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Published: January 2nd 2010
Sorry this last blog has been a long time coming but what with Christmas in between I just didn't get around to it.. Anyway, as I left it last time we were heading to Kanchanaburi with the Minibus. This turned out to be a very good idea as we got picked up from our hostel and taken right to the door of our guesthouse in Kanchanaburi, great service and for not much more money than using public transport.
Now, we have been to Kanchanaburi before but decided to go back and spend Christmas here as it was so relaxing, we are also travelling back just after Christmas so wanted to be close to Bangkok, we stayed in the same guesthouse as before, its called VN Guesthouse, its right on the river, from our room we are looking directly at the river its just so peaceful and relaxing here. The rooms are basic but have everything you need for a short stay, and only 8 Euro a night, you just can't beat it. But the one reason we came back here is the restaurant that they have here, its cheap but with great food, be it Thai or Western and the atmosphere
sporting my hat...
is great, you get great sunsets, what more can you ask for for the price.
Anyway, on arrival we had to have one of their Lassie drinks, basically a smoothy, just the best, you have to try one if you go here, we got ourselves settled in then went for a short walk into the town, into the main town of Kanchanburi you are a 20min walk, but a 2 min walk will take you to the local nightlife, you have a good choice of bars and eateries so you won't be stuck for choice, a few girlie bars going on there, but then if thats not your scene as not ours, then as I said earlier the VN is just a great place to hang out.
The following day we decided to walk to the bridge, you have a lot of Rickshaw drivers offering their services and they will take you to the bridge for about 80 Baht (1.50 Euro) which is not bad but we like to walk and the walk is only half hour, so not bad, but if you suffer in the heat then don't do this. Got to the bridge and thought we had better
what do we look like...don't answer that...
do the walk over it again, this we did, but this time it was so busy, lots of Japanese tourists and also a massive group of boy scouts who didn't care who's way they got in, why I say this is, you have to be really careful walking over the bridge as there are lots of holes that your foot can go down so easily. On the way to the bridge you will see the Jeath Museum, its full of a lot of artifacts to do with the history of the bridge and Hellfire pass etc, the better museum to go to is Death Museum which is by the war cemetery, very moving and full of a lot of actual written evidence of what went on..As I said earlier we have been here before so decided to head back early and chill for the rest of the day.
Today we are going elephant bathing, yet again we have done this before but it was so much fun and we also didn't video ourselves so as we enjoyed it so much first time we thought why not do it again..You have an elephant ride for about half hour and on the
just like royalty...
way the elephant picked some leaves gave them to his Mahut out of which he then made us some hats, (see pics). We then change elephants and go in the river to wash them, you sit on the neck of the elephant, and you really have to hold on, the river was flowing very fast this day so a bit nervous at first, anyway, your then handed a scrubbing brush and some cleaning solution is poured on the elephant and you proceed to scrub him, they really look like they are enjoying it as every now and then they tend to point with their trunks where they want a scrub, they loved it on their ears. When its rinse time, they go right under the water and all the time you holding on with them knees, when he comes up he decides its you that needs a rinse and blows water up over his head onto you, its so much fun, well worth doing if you ever go to this area. The nice thing about this trip is that its only for 3 hours so its not taking up your whole day.
That night we have arranged to go with
Stan giving him a good scrub...
some Dutch people and a fellow Brit that are staying at VN to go to this place that does all you can eat buffet for 99 Baht, have been told its only Thai's that go there and we will probably be the only Farang's there (foreigners), they have been a few times before but only ever with Thai people so should be interesting. So, we get picked up by taxi or songthew as its called there and we head to the outskirts of town, when we walk in its like we are the local attraction, all heads turn our way, quite funny. So, we get shown to our table, we have two tables and in the middle of each table is a big hole, next thing a big bucket full of burning charcoal is placed in this hole, then a metal screen put around it and then a strange shaped metal pan placed on that, Angela and Ronald who have been before explain that we have to go and choose our meat but in the meantime she goes and gets some pig fat to grease the tin, also into the tin is poured a stock to boil.. Off we go
and down he goes..
