Heather's Thairy

Heather's journey to Bangkok, Thailand: a year of adventure!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Kickin' It In Kanchanaburi

Last weekend was Ray's last in Thailand, and we headed to Kanchanaburi for some adventuring. Ray had never even seen an elephant before coming to Thailand, let alone ridden on one, so that was a priority. I wanted to hike to the top of Erawan falls, so that was on the to-do list also. Of course, eating as much food as possible at Apple's was also a must, so we had a fairly full itinerary.
We arrived on Friday night in time to have a delicious meal at Apple's. This was a nice surprise, since last time we went to Kanchanaburi on a Friday night we got there too late and never managed to have any Apple's dinner. We booked a tour for the following day that included the falls, elephant trekking, bamboo rafting, a cave, a train ride and the Bridge on the River Kwai.
Most tours out of Kanchanaburi start bright and early at 8 AM and this was no exception...we hopped into the mini-van around quarter after eight and were off. The first stop was the waterfalls, which was good: having to hike up a mountain with limited pathways is something of a chore, let alone having to do it after a long day of other activity. We made it up to the top, stopping at each level on the way up.

We almost had to run back down, though, since we only had about a half hour to get back (which really wasn't enough time, it turned out!).
After some lunch, we went to the Elephant camp and had a nice ride around on an elephant. I've been on an elephant before but never "trekking": elephant trekking is sort of like pony riding back home. You sit on this little bench on top of the elephant and really don't have any control; the elephants know the course and amble along without much fuss. "Trek" is really a misnomer- to me, trekking suggests an element of adventure or danger or difficulty that was certainly not present on our elephant ride. However, it was still fun, relaxing and a great experience for Ray.

After the elephants we went on the bamboo rafts, which were pretty much just bamboo poles lashed together and thrown in the water. It was also really relaxing, very peaceful and private. We floated down the river for quite a ways and then moved on to the cave and the railway.

I'd seen the cave before, and I wasn't impressed then so I was even less excited this time. The train ride is sort of neat, though.
After riding the train for a while we got back in the van and drove back to Kanchanaburi, where we stopped at the bridge. Catherine, Darcy and Darcy's sister Deborah had rented a jeep for the day and as chance would have it were at the bridge at the same time as us. We ditched our tour for the opportunity to be chauffeured by Darcy. After a bit of a rest we had some more great dinner at Apple's and had a fairly early night.
Sunday we attempted to sleep in but were foiled by the construction going on in the next building. We got up, shook a million ants out of our stuff (we weren't even sure what they were going for, but they were really interested in camping out in our bags) and had yet another Apple's meal. There we debated what to do for the day, settling on going to Safari World.

We all packed into an SUV and drove out to Safari World, first doing the "Safari" and then seeing the crocodile and elephant shows. It was another good time there: the safari is really neat, especially the animal feeding, and the shows were fairly entertaining.

Ray and I decided to get on an early bus to Bangkok with the intention of having more time to get him organized to go...unfortunately, we somehow got on some random bus that drove in (I think) almost the opposite direction before we were told to get off and get on some other bus. It took us over three hours to make what is usually an hour and a half trip, but luckily we had lots of time to spare.
Ray packed a few more things and made some rearrangements and we were off to the airport. We weren't sure if he would be able to get all his stuff onto the plane without paying some incredibly ridiculous fee, but thankfully there were no problems and he got off without a hitch.

I have my apartment to myself for the first time since the beginning of October, and though I now have the ability to leave the dishes, walk around in my underwear, scratch myelf and basically be a big slobby idiot, I miss having company.
Anyone else want to visit?

Until next time,
Heather

PS Dad: This one's for you...

3 Comments:

  • At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Dad said…

    That thing is just so cool. Thanks.

     
  • At 12:06 PM, Blogger ViciousTim said…

    Man, just look at those brutish and savage-looking beasts!

    Oh, and they're riding an elephant too. (ba-dump-bump kish!)

    Merry belated Xmas sistah. Thanks to Ray and you for ze gifts.

     
  • At 11:38 PM, Anonymous auntie Bonnie said…

    HI Heather,
    The bunnies are just SO CUUUUTE! Thanks for the pic of them.
    You are becoming quite the authority on the place. I'd love to visit but just can't swing it.
    Take care,
    Love, Auntie Bonnie

     

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