Friday, February 22, 2013


After submitting my Indian visa application, we looked up some places where we could hang out for a little while, that weren't too far from Bangkok, and weren't too expensive to get to. So we went to the Victory Monument where all the mini-buses are, and you walk the gauntlet of ticket sellers stating your destination, and are ushered into "offices" to get your ticket. We passed on one because they wanted to charge us for our bags, and moved onto another, dodgier place with no "baggage fees," but it did reek (and I mean reek) of urine. You get what you pay--or don't pay--for?

Anyway! On to Kanchanaburi where we passed several lovely days at a homestay outside the town. Far enough outside the town that we had to take the local bus (ie. "just go out to the highway and flag it down" which in reality meant "wait by the roadside for about an hour or more and then flail your arms at the bus barreling down the highway at 100 then chase after it in flip flops..." We did this. Twice.) back into town to see the bridge on the River Kwai and get some groceries.

Our homestay was within walking distance of the village of Nong Bua which sits along the River Kwai, where the locals come around sunset, after the worst of the heat has passed, to play and swim in the current. We rented life jackets and had fun trying to swim against the current and perfect our cannonballs (since trying to dive with a life jacket is the quickest way to a face full of water. I had forgotten about this.). At the same time, the restaurants transition their seating areas from tables under the trees to mats and low tables on the banks of the river. Walking back after a nice, cheap riverside dinner one of the evenings, a very kind woman pulled over and offered us a ride home on her moto, because she was worried about us walking the road with all the stray dogs -- that was our first experience as three on a moto. It's cozy, that's for sure!

We ventured north one of the days to Erawan Falls, a series of cascades and turquoise ponds (not unlike Kuang Si Falls outside Luang Prabang), spread out over a lengthy hike up the valley. You can swim at almost every level, but if you stop moving at any point, you become a feast for the fish! You saw how I reacted to the fish spa in Siem Reap, and that was under controlled (and intentional) circumstances. I didn't like the nibbling, let's just say that. Unfortunately our camera ran out of batteries about halfway, which is too bad, because each level was so unique and picturesque. Oh well, you'll just have to google it.

And, bonus: our homestay had a DVD player, so we finally got to watch the bootlegged DVDs we got in Vietnam! (Moonrise Kingdom and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.) Yay for movie nights!

Giganto palm tree.

Local kids jumping from the tree into the river.

Floating on the River Kwai. The current is swift!

"And the cactus said, I want to be... me!"

A new temple beside the Bridge.

Amazing roots!


  1. I love the water pools - I think my boys and I could hang out there for hours. Great photos - again.
    Chey xo

  2. Love the cactus photo. I caught the reference!