Kanchanaburi

August 17, 2008

Bus Trip to Kanchanaburi: 250 baht.
Room Rental at Jolly Frog: 200 Baht.
Motorbike Rental for 2 days: 200 Baht.
Eating dinner in a tree bungalow, served by a (rather goodlooking) Ladyboy: 100 Baht.
Wiping out on our motorbike and getting first aid from the locals: Priceless.

Let me back up here….

Thursday night, about 20 of us exchange students went to RCA, an incredibly nice club district, full of the most posh clubs in Bangkok. The club we went into even carded us; who knew they had rules in Thailand!! It was one of the nicest clubs I’ve ever been to….half of it was a Thai dance club, with a live Thai band, while the other half was full of farangs (foreigners) and had English hip-hop songs.

Rooftop pre-game

Warren & Anne dancing the night away

Sofia WIGEN!

The boys

Friday morning, 6 of us exchange students took off for Kanchanaburi, a province 2 hours west of Bangkok. We took a public bus to get there and once we arrived, we met up with some other exchange students and rented 4 motorbikes, which everyone in Thailand drives. There are probably 10-15 motorbikes for every 1 personal car (not including taxis). After renting the motorbikes, we checked into the Jolly Frog, a guesthouse primarily made for backpackers and foreigners. It was situated right on the river, which was really nice, but it was definitely a bit rough (said the roaches who greeted us). No Marriot, that’s for sure! But, hey, this IS Thailand.

Jolly Frog bungalow

After checking in, we grabbed lunch at the Jolly Frog restaurant (which has about 2,000 items on the menu….not good for an indecisive person such as myself) and then proceeded to hop on our motorbikes to take a mid-afternoon tour of Kanchanaburi. Joel and I, who were riding together on the motorbike, separated from the group and headed back to town to get a massage. As we walked into the massage place, I asked to use the “restroom”–I use this term loosely, really it is a raised hole in the ground. Worst part is, I had to take my shoes off before entering said restroom….ughh. Okay, I pee (slightly on myself, but I’m getting better) and then proceed to walk through the doorway I used to enter the room. Problem is, there was a glass door which was shut while I was in the restroom. I of course walked right into it…very smooth, I know. The Thai lady had a good time laughing at that one. Next, I am lead into a dark, upstairs room. Kind of sketch, until I see Joel sprawled out, awaiting his glorious massage. I lay down next to him, and an elderly Thai woman comes over to massage me. Damn, that old lady had some powerful hands! I cried out in pain on more than one occasion. And besides that, she seemed to really like Joel–she kept leaving me to help the other lady massage him! After a few dirty looks from me, there was no more of that nonsense 🙂
After our painful, yet amazing $4 massages, we (very cold) showered up (in the bathroom/shower/toilet/sink area) and hopped back on our bikes to find a restaurant in town. What did we find? A junglesque Family Robinson style restaurant…we literally ate dinner in a tree house! It was fascinating…a bit scary, since I thought we were going to fall through to the ground beneath us… We also got served by who we thought was a pretty Thai girl. Until she asked for our order, and we realized our pretty waitress was actually our pretty waiter. Ohh ya, ladyboys.

Saturday morning, time for an adventure! We hop on our bikes and cruise the 65 km to Erawan Waterfall, a national park in Kanchanaburi. On our way there, Joel and I take a minor spill on our motorbikes, while turning onto some gravel. As soon as we fall, 8 Thais swarm over to us and start administering first aid…. hydrogen peroxide (Ouch!!), Iodine, bandages, the works! One of the other exchange students took a video of me screaming as they did this…I hope they don’t understand English obscenities! After getting cleaned up, we went on our merry way. Although, this is the last time I ride a motorbike….not too much fun after taking a spill!

Battle Wounds

Once we got to the national park, we took a 1km (about .6 miles) hike up to the 7th path, which had the most beautiful waterfalls, and fewest people. The waterfalls had flowing, blue water and plenty of opportunities for some photo shoots:

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It was incredibly beautiful up there– I never wanted to leave…but had to when the Thai ranger ushered us out! After leaving the park, we drove over to a bridge perched over a dam, overlooking a gorgeous lake side village.

Bridge Overlook

After taking a few pictures, we hit up some bars across the street from our guesthouse. It was great, we went to the bars in the exact same clothes we were in as we hiked to the waterfalls…try doing that in Europe! My friend Robert ordered a Pina Colada at the bar, and they took 30 mintues to make it–they had to call their friend to figure out how to make it… gotta love Southeast Asia…the people here try so hard to accommodate us Westerners!

Waiting for the pina coladas...

Sunday, we wake up and spend the day in the hammocks outside our room, awaiting our bus back to BKK. 11 people squished in a non-A/C van…not the most comfortable ride back.

Finally back home in BKK, ready for school tomorrow!

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