Boats, Bridges and Birthdays

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Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Kanchanaburi
September 6th 2012
Published: June 14th 2017
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Geo: 14.02, 99.53

The ride to kachanaburi was to be another bum breaker. With only 2 hrs in a train, it was thought that it was going to be easy times considering what we have been through previously. However when the train rolled in, over an hr early, we were greeted with park bench esque seating... bottoms were not going to be happy with this arrangement! We... Dan, Vicky, Jay and I played cards for a while, until the train chalked up some speed and the Breeze through the windows became to strong for the cards to remain on our knees and so it was book time. Which was extended due to delays on trains coming the other way (they operate a token system, where by there is only one token per section of line and the drivers swap it as they pass each other so only one train per track section, therefore no crashes. Anyways, once we had arrived, we walked to the hostel, or should I say we walked backwards, forwards, backwards, forwards to the hostel... there are 2 Sam's places there!!! It was right on the river, literally floating rooms. Sadly as we were budget rooms, we were facing the bank, but it was still damn cool! There was also a Fab seating area in the main reception, slightly higher up than the rooms, making for some spectacular views of the hills behind.As we had left Bangkok in the afternoon, it was most definitely dinnertime by the time we found our bearings. We found an awesome little place with pad Thai and a bottle of coke for a pound... sorted! A tour for the following day was also organised, out to Hellfire pass and surrounding tourist spots and then bed time in our floating 'palace' along with the insect population of Thailand.

The first destination on the tour was a waterfall, which was indeed beautiful, however after the 60m high one in Laos, was not as spectacular! It was then to Hellfire pass, where 10,000 allied POW died during the 2WW, being starved and beaten by the japanese forces. They carved a hole in a towering rockface to allow the 'death railway' to pass through to Burma. It is now a museum and memorial. It was indeed upsetting, but having known about it before, it was not as big a shock to the system as the killing fields in Cambodia. Lunch followed, which was a buffet style and as i was the only person on the table that liked fish, i ate a whole one (meant for 4) to myself! oooops- at least it is 'good' for you!?... Now, due to the weather, we were not allowed to go swimming in the hot springs, which was next on the itinerary, so we decided to abandon it and get our money back and go to see a cave instead, that the local people and POW used as an air raid shelter during the allied raids on the railway. It was a huge cave, now used to house Buddhas, and there was even a little monk running around the place too! At the back, there was an area where some had chosen to hide where there is no oxygen. Really random, i am guessing there is some other gas coming from the earth? and then it was train time.... the heavens opened, but luckily there was somewhere to hide from it whilst we ate icecream and awaited its arrival. The ride was a long one, but it meant that we could cross over the bridge over the river Kwai actually on a train. It was great to see it, and some parts were still original. It had been a good day out, but i hope that is the last of the depressingness for a while.

Chris' 21st was the following day, and so Bob organised 2 speed boats to take us for a blast up and down the river. 5 of us in each boat. At first the drivers did not want to go first as the amount of fuel they would get through, however, with a little more financial motivation, fast we went. the 2 boats racing each other down the water. It was great fun. This was followed by a Thai massage. Having never had a normal massage before, i wasn't really quite sure what to expect, and it was good, but i do have bruises from it. She was a scary lady, who did everything she could to get my back to crack, even rolling me over her head, however crack it did not! In the evening, Jmo had organised a 'pub quiz' in honour of chris' birthday. It was great to have everyone together and the winner of every round got chocolate which made it even more competitive! We came second, so didn't do badly really!

It was sad to leave the riverside, however island and beach bumming life was a calling and i was a going 😊

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