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Thursday 17 Dec
Bangkok, Thailand

Bridge Over the River Kwai

...tough title to think of this one!

Part of our package that we booked in the tourist information in Bankok was a trip to Kanchanaburi. This is about 3 hours outside of the capital and the sight of the Kwai river bridge and the Death railway.

After stopping at a cemetry where our guide pointed out all the english graves and we found an E Jones we headed to the museum and the Rail bridge. In 1942-43 prisoners of war were forced by the imperial japanese army to build the bridge for the death railway. Called this because of the vast numbers who died during it's construction. You can still see the bridge in it's current state and read various articals and letters in the museum. Needless to say this place is quite thought provokeing but also incredibly beautiful as you stroll over the bridge and look down the river.

The next thing was a ride on the death railway. Wedged between the moutain and the lake, the old train coast along a rickety old wooden bridge, takeing in the views along the way, includeing another emerald Buddah placed in acave to try and bring peace to a pretty brutal place.

After this we headed to the tiger temple. This is a strange place where monks meet big cats and so did we. Whilst you walk around the grounds of the temple you see various monks and volunteers walking tigers on leashes, a strange sight although we found a moonk sending a text message somehow more bizzarre. We then went into a small valley where you get to sit with the tigers, stoking them and havingyour picture taken. This at first is a pretty un-nerving experience as certain pictures of Elin confirm, but you slowly adjust and it is a pretty unique opertunity and besides the tigers seem half asleep, maybe even doped (or so we thought) We were offered the oppertunity to go and watch the tigers at play. Here you are in the cage, all be it only waist high and they are running aroung in front of you, laping jumping, chaseing bags on stick and any crazy trainers that choose to get in with them. It was pretty clear they were in no way doped!

Ariving late back to the mini bus we were quickly whisked off to our last stop of the day, a waterfall. Where we swam and sat under the falling water before heading back for dinner. Unfortuately two Italians in our group were slower walking back to the bus, so our driver (still slightly narked that we had been late at the last stop i suspect) decided to drive us back to the restaurant and then return to collect the others. This did not go down well, as they emerged to find no bus in an unfamiliar area. After a bit of shouting and a bit of a breather all soon calmed down and we were all fed and then whisked off to our floating bungalow for a night on the river.

Day 2 in Kanchanaburi we visited the Erewan National park and waterfalls. Waterfalls are a bit of a staple to our visit anywhere it seems but i never tire of them. This one involved a bit of a treck up, past 7 pools of clear emerald water. We were economical in our photo's having gone a little crazy last year in the Igauzu falls however i suspect at the end of the trip we will still have more then anyone needs.

On the way down we swam in one of the pools, which was freezing. What we didn't expect was the fish nibbleing. Like the Aquarium in Bankok they swam round your feet and legs bighting at skin, these were however much bigger and not a particularly pleasent sensation because of it. The combination of the cold and fish meant you didn't stay still for too long. It was then time to go, although there was enough time for our daily panic that we'd lost the camera (which turned out to be in the bag) before lunch and then the bus back to Bangkok just in time to hit rush hour.

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