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Kanchanaburi - Death railway, Kwai bridge, Wang Pho Viaduct

Thai countryside

sunny 34 °C
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We set off at 6.30 am, took the ferry up the river to Bangkok Noi to start our day trip on the train, this journey is done as an excursion, which I'm sure the Thais finds quite entertaining. As we waited for the train, we ate breakfast, which today consisted of chicken bum sticks (not a typo) and sticky rice. Not too sure what chicken bum is, but i doubt it will be the worst thing we eat in Asia by far.

The train is 3rd class only with large windows to let in a warm breeze. Although the train was there at 7.30 and due to leave at 7.50, for some unknown reason, it left 40 minutes late, which is apparently quite common. The train travels at a fair speed, with cars easily overtaking on the main roads next to it. It bobs and clickety clacks through the Thai countryside between towns and villages for 2½ hours before it reaches Kanchanaburi, which is where death railway and the tourist section of the line begins.

Along the route, we passed houses which were so close to the tracks that had someone stuck their head out their window as a train went past they would lose it. Along the journey, various leaves joined us in the carriage with Chris being covered in leaves on a couple of occasions.

On arriving at kanchanaburi, an additional four carriages were added to our train to allow for the number of tourists joining the service. The first point of interest on our trip is the bridge over the river Kwai, made famous by the film in the 1960s. After this it takes about an hour to travel up the picturesque river to the Wang Pho viaduct, which gives death railway it's name as most of the prisoners of war who built this bridgee along the cliff edge lost their lives.

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The final stretch is like a green jungle as you head towards Nam Tok, where the train turns round and you head back the way you came. By the time we set of from Nam Tok, the train was now 1½ hours behind schedule.

Our accommodation for the next couple of nights is a gorgeous little wooden bungalow on stilts overlooking the river.

The following day we took the local bus to Erawan waterfalls, the most beautiful waterfalls Thailand has to offer, and the best part is, you can swim in them. There is a 2km trail which takes you up the waterfalls, stopping at 7 ledges along the way, which are perfect for a quick swim to cool off. The only downside is the little ankle biters, as in the not so little fish who nibble at your ankles if you stay in the same place for too long. The waterfalls are stunning, with bluey-turquoise pools at the end if each drop over white rocks.

The water was so refreshing and a welcome relief from the heat. The walk up the waterfalls was fairly easy with the first 5 stages being footpaths, bit the last two sections were more of a climb over slippery rocks and staircases. On the way back down I managed to slip on one of the steps sliding half way down on my bum and bruising my already swollen and scabby leg. My left leg is looking a right state now!

We spent a few hours here before catching the last bus back to kanchanaburi. At one point, the bus was so full, one guy was hanging out the bus door!

Tomorrow afternoon we are catching a bus to the former capital Ayutthaya.

Posted by Roaming Rolts 09:24 Archived in Thailand Tagged waterfalls trains temples temple travel shrine

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