Kanchanaburi

Back In Thailand

Erawan National Park 

We had a few long days travelling. After we left Phu Quoc, we spent the best part of a day getting back to Kep, Cambodia and from there we spent another day travelling by four different buses to get over the border into Thailand again, where we spent the night in Trat.

When we'd arrived in Trat a lot of the places were closed. We wanted to get to Bangkok the next day and the only place we could find to get a ticket direct to the airport was at a small kiosk tucked away from the main street. What was unusual about it was that when the minibus type vehicle arrived to pick us up and we got in it, it was full of Thai army men!!! So we rattled along to Bangkok with them and a driver, who on several occasions looked like he was going to drop off to sleep! 

Bridge On The River Kwai

Bridge on the River Kwai

I'll never know if I enjoyed Kanchanaburi so much because of it's own charm and character, or because it was such a welcome relief from the pollution and noise of Delhi. It was fantastic to breathe fresh air again and Kanchanaburi is so laid back and accessible, I instantly warmed to it. There are more westerners here than anywhere we went in India and I think most people come here to see The Bridge on the River Kwai.

In 1942 Kanchanaburi was under occupation by Japanese troops. The Japanese troops ordered prisoners of war to build this bridge as part of the 'Death Railway' linking Thailand with Myanmar (Burma). The bridge was frequently targeted with bombing raids during World War II and thousands of people lost their lives building it, not just from the bombings, but from the atrocious conditions they were expected to work under, they died of malnutrition, disease, overwork and physical abuse.

Self Drive Around Thailand

Thai Food Stall

I'd read so many websites warning against driving in Thailand, that it was a mixture of apprehension and excitement as we picked our hire car up from Bangkok airport this morning. I'm pleased to report that all the positive articles I had read were correct – it's no problem at all driving here, particularly being from England as they also drive on the left.

We made a couple of wrong turns getting away from the airport, but we just turned around on the extremely useful U-turn bridges that they have here and corrected ourselves. Before long, John was beaming from ear to ear as he relaxed into driving mode and we were on our way to Kanchanaburi. I'd booked a couple of nights accommodation here and was delighted when we arrived in 30 degrees heat to find they had a small swimming pool, it was all the invitation I needed to don the swimmers and go for a dip. So that was us for the next few hours, John in the shade of a large tree and me in the pool. We then sat in the sunshine for a while as the sun was going down.

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