Kanchanaburi Travel Blog› entry 25 of 49 › view all entries
June 10th, 2006 – by: umbralwalker
Still looking over my shoulder, I caught a bus out of the city of Kanchanaburi and headed up to Soi Yak Yai national park. While on the bus, I met a 20 year old Dutch guy named Alex. He was also traveling alone, and we had similar destinations so we decided to travel together for the next couple of days.
We rented a couple of rooms at a raft house on the Kwai River in the middle of the national park. We soon discovered that the park was packed with tourists. Usually, I would have found this circumstance to be dissapointing- but it wasn't. There wasn't another farang (foreigner) in sight. It was the weekend of the King's 60th coronation anniversary and so all the visitors were Thai tourists on holiday from Bangkok.
Within minutes of arriving in paradise, Alex and I were relaxing by flowing the river, reading our respective books. It was so quiet, peaceful, beautiful, how could this get any better?
As we were reading our books, we looked up to see 5-6 Thai smiles beckoning us to their raft house. They immediately handed Alex and I a big fat bottle of Beer and asked us to sit down. Our hosts were of humble trades- just mechanics and farmers. They couldn't have had a lot of money, but they gave so generously- they seemed quite intent on getting Alex and I happily drunk. They barely spoke any English- their English was only slightly better than my abismal Thai.Despite the language barrier, laughter permeated the air. We had a great time. Thai hospitality never siezes to amaze me.
The next morning Alex and I went for a hike in the jungle to the unremarkable WWII Death Railway bridge. The bridge was part of the same Japanese project as the famous "Bridge Over the River Kwai". Mid-day we found and explored a dark and spooky limestone bat cave. As I climbed my way down the cave, a bat came swooping down just a few feet from my head and frightened me. I almost lost my footing on the slippery limestone and toppled down the dark cavern ledge to my severe injury.
After a nice dip in one of the many springs, Alex and I packed up and headed to our next adventure in Sangkhlaburi.
There is more to come. I apologize for being a little behind on my blog entries.
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