Saturday, 23 May 2009

Thailand Day Five. Good Time Tour. Erawan Waterfall. Elephants.

It was another early start, but that was not really a problem as we were awake waiting for the ‘wake up call’ having had a real 'wake up call' at Dawn, a Cockrell crowing very loudly!
The drive down to the Si Nakharin Dam was very picturesque, going through the Chalom Ratanasin National Park and the Si Nakharin National Park. Both roads were tarred and could be driven by car with no problem.
We crossed the dam on the car ferry. This area was obviously used by local people as a Holiday destination as the Dam had many Raft Houses to rent for the day or for a week.
The Car ferry travelled very slowly across the Dam, giving you plenty of time to bye and eat a Coconut with coconut jelly inside from the on board shack.
Once on the other side of the Dam, it was a short drive to the Erawan National Park. Here we had lunch, then walked to the top of the waterfall.

Erawan National Park has a seven tiered waterfall and is a 2km hike to the top. The waterfalls were very busy up to level 4, then it was basically just us going up to level 7. At times Noi did appear to take us through the most difficult routes, maybe he was trying to turn a walk into a trek?
Each level was different, all were spectacular. Some kind of film set was being constructed on level 2, it was made to look like primitive African houses, Noi said it was a Hollywood Studio that would be filming here, so I will be looking out for the scenery.
We had a good time swimming and sliding down the waterfalls, before it was time to head for the River Kwai North.When we got to the River Kwai Noi, I think we were very close to Kancanaburi, but at the road junction we turned right and drove towards the Burma (Myanmar) boarder. When we got to the river we got on to a very rickety bamboo raft, this floated down stream at a very fast rate, the river current was very strong. The man controlling the raft used the paddle as a rudder to keep us in the right direction.

When we got to the river bank, we were loaded into an open backed ‘bakki’ and driven at very high speed to the Elephant Sanctuary.
I think we were at Sai Yok Elephant Camp, we joined another group having a day trip with ‘Good Times’ to the Elephants. Firstly we rode them, and actually got the chance to be Mahouts and drive the Ellies. Then it was down to the river to wash them. This was a lot of fun, and we really enjoyed it.

By now the sun was setting and it was getting dark, we had a long drive to The Sak Yoi National Park were our accommodation was in ‘The For Rest (Sai-Yok View)’ River Rafts. Once again this was National park accommodation. Basic, in that there was only cold water, the waste from both showers and toilets going out into the fast flowing river! But tonight ...we slept in BEDS! Thai beds are very hard, so in fact it feels like the floor!
This was the worst food we had all holiday, this was because the ‘hotel’ was catering for Western visitors. Apart from us, the rest of the resort was full of a very noisy Russian party. I don’t know what they are used to eating in Russia, but the way they tucked into the cold (should have been hot) rubbish that was on offer was very worrying? I think the vast amounts of Vodka consumed was properly masking the tasteless food.On a positive note, As we had been fed so well since starting our tour one night of small rations was not going to hurt us.
As we walked the narrow gang planks to bed, I was very concerned about the fast flowing, very dark and deep river beneath us. I urged the girls not to go out on to the gang planks alone that night....was this premonition?