Sunday, January 4, 2009

Two Days of Travelling to Um Pang

After Kanchanaburi we needed to get to Um Pang. The most inaccessible place in Thailand. Normally, if you want to go anywhere here, it's a matter of getting on a bus and simple getting of at your chosen destination. Um Pang is different.

The first day we spent travelling to Tat, the closest major town, it took one normal bus and one air con bus to get us there. Today however was going to be harder!
We woke up at 7AM to catch the 8AM bus. It was a mini-van to Sok Met, the closest village to Um Pang. After that we caught a Samglew, two bench transportation bus, to Um Pang. The Samglew took 5hrs and was great fun. Um Pang is in the middle of nowhere and is on the border to Burma. Meaning a high number of police and border control.
Normally a Samglew seats 8 people. We got 20 on ours! My sister, two Thai's and myself were located on the roof, three Thai's standing on the back and the rest were seated. Also on top of that we had two motorbikes on board!
It was great fun however and the scenery here is gorgeous, exceptional and unlike anywhere else in Thailand. Hills as far as the eye can see, all covered with trees. It was a trip you never forget.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Kanchanaburi Sightseeing

After an early wake up this morning we went to find us a scooter. We planned to go to the Tiger Temple, Bridge Over the River Kwai and a temple South of Kanchanaburi, so a scooter was very much needed. After bartering, we managed to get one for 150Bh (three pounds).

We started of by going to the Dragon's Temple (Wat in Thai) it was impressive, the views outstanding. Although we were conned at first, by being forced to watch a lady float in water for 5 minutes, it was an amazing sight. There was a large set of stairs leading to a cave in which there were Budda's praying.

After the Temple we proceeded to the Bridge Over the River Kwai, a famous attraction, due to it's terrible/upsetting history. The bridge was nice. It is what it is. It's the history that draws you there though. Thousands of Thai's died creating it, under Japanese rule, then a few years later it was blown up by the British. Originally though it was built to transfer goods and weapons to Thailand to be taken for the expansion to India.

Now having been fed history, and cultured up, we did the tourist thing. In Thailand there is two main Tiger Temples, one in Chang Mai and one in Kanchanaburi. When we arrived we spent two hours in the blistering sun watching Tigers and having photo's taking with them. You felt bad in one sense because the Tigers weren't in their natural surroundings, but on the other hand it was great to pat and touch a Tiger. An experience I'll probably never have again, in my life.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Travelling Once Again

Bangkok is a nice place, multi-cultural and popular. That last point is the problem with it. As a result after last night, and with little time left in the country, I awoke early this morning and headed of for Kanchaburi to the North East. It's a small town where you'll find the River Kwai and the famous 'Bridge Over the River Kwai'. After checking in to my new hotel, on the river, I had a drink and prepared for a 7AM wake up call the following morning.