Tiger Temple & River Kwai

Trip Start Jan 28, 2009
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15
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Trip End Sep 05, 2009


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Where I stayed
Bamboo House

Flag of Thailand  ,
Monday, March 16, 2009

Bangkok was the same as usual - busy, hot and crowded. We meant to get out of there as soon as receiving our Vietnamese visas (took two days after paying for express... RIDICULOUS amount of money but oh well) but I got sick. Some kind of bug. Actually, it was pretty crazy because I spent a whole day in bed, complaining of nausea and a headache, then around midnight I turned exorcist and projectile-vomited 3 TIMES IN A ROW... and then felt better. I think that's the first time in my life I've ever projectile vomited. I've only ever seen that kind of thing on South Park.

Anyway.

We left Bangkok when I felt well enough to travel and took a local (not tourist) bus to Kanchanaburi. It took three hours, cost 85 baht each, and was sooo comfortable. Screw tourist buses, from now on we're going local. Besides, after the buses in Myanmar I feel like I can handle anything! Bring it on! So we arrive at the bus station in Kanchanaburi and take a taxi-truck to Banboo House, the guesthouse we decided to stay at. It's right on the Kwai River, and has bungalows that actually FLOAT on the river. For 200baht we got a simple room on the water - a double mattress and a fan. When boats go by our room rocks on the waves, it's pretty neat. Although there's no bathroom so we have to use the one on land for toilet and showering.

The two big draws of Kanchanaburi are the Tiger Temple and the history. History meaning the whole 'Bridge on the River Kwai' death railway POW history. From our room we can actually see the famous bridge, and today we walked across it (which was terrifying). But I'll get to that later because first thing this morning we went to the Tiger Temple!

The Tiger Temple is a place run by monks who've adopted hurt or orphaned animals, mainly tigers. You can walk with the tigers, pet them and have photos taken with them. For the general public they bring out some cubs and walk them through the crowd so everybody can pet them, but of course that wasn't enough for Oli and I so we 'donated' a little more baht and got some free time alone with 4 tiger cubs in their playroom. The cubs were pretty sleepy, so we bottle-fed them some milk and just hung out with them for awhile. They were really adorable, with big floppy feet and kitten faces. We seriously considered giving up a month to volunteer there just so we could be with the cubs more! ...but, we have places to go, things to see. So I guess half a day was enough.

After cubs, we joined the line of people waiting to have their photo taken with an adult tiger. The tigers were all sleepy after eating and being in the sun, so there wasn't that feeling of danger I thought there might be. But when I was posing with one sleepy tiger, he suddenly lifted his head and shook water off himself which made me jump back pretty quick! I still have both arms so it was a false alarm, but you never know...
As well as tigers, they had a ton of horses just kinda roaming around, also some kind of buffalo, peacocks, deer and boar. We spent most of our day there hanging out with various animals before we decided to return to Bamboo House.

We made a wrong turn on the way back and ended up at the Kwai River bridge, so we decided to check it out. It was pretty scenic to look at, but terrifying to walk across. Basically it's still a running train bridge, so except for a one-person wide metal plating that runs between the train tracks on the bridge there is nothing to stand on. I never thought I was afraid of heights (especially after sky-diving!) but squeezing by people on that thin metal plating was probably the scariest thing I've done in my life. You look down and can see right between the tracks to the water. There is no hand-rail. TERRIFYING. But scenic.

Tomorrow we're checking out a waterfall nearby, and maybe the war museum. I really love the place we're staying at but after tomorrow it's on to the next!

-M
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Comments

vino_voyageurs
vino_voyageurs on

bah
this is the one thing i wanted to do so bad in thailand and never got around to doing it. this post has made this my biggest regret.

also.. my friend CLifford that i met in South Africa is in Chaing Mai. I told him to look for a sexy canadian/japanese/british/italian couple

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