Waterfalls and reminders of war

Trip Start Apr 21, 2012
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Trip End May 06, 2012


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Saturday, April 28, 2012

We booked on a tour today which started bright and early at the Erwan waterfall – reputedly one of the most beautiful falls in Thailand. There are seven levels to the falls, each with a blue green pool at the bottom.

As it is school holidays here the first two levels were full of Thai families making a day of it with picnics and swimming to escaping the heat.

The walk up through the forest was steep and hot but enjoyable. Each level is different and beautiful, and the crowds gets thinner the higher you get. We stuck our feet in the pool at the seventh level and, as promised by the exuberant Thai lady who runs the bar opposite our hotel, got a free fish pedicure. Unnerving given the size of the fish.

I took a dip at the bottom pool on the way back. Despite the shady walk it is still baking. It is odd swimming through the shoals of fish though – especially when they take a cleaning nip. A refreshing dip in a spectacular location.

After lunch we were taken to the Kanyu cutting or Hell fire pass and the museum above. At this point British and Aussie POWs cut through 100s of metres of solid rock working 18 hour days in brutal conditions. The reflections made by the oil lamps and skeletal POWs gave the cutting its nickname.

Even walking through we worked up a sweat – and looking up at the metres of rock removed from above our heads with picks and dynamite its is horrifying to think what they went through.

After a trip down part of the death railway – including over one of the 100s of wooden bridges that were built – we stopped at the famous bridge over the River Kwai. It has been a long but moving day.

We finished the day with uninspiring food on a slightly sleazy street – too many old 'farang' men surrounded by young, beautiful Thai girls.

We ended up in our favourite bar here – just across from our hotel – where we were well and truly thrashed at Connect 4 by a young Thai boy.
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