Tuesday, 24 September 2013


But we are soon on the road again and out to explore more of this beautiful country, Kanchanaburi being our first destination.  It’s an awesome break away and we are back to a hectic travel schedule, but im loving it. We leave Pattaya and head to Bangkok for an unwanted overnighter due to travel arrangements, staying at Jolly Suites, not a bad place for $26.  We take the mini bus from Pattaya for 300bt, around $10 for the 2 of us.  

There is a decent little night market close by to the room and it was good to see a part of the city I probably wouldn’t normally stay in, Thonburi.  It was a great little street scene full of market stalls, almost limitless choice of delicious food and a great atmosphere, the kind of place that makes me love Bangkok.  I finally do some shopping here and my nephew Jack gets a couple of new outfits, the only person to get a gift on my return home.

We wake early the next morning for a cab to Thonburi train station, as that is the only one to get to Kanchanaburi, the cabbie gets totally lost and gets us to the WRONG station about 40 minutes after the intended departure time. Seeing as ‘This is Thailand’ (TIT), we still had to wait another 15 minutes for it to show up! Crisis averted, as I couldn’t really handle sitting at this station in the middle of bumfuck (that’s middle of nowhere for you non Australians), for another 6 hours waiting for the next train.

 It was on to Kanchanaburi and a really enjoyable, 3 hour trip? However long it was, I thought it was a good way to make the trip with some great scenery, windows down and plenty of room, all for 100bt for falang and free for Thai’s. I told Mon we should travel everywhere by train now! 

Kanchanaburi was bloody awesome, I really loved it there and I’ve really only scratched the surface, there is so much to do and see, nature-wise, and such a large area to explore.  I can’t wait to get back there on a bike and do the whole province more thoroughly, some awesome riding and great places to visit, this province hasn’t seen the last of me. 

We saw and did a lot in a short space, but it was barely a ripple on the surface of the attractions around the place.  I even did my first real ‘group tour package’ in the whole time away I think, but it was well worth it.

We jumped on a minibus for the day to take us out to Erawan Waterfall’s in the morning, which was great planning as we got there well before the hordes of tourists that appeared later in the day. I think Erawan would have to be nearly the best thing I have seen in Thailand, it definitely lost its charm closer to 12 o’clock as the tourists really started flocking in, but we had 3 hours there in relative peace and quiet and had the place mainly to ourselves.

 Yes it is a pure money maker and tourist hotspot but it really was a pretty amazing experience, the photos don’t do it justice, plus my battery crapped out and I didn’t actually get many pictures.

We followed a beautiful, winding, sometimes steep, jungle trail all the way up the 7 tiers that make up Erawan, it’s a great hike. I swam all the way up in each of the different pools of the most awesome colour, each with it’s own waterfall, while schools of carp (some up to around 3kg) swam around us and occasionally went in for a light nip on your legs. I just wanted to have a cast at em!!  It really is one of the most beautiful places and easily the best waterfall I have been to, even now at the current point in time after seeing quite a few in Indonesia.

 I will be back there for sure and can’t recommend the place highly enough, they actually do a decent job of keeping the park, or at least what I saw of it, clean. After a nice lunch we finished out the day with tour package fluff fillers, beginning with elephant riding, fuck that… never again, did nothing for me.  It was majorly uncomfortable, boring and our elephant seemed ready to fly off the handle at any moment.  We saw a couple bathing an elephant in the river and I would recommend that option if you ever go.

 They followed that up with a bamboo raft trip on the river, which consisted of a shitty old canoe with car motor, towing a fairly heavy and unhydrodynamic (if that’s a word?) “raft” upstream and then letting us drift back around the corner from which we had just been slowly, loudly towed!!

 Haha , probably explains my aversion to group tour packages. But to be fair, I jumped over the side and swam/floated the rest of the way back which actually made the whole experience pretty good and worth doing. A train ride, cave temple, death railway tour, try to get falang to buy crap souvenirs while he waits for the train experience, and Bridge over the River Kwae rounded out our day and back to our floating room on the river in town. 

I joke about it, but it really was a great day out aside from the elephant riding, and Erawan is definitely not to be missed, it really is a must visit destination and a tour package actually worked out to be a better option than the bike on this occasion.
 Link to mini bus site   Pattaya Van

Floating down the river

this was such a great day, it's a shame I didn't have more pictures.  I wasn't planning a blog at this stage and often tended to think that a picture in my mind was enough.