Kanchanaburi Province Reviews
A great time in Kanchanaburi! Nov 01, 2012
My trip to Kanchanaburi was uber exciting, because I had no idea where we were going. All I knew was that I purchased a trip for two of my other friends (Dave & Adriana) to go ride the elephants and go to the tiger temple. Our first stop was the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery. This was eye-opening, because it was the first time that I had seen a WWII memorial outside of North America or Europe. The Kanchanaburi War Cemetery is located in the town of Kanchanaburi, which was approximately an hour outside of Bangkok. Most of the names on the graves were those of Australian, Dutch, and British descent. Most Americans think of WWII from a “Defeat Germany, then whoop the Japanese” perspective. When I saw this cemetery, it reminded me that the war was fought in many theaters, not just against and on the soil of two different countries. It is hard to grasp the magnitude of the deaths that took place there. To give you a whiff, there were approximately 7000 graves at the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.
Our next stop was near the Bridge on the Kwai River. Before pondering on the bridge, I walked through the museum (I forgot what it is called) that has a deck that overlooks the Bridge on the Kwai River. The museum was sobering. I saw people of European descent in chains with very little meat on their bones. When you come out on the deck you see a large plaque that says “World War II musem.”
Anyways, I know this is supposed to be a happy travel site, so I will get back to the happy stuff.
After a yummy lunch, we went to a watering hole and swam for a little bit. I forget the name of the place. Our next stop was (in my mind) part I of the real-fun: riding the elephants!
Riding an Asian elephant was anti-climactic. It was a slow ride, but it was still fun, because it was one of those things that I knew most of the people that I grew up with in Sacramento would never do (forgive me for my brutal honesty). I guess one day when I run for president someone is going to use this against me to say that I am elitist.
Our final destination was the Tiger Temple! I was so pumped up I could barely contain my excitement! When we got to the actual place where we could pet tigers, I remember the guide saying, “Walk slowly, hold my hand, and do what I tell you to do.” All I wanted was a picture of me petting the tiger. I kept thinking to myself, “all of the tigers are hanging out on the ground. Stay calm and you will get your shot.” It all happened so fast. We slowly walked over to the tiger. We put our hand on it. The camera guy took our cameras and snapped a bunch of pictures (all the while we were to remain calm). He asked us if we had enough. We all said yes. Then each of us held our guide’s hand and slowly walked back to safety.
I saw other animals at the tiger temple, but nothing compared to having my hand on a Bengal tiger.
During the van ride back to Bangkok, I passed out like a drunk who had partied for 12 hours straight: completely zonked out. That was perhaps the greatest trip I ever took in my life……..well, I don't know, I guess they have all had there highlights.
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