A Travellerspoint blog

River Kwai

Bridge on he River Kwai, Noi's cooking

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The last couple of day shave been quite busy. We stayed 2 nights in Kanchanaburi, which is where the famous Bridge on the River Kwai (as in Alec Guiness) is. We arrived in town by train from Hellfire Pass and crossed the bridge to the station. From there we were taken by rickshaw to Apple & Noi's retreat. The first night we had time to get a drink after dinner. The next day some people went to a local waterfall and a few of us stayed to do a traditional Thai Cooking class run by Noi. to se
Noi took us down to the market and explained what all the different herbs and vegetables were, how they were used in Y=Thai cooking and how to know when to use them (i.e young or mature).
We went back to the guest house and Noi made the first dish and then we made our own version of that dish. We made a three course kunch - chicken stir fry, Tom Yum and Thai green curry. The dishes all turned out very well and although we all mnade them from the same receipe, they were all slightly different.
After lunch we went to the Death Railway Museum to look at the exhibitions on the railway and then the cemetery across the road. It was all quite stark. Another chapter in history we shouldn't forget.
From there we went to the railway bridge and walked across the river, taking photos. While I was crossing the bridge another train came through and I had to stand on one of the pedestrian platforms on the side of the bridge while the train went through. It was quite an experience being that close to a train on any bridge, yet alone that one.
That evening we attended a li9ght and sound show depicting the basic story of the war and tghe building and subsequent bombing of the bridge. It was quitre spectacular with great fireworks.

Posted by Markfr 08:58 Archived in Thailand Tagged the on river bridge museum death railway kwai Comments (0)

Karen children to Hellfire Pass

River Kwai

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Yesterday we started off by going up into the hills to visit a primary school for one of the Karend tribes. The womes welcomed us with a greeting dance. The children told us their alphabet and we went through the english alphabet with them. Then we taught them some English words and played some games with them. After that we were shown how the local women made rice and wove cloth on hand looms. Even small items take one or two months. We were taken around a local farm and shown how they grow small crops. The rest of the day was spent travelling to the hotel in the Kanchanaburi province.
Today we went to Hellfire pass and visited the museum opened by the Australian Veterans Department to commemorate the many POWs and local labourers who were conscripted to build the Thai Burma railway.
Hellfire pass is where they had to cut through solid rock to build the railway. From there we took a local train to another hotel where the Bridge on the River Kwai is.

Posted by Markfr 03:08 Archived in Thailand Tagged river bridge kwai kkarend Comments (0)

Riding Elephants

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Today we started off by boat going past the sunken temple and then further up the lake to the elephant village. We clambered up onto the elephant and went for an hours ride on the elephant over the countryside and across rivers. That was interesting, with the elephants heading down into the water at a very steep incline. We finished the trip off with a simple rice lunch.
On to the truck taxi and we came back to the hotel for about 45 min. Just enough time to shower (because it was so humid). Then onto the truck taxi and up to the Thai Burma border, where we saw part of the Thai Burma railroad.
From there it was up to the golden pagoda across the lake from the hotel. Finally back to the hotel and there was time for a swim in the lake - which was lovely and warm.

Posted by Markfr 06:36 Archived in Thailand Tagged elephants lake golden pagoda Comments (0)

Bangkok

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Well, we spent yesterday in Bangkok looking at temples. There are many temples to look at from the white marble temple to the giant Buddha to the golden mount temple - which is on a mount with many steps tot he top.
After the first temple we were told by a policeman (supposedly) that if we took the government tuk tuk he'd take us to all the temples for only B20, however, we'd have to go to a government store so he could get a fuel coupon. We took the offer and he did take us around to the temples, but after the white marble temple (which was after the stores) he had vanished. Talking to a few of the other people on the tour that seems to be the thing at the moment. We figured we'd done OK since we'd seen 3 temples around Bangkok and it didn't cost us anything.

That evening after we met up with the Intrepid tour group and had the briefing, we had dinner out in the street restaurants. Two meals and 1 large beer cost B200, or about $AU6. It was a pretty good deal!

Posted by Markfr 06:39 Archived in Thailand Tagged temples bangkok Comments (0)

Decision Made - now we know

Intrepid finally made their decision about their tour in Thailand on Tuesday, we we were finally able to finish booking everything.
We now have tickets, accommodation etc.
As a back up we booked another hotel in the South East of Thailand on the beach through agoda.com.
I just cancelled that booking, and our money (less anything etc) will be refunded in 10 business days.
Quick update - everything was just refunded - I'm very impressed.

we've been packing things for the last few days to make sure it all fits. It does - just.
Having to deal with a mix of seasons - Thailand (hot) to Europe (winter) has meant additional clothes - which means additional space.

Posted by Markfr 03:00 Archived in Australia Tagged bookings Comments (0)

Decisions Delayed

Intrepid have delayed their decision until November 21st. This basically means we have no idea what will be happening for the first week of the holiday. We'll continue chasing information and try to sort out what will happen.

Posted by Markfr 02:54 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

The trip gets closer

Well, there's no update from intrepid.
My expectation is that we'll be told on the 14th (when the next update is due) that the Thailand trips have been cancelled.

Posted by Markfr 04:44 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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