Wow, tonight we’ve already been away from home for a week. And in such a short time so many new impressions…We just take in and in and in and at some point just drop into our hostel beds, tired to the bones. If I wouldn’t write our experiences down in such details, I probably would forget half of it. There is still so much more we had to laugh about or thought was bizarre but at the time of writing, they aren’t at the top of my mind.
For instance, we wondered what kinds of cultural mistakes we had already made because we didn’t know any better. At the temples, we never knew whether we were allowed to ring the bells or the gong, or touch the feet of Buddha..When the Asian people did it, we figured it was ok. We just didn’t know in what way we had to do it except if a nice person explained it to us.
Something the Thai men do, which seems rather gross to me, is pulling up their snot as loudly as they can and then spit on the ground. They do that everywhere we go! Ew. Where I live you have to pay a fine if you do that.
Furthermore, many people wear a shirt “Same same but different”. I know there is a movie with this title but as we philozophized about the meaning we came up with the following explanation: to us, all Asian people look very similar and it’s hard to tell what country they are from. Also a lot of the culture or food might be the same but it’s still a little different (or even very different) everywhere. What meaning do you think this phrase has?
Today, we were ready to leave the hostel by 9.50am. We walked to the bus stop but when the bus hadn’t arrived after 5min and we weren’t really sure whether we were at the right stop, we decided to take a taxi. It was a nice driver who turned on the taxi meter and stored our backpacks in the trunk (a lot more comfortable than carry them on the bus). There was air-con but of course no seat belts. Well, usually the seat belts are there but the things to plug them in on the other side are non-existant. We didn’t have any traffic jam so the ride to Sai Tai Mai (like Mai Tai 🙂 –> Southern bus therminal, don’t take an expensive and uncomfortable minivan from Khaosan Road!) was only 91 Bht! We paid 25 Bht each , which made our taxi driver very happy. You should acknowledge someone who doesn’t want to rip you off for once.
We found the ticket booth for Kanchanaburi (most things were written in the Thai language) and purchased one for 210 Bht. We arrived with the perfect timing because we only had 10min to buy another Thai tea from one of the stalls and at 9.40 am we were already on the road. It was a big coach bus which even had foot rests. The windows were too dirty to take pictures out of them but on the positive side, we received a free drinking water. Everyone around me was sleeping so I was occupied enough with watching their heads bobbing around :).
We reached Kanchanaburri 1,5h earlier than expected (probably it was an express bus and therefore it was more expensive because we thought that the ticket would be slightly cheaper). Sometimes the luck with time tables also works for us.
Here, there are not a lot of signs in English but there were already a few men trying to get us into their Songkaeuw. We didn’t have another choice so we sat onto the benches in one of the taxis, which took us to the VN Guesthouse for 100 Bht for the four of us (it was only a 5min ride).
It’s sooooo idyllic here!!! We have the best rooms right on the riverfront but in the concrete building, so I guess that they have better insulation than the wood houses. There are small lizzards everywhere!!! We had about 6 on the wall above our door. As long as they stay outside it’s ok 🙂 They are extremely cute and actually look like gummy toys.
We had a very delicious and very inexpensive lunch at our hostel and then rented bycicles (50 Bht a day) and rode to the famous River Kwai bridge, which was built and bombed and then rebuilt during WWII. It was a lot of fun to ride the bikes! First of all, we had to remember that we have to ride on the left side and secondly, I always wanted to ride one of those city cruiser looking bikes. The whole 3km were straight but because it was so hot, we were glad to find some shade to park our bikes by the bridge.
The bridge itself is nothing special but what’s cool is, that you can walk across it on the train tracks! We started walking and taking pictures and when we were about in the middle, the people started to clear up and suddenly we had a lot of space to take pictures without people in it. For a moment I thought that maybe a train was coming and that’s why everyone left the bridge but my next thought was that we couldn’t be that lucky and be here exactly when a train came by (there were only two trains a day). However, 10 min latet, Myri suddenly yelled that a train was coming and I thought that she made a joke. But indeed, a yellow train was getting closer and so, the first thing we did was getting excited and running around like chicken with their heads cut off. Must have been hilarious to watch because we then realized that the train was driving so slowly that it took another 2min until it reached us and we had enough time to stand on one of the platforms next to the tracks. Unfortunately, none of the passengers knew what a “high five” was and just waved at us.
When the train had passed, we also walked back and checked out the market for a while. We bought some fruits and when we had enough went back to the bicycles. At that point it started to rain slightly. We were in high spirits and thought that it would stay that way. We sobered up quickly because it started pouring buckets. Since we were already wet, we just cycled along. We checked out some more of the area and finally got back to the Guesthouse completely soaked.
After enjoying the sunset from our small terrace, we had dinner at the Guesthouse again. I took a coconut soup because my mom loves Thai soups and I wanted to at least once have tried one to tell her whether her soups taste the same. It was good but I actually prefere her soups 🙂 Plus, ever since I ate it…let’s say I have to go to the bathroom more often. Maybe time to open the medication box.
After dinner, we taught Hedi and Moritz “Jassen” a Swiss card game and enjoyed the slight breeze in the restaurant building above the river.
Like I said, it’s very easy to enjoy the time in this area.