to choose our meat, there is a vast array of choice, from meat, to seafood and some food we have no idea what it is, we stick on the safe side and choose beef and chicken. You also have cooked foods to choose from also rice and noodles, salads etc, loads to choose from in fact. Back at the table we see Angela has also brought over some uncooked noodles and vegetables, these she places in the stock and tell us to put our meat on the hump in the middle of the pan, when its all cooked you put it together in a bowl and makes a soup. It was all a very unusual way of having your food but have to say it was so tasty, and all the time the staff are topping up your glasses, this you have to be careful of, you just don't realise how much your drinking. You could go back for more food as many times as you wanted and we did a few times as it was all so nice, and at the end of it you even got a choice of ice-cream or fresh fruit. The bill at the end
of the night for 7 of us plus 7 large beers and some soft drinks was only 1,100 Baht (22 euro), you just can't believe it. Was a great night with great company.
Following day Stan is on a mission to find a Thai lantern, its on his wish list this time in Thailand to send one up, in case you don't know what they are its where they have a paper lanter and hanging underneath is a paraffin soaked disc, this you set light to the disc and when the lantern fills up with hot air it floats into the night sky.. Luckily before we left the guesthouse we got the receptionist to write down exactly what we wanted, this turned out to be a really good idea as when we go to the area we were sent to we didn't see any anywhere so went into a stationary shop to ask and were pointed straight away to a shop that had them, but not on display so thank goodness for that piece of paper, we agreed a price of 250 Baht (5 Euro) for 5, later told this was a really cheap price..Mission accomplished we decided to find
can you make out what this is trying to say..
the Post Office as wanted to post some cards and according to the town map we had we weren't that far away, so off we walk, and walk we did, and walk, we eventually ended up on the outskirts of the town, we came across a policeman so asked him, he pointed us in the direction we were heading and also said maybe we should take a bus as it was 200mts,, ha, ha, only, we have legs for that far, so again off we set and 10 mins later we still haven't got to the post office, again I stop and ask some people, again pointed in the direction we were going, again off we set, and eventually after another 5 mins of walking we find the Post Office.
Why we walked all this way I dont know as we could of bought stamps in any touristic shop. Stamps bought cards sent, you would think we would take a taxi back, nope, off we head yet again on foot but glad we did as we came across a lovely Wat on the return and also an old part of Kanchanaburi, we also came across a programme where they were
ourside our room at VN.. perfect location..
neutering cats and dogs, not sure if it was a free programme, but was good to see as you get a lot of stray dogs generally in Thailand..
Eventually get back to VN and get ourselves a well earned beer.
Christmas day we decided to take a Rickshaw back to the bridge and have another walk around the market stalls there, we then walk back and on the return meet a dutch couple that we have got friendly with Angela and Ronald from VN, and have a drink with them in one of the bars in the town, here they are doing a traditional Christmas lunch so quite a few Brits and Ex Pats here and a nice atmosphere.. After a couple of drinks we head back to VN as they are putting on a free buffet for its guests that evening, a really nice touch we think as the place we had just been to were charging 650 Baht (13 Euro) for their dinner. The evening was a really nice one, most of the guests got chatting and it was a really relaxed and laid back atmosphere, Christmas music playing in the background, we met some nice people from
Bridge over the River Kwai
Switzerland, Holland, UK, Sweden. Have to say all this holiday I only drank beer, but this night I thought I would treat myself and have wine, but didn't stop on 1, as usual, ended up having one to many and talking too much, but was a really enjoyable night. Stan also got to send up his lantern, had a few failed attempts, but eventually got there, and it was a really nice sight watching it go up into the nights sky and lovely end to our travels..
The next day we leave with the mini bus to take us to Bangkok, our last day is spent catching up on the shopping that we have avoided all holiday, but we are the worse shoppers and end up with only a few things to take back.
So, thats it, our holidays are at an end, thanks for reading and if anyone has any questions of anywhere we have been to please feel free to write to us...
Bye for now, till the next travel starts....
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