Wow, I’ve been so neglectful of this blog – hard to believe that over a month has gone by since my last post. To my dutiful 4 readers …… (yes Mum that includes you)… my apologies.
We were fortunate enough to enjoy a rather long weekend February 7th – 9th (well teachers had 3 days, kids had 4!!) and I decided it was time for BJ and I to head out of Bangkok and explore one of the neighbouring provinces with our own private tour guide Khun Widrod.
I chose Kanchanaburi, mainly because I was really keen to walk over the Bridge on the River Kwai. It was beautiful – almost what I imagined it would be like. After researching a little about upon our return home – I was a little surprised to discover that it really isn’t the River Kwai.
There is a small technical problem with the Bridge over the River Kwai: It doesn’t actually cross the River Kwai..! Pierre Boulle, who wrote the original book, had never been there. He knew that the ‘death railway’ ran parallel to the River Kwae for many miles, and assumed that it was the Kwae which it crossed just North of Kanchanaburi. He was wrong – It actually crosses the Mae Khlung. When David Lean’s blockbuster came out, the Thais faced something of a problem. Thousands of tourists came flocking to see the bridge over the River Kwae, and they hadn’t actually got one… All they had was a bridge over the Mae Khlung. So, with admirable lateral thinking, they renamed the river. The Mae Khlung is now the Kwae Yai (‘Big Kwae’) for several miles north of the confluence with the Kwae Noi (‘Little Kwae’), including the bit under the bridge.
extract from: The real Bridge on the River Kwai
Nevertheless, it was a joy to walk (yes we walked) right over the bridge to the other side. A most enjoyable thai lunch before hand helped fuel the walk over too.
Our guide was keen to show us the real Kanchanaburi so this was the only real touristy stop we did in the whole weekend. Next time we revisit Kanchanaburi I would love to see Hell’s Gate which is the Memorial for the New Zealand and Australian soldiers who’s lives were lost in that terrible war.
The Khuean Srinagarindra National Park was quite different to a New Zealand National Park – it wasn’t very green, and it had a restaurant and a big screen tv with a band playing for a couple of hours.
Not at all what we were expecting! However, waking up on the side of a hill over looking the gigantic river and watching the sun slowly rise, was definitely worth a night on the hard ground in a tent!
Day 3 was a drive up to the Srinagarind Dam. The view was amazing and it was a shame that it was rather hazy.
Next time I’d like to take a look at the Erawan Falls – I’m told that they are quite spectacular too. The food up country is just maak maak aroi and incredibly cheap. BJ has discovered a favourite dish:
Moo Dad Deow (หมูแดดเดียว – Fried Dried Pork,Pork One Day In The Sun)
On the drive home we paid our respects with a visit the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.
There’s heaps more photographs from our 3 days away, I think I’ll put together something in Animoto – I’ve been meaning to try it out some more ………