Bridge over the River Kwai

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July 24th 2013
Published: June 21st 2017
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Geo: 14.02, 99.53

I could see the limestone kirst mountains from a distance when I was cycling in, and prayed that the end of my day wouldn't be all uphill, thankfully it turns out the mountains are on the opposite side of the river (I'm such a wimp) which saves my weary legs. In saying that if I had no option then I would soon be up and over, you just don't have a choice and glad that I have a certain stubborn streak. The mountains make a lovely backdrop on the approach to Kanchanaburi which turns out to be a really lovely place, with a nice feel to it.

I'm staying at the Jolly Frog which was recommended by friends as is in a great location, with a big garden area and access to the river for swimming or boats or fishing etc. and everyone mingles and talks away to each other which is great. I join a few new friends along to the Bridge over the River Kwai and had a fantastic day out, it was great seeing the actual bridge and walking across it, although you can take a tourist train over if you want to go further.

Burma Railway, often referred to the Death Railway, is the Thai – Burmese Railway line which was built by the Japanese in World War II, using a forced workforce of Asians and Prisioners of War alike. It is estimated that 90,000 Asian and 16,000 POWs died on the project and their forced labour and stories look horrendous. There is a museum at one end of the bridge with lots of information and facts, steam trains, helicopter's and history and is once again an education for me.

After our visit we decided to try and get a boat back down to the hostel but after speaking to the driver, we decided to visit Khao Poon Caves further down the river for an hour before returning and spent a fair time haggling with him before agreeing and jumping in. From the second we got out onto the river I was in heaven, the noise and speed of the boat was exciting and fun as we flew along trying to take some pictures and take in the area. I know that I must sit with a grin from ear to ear but I just can't help it, my brain has its own ideas
what my face should be doing and it's out with my control, but sometimes it ain't pretty...

Jumping off at the caves we headed off to explore and came across an outstanding viewpoint which was looking out onto the river and mountains and was just beautiful. Finding access to the cave I was surprised to see that we were the only tourists but it meant we had the place to ourselves but as the chambers narrowed the heat built up, it was roasting inside. There were various caves to see and statues etc. and the actual structure of the cave just doesn't look real, the rock formations are unbelievable. So after our visit its back to the boat for more of the fun factor and what a thrill it was, I was high as a kite by the time I was dropped off at the jetty of the hostel after a memorable day.

Nothing else for it to go and experience some of the nightlife with a few from the hostel, we had dinner and a couple of drinks and were sitting in the 10TBH drink shot stop when a crowd of Harley riding bikers road into town. After a
few photos and shots I was their new best buddy and danced the night away in Blue Jeans Bar which had western style sign writing and the owner had a big long white beard and hair and was such a character, a rock band were playing which is the best I have heard in a long time, and a general fun night was had, it turned out it was one of the biker guys birthdays which we were invited into their company.

I end up staying a couple of days in Kanchanaburi and am currently updating blogs in 'Mangosteen' a bar/restaurant which has the tastiest food I've had here in Thailand, their Chicken Panang Curry and Sticky rice was a real winner the incredible flavors made for a real taste sensation… delicious food, lovely atmosphere and great wifi which is a novelty.

Who knows where the road will lead me next, but I'll soon let you know.

If you're interested I have a ‘Track my Tour' app (just click on the link) which I started using for my cycling journey. It only details the cycling part of my trip and it's only now that I'm actually using it but
to date I estimate I've cycled 8000 km from Xi'an in China, down through the length of Vietnam, Cambodia, a short visit in Laos and now Thailand – who would have thought!

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