the waterfall or even climb it! On one you could slide down the waterfall! Each stage was full of surprises and such an unimaginable beauty. We even saw monkeys hanging around enjoying the day.. Stealing tourists food. At the very top, we witnessed a TV show final being filmed for a show comparable to The Bachelor, it was called "Will you marry me?" She said yes!
Dragon Temple- this temple was high in a mountain and we had to climb up through the dragons mouth to get to it. The mouth of the dragon lead us straight into yet another cave temple! Caves are everywhere here! We wandered even higher than the temple on the path and saw Kanchanaburi from a birds eye view. It was such a stunning sight. Up at the top, we discovered yet another cave.. This one much more hyped up with cool lights. We almost missed it because the entrance to the cave seemed dangerous and not meant for tourists to wander down.
The Bridge Over the River Kwai- this is a popular tourist destination. Usually tour groups come in vans for a few hours and then jet back to busy Bangkok. I think it's a shame many tourists only experience this one landmark of Kanchanaburi. It is a remarkable bridge only popular due to it's awful history. Many P.O.W's were killed in the building of this bridge during WWII. You can take a very scenic train ride along this famous railroad and see the efforts of these poor prisoners.
The River Kwai-
a few of us took a fun kayaking trip down the river. It was such an amazing afternoon just kayaking down the river. We felt so disconnected from the busy touristy area. Some of us even braved jumping in the water. I did this BEFORE I saw the lizard monster in the river by our hostel! On our way to the top of the river, the company had us sit ON TOP of the truck (literally on the roof) while the kayaks were placed in the sitting area of the truck… makes sense right?! It was a fun ride to our destination. We were honked and cheered at! What's a better way than to put the foreigners on top of a roof to make them stick out!?
The local markets- there were a few to explore in Kanchanaburi. At one, a couple of our guys braved eating bugs! I took their pictures for them.. That will be my extent on the bug eating sort. A few of the markets were geared only towards locals and it was fun to explore all the goodies. The street food was also very amazing and super cheap.
Mueang Sing Historical Park- this is about 40 km away from the city of Kanchanaburi.. A fun motorbike ride away. There are ruins there built by the same dynasty that built Angkor Wat. It was a fun day exploring the grounds and playing on the ruins. Much less overwhelming than Angkor Wat because there are only a few ruins to see. We also were able to see mummified skeletons that were discovered just outside the walls of the ruins.
VN Guesthouse- was our amazing hostel. We would just spend the mornings enjoying the deck that overlooked the River Kwai and the gorgeous mountain view. The French toast here is absolutely amazing as well!
It was an amazing time in Kanchanburi but it had to end at some time. By Friday, everyone had to be on their way. Erika and I headed back to Samut Sakhon where we gave ourselves the weekend to settle in before school on Monday. That wasn't necessary though, because Sunday morning, we received a call from our director announcing to us that yet again the school was cancelled for another week. This time, our friends, Ben and Lauren, who teach
at another school in Samut Sakhon, also got the week off. There were rumors that the flood was going to hit our city. We immediately chose our new travel destination… Chiang Mai! And were off that very night.
There are more photos below