(Otherwise known as “Interesting ways to torture your husband”)
So I promised everyone I would get Scott to do some stupid things (ie things I wouldn’t do but needed a volunteer as they would provide good photo opportunities!) Our next cuple of days provided some wiling animals and a husband resigned to helping the cause!
Before our Interpid Tour through Northern Thailand, Laos and Vietnam started we had a few days to kill.
Thursday 7th of October – this was a day of Massages, Manicures and Mojitos!! Not much to report except that we bummed around tiring ourselves out doing not much at all! A well earned break after the last few months of work. However if we continued the next few days like this I would have nothing interesting to write about, so it was time to get active.
Our last trip to Thailand we had wanted to see Erawan Falls but didn’t make it up there so decided to give it a go this time. Erawan falls. located near Kanchanaburi, a couple of hours north of Bangkok are supposed to be some of the most spectacular falls in Thailand.
Friday morning came and Scott was definitely excited. Our overnight tour with Kitti Raft would see us visit Damnoen Saduak Floating Markets. The Bridge over River Kwai, and the Tiger Temple on day one and then Erawan Falls on day two and staying in what Scott called a hotel on a raft. Hotel turned out to be a long stretch by the way…but it was clean, comfortable, and we had good company and cold beer so what more do you need?
First stop on our mini adventure was the floating market.
These have been touted as a must see and photos advertising the markets show boat loads of locals selling fresh fruit, flowers and traditional food. The reality is a flotilla of tourist souvenirs coming at you down the khlong non stop. If you decide to take a stroll along the sides rather than paddle there was an even wider range of choice. If you are after a traditional view of the floating markets this is not really it, but having said that it is still worth the experience. Despite the obvious catering to the tourist dollar it is still a great vibe, and hey, if you are after a souvenir or two there are worse ways to shop than being paddled down a crowded khlong.
Second, and unexpected, stop was the Cobra show, where we could see the local snake handler playing with a live and still venomous and very large King Cobra. Hmmm, I was wondering if they let the tourists touch it…..
In a display that would have the Australian Reptile Park OH&S committee in conniptions, the handlers teased, tossed, wrangled and even kissed the Cobra. And then just to prove that it wasn’t smoke and mirrors they milked the snake to show he was still venomous.
After this they did indeed take the snake around the audience for people to touch. Everyone tentatively put their hand out for a brief pat. I don’t know what it was about Scott that made them think he was a bit more game than the rest of the audience but when he reached out to touch the snake they decided it would be much more fun to drape it round his neck! It was definitely fun for me!
Third stop for the day was the War Museum and Bridge over River Kwai. An intersting fact that many people don’t know is that the bridge – made famous by the book and movie – actually did not cross the Kwai River. The author of the book had never actually been there, however knew that the infamous Death Railway ran parallel to the Kwai River.
He therefore assumed that the bridge eventually crossed it. In reality it the bridge crossed the Mae Klung River. When the movie was released, thousands of tourists flocked to the Kwai River to see the bridge – which did not exist. The original bridge was still over the Mae Klung. This posed a slight problem for the blossoming Thai tourist trade. So what did they do? The renamed the river of course!
Next stop on our whirl wind tour of Kanchanaburi was the Tiger Temple. We were instructred not to wear red, pink or orange. I could potentially see another death defying animal experience for Scott!
Sure enough after a short walk through Tiger Canyou we came to a waterfall where, led cautiously and quietly be the Animal Refuge volunteers, we were able to pat and have our photos taken with the tigers. For those who had the time they could be put in a cage and have the tigers running free around them. Lucky for Scott we did not have time!
Last stop for the day was Saiyok Noi falls. This is a great place to cool off at the end of the day, but being very close to the road they are extremely popular, with both tourists and locals.
Finally it was off to our accomodation for the night, at Kitti Raft. which we reached by long boat. These were basic rooms, literally on a raft moored on the side of the river. After a couple of nights staying just off Khao San Road, the peace and quiet was welcome. Apart from the family who owned the raft we were joined by Yoshihiro, a Japanese engineering student, and Jason and Emily, an American/Canadian couple who ran a charter boat in the south of France.
Sitting on the river, enjoying a cold Chang with new friends – it was a great end to a very busy day!