Sunday, October 21, 2007

Kanchanaburi on a Motorcycle!

The last two days have be quite adventurous...

After spending the last few days in the crazy city of Bangkok, I was about ready to get away to a bit more of a relaxed atmosphere. I heard that Kanchanaburi, just west of Bangkok, was home to some rolling hills and amazing waterfalls, which sounded just about right.

Dylan, the Australian, yoga-hippy-friend that I made at the last guest house in Bangkok accidentally missed his flight to India where he was headed on a yoga retreat for 6 months, and ended up tagging along with me to Kan'buri. He couldn't get another flight until Thursday. We get a long well together. He's very polite, easy going and pretty damn hilarious. It's nice having a male to travel with for a few days too, rather reassuring.

We took a 3 hour bus ride ($2) and arrived at a lovely guest house with some excellent single bungaloos on stilts above the River Kwai for 200 baht a night ($6 or so). The place is great. Family owned and operated, and really genuine. I made friends with a couple of youngsters, gosh the children here are adorable! We threw tree fruits at a lotus leaf for hours together! The only strange thing that I found about the bungaloos was that the toilet doesn't flush...we'll not the way we would flush it. The bathrooms come equipped with a bowl next to the toilet which you fill with water and pour into the toilet once you've done your business. The pressure from the weight of the water forces it down...kinda strange, I just now realized that you are supposed to pour a large amount in at one time rather than lots of small little bowl. Oh well, live and learn I suppose!

On Saturday night when we arrived, we strolled 3 km to the Bridge over The River Kwai (built during WWII) and watched the train pass on the rickety Death Railway. Before dinner, we rented a 200cc Honda Phantom motorcycle for our driving pleasure, and boy was that a good move...quite possibly the best of my trip so far, especially because Dylan knew how to drive the thing! He was actually quite adolescently pleased by the whole idea of the bike. I caught him giggling afew times while driving...I was giggling too!

After breakfast yesterday morning, we hoped on the hog, and drove 1hr south to Erawan Falls National Park, home to a 7 tiered waterfall. At about the second tier, we accidentally disturbed a wasp nest, and I got stung about 7 times. Dylan grabbed my arm as I let out a girlish screech at the top of my lungs and pulled me into the water to divert the attention of the wasps, but what he didn't realize was that I had my digital camera around my waist...still hoping it dries out and miraculously comes back to life. Everything else was alright sans a couple of soggy bills and a damp passport. It could have been a lot worse I suppose.

We made it all the way to the top and swam in an absolutely majestic pool at the top pool. There was a neat little cave that was really special with some impressive stalactites hanging inside it.
Hopped on the bike and back to Kan'buri for a late dinner on a floating restaurant on the river Kwai overlooking the Bridge at dusk. Amazing fish dishes fresh from the river here.

I settled in for an early night, and got a great sleep in. Probably the best since I've been here. I just came back from a ridiculously perfect massage that only cost 100baht ($3...I gave her $5, it was just not fair)

Now it's off to Ayuthya, the original capital of Thailand before the Burmese invaded and looted the king's palace and forced the royal family to the Bangkok area. I'll stay there a night and then north to Chaing Mai, where I will stay on an organic farm with a friend of a friend and possibly with Brian the Boston guy I met in BKK.

Oh, the life of a traveler. I may be hooked...