05.09.2009 - 07.09.2009 32 °C
On Saturday we got up early and where met at seven in our hotel lobby for the bus ride to Kanchanaburi. About two and a half hours later we arrived and visited a cemetery for those killed building the Death Railway between Thailand and Burma in WW2. After this we headed to the museum and the Bridge Over the River Kwai. The museum was interesting and despite the railway still being in operation you were allowed to walk all over the bridge with small platforms for when the train came. We headed off to catch the train for a short ride on the Death Railway. For the first few stops it was pretty full with other tour groups but fro the last couple of stops which was probably the most beautiful part we had pretty much the whole train to ourselves.
After having lunch at a floating restaurant we headed off to the Hellfire Pass and museum which was one of the most difficult parts of the railway to build. The museum was good and it was quite amazing to see how deep a trench the POWs and the labourers had been forced to dig in such a short period of time. It was then back to the restaurant for a very early dinner before we took a boat up the river to our raft hotel. The hotel was really good and we were able to swim in the fast flowing river. However, after jumping in it was only about twenty seconds before you reached the other end of the hotel and you had to be careful not to miss the raft and float away down stream with the strong current meaning you were pretty much horizontal when grabbing on to the raft.
The next morning we got up early to visit the Erawan waterfalls. These were really amazing with seven separate waterfalls but unfortunately we only just had time to get to the top so could not hang around for long. We went for a swim at the fourth level which I sought of fell into as I was standing on a submerged rock and was taken by surprise by a whole load of fish nibbling on my feet. We effectively got a free sample of a fish massage which will cost you a couple of hundred Baht in Bangkok Whilst swimming you had to keep moving to stop them coming back for more. The water was very refreshing being pretty cold. Then as we were heading back towards the car park I was stopped by a Thai man who wanted to have his picture taken next to the tall foreign man.
We then headed back to the floating restaurant for lunch and then went off to look at some caves. The caves were good and we just timed to it to leave the caves when the rain started and had to walk back down a very slippery staircase. Then it was back to the hotel to chill out.
This morning we had a bit of a lie in and then went off to go elephant trekking. It was an amazing thing to do but elephants are probably the world's least stable and one of the most uncomfortable forms of transport. As there was just a seat on its back whenever it went downhill it was a challenge to hold on and not slide off the front. At the end of the trek we then got to feed the elephants bananas which they grabbed off us with their trunks and happily ate the whole lot. In fact they spent most of the trek eating with one elephant charging off into the bushes for a particularly tasty tree.
After returning to the hotel we got onto a bamboo raft to float down to the restaurant. After a few minutes we were allowed to leave the raft and swim and it was really good just floating down the river for about twenty minutes. Just short of the hotel we reached a bridge and jumped off before swimming over to the restaurant. This afternoon it was a bus ride back to Bangkok where we arrived at about 18.00.