Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Thailand Day Three. Kanchaburi.

It was another early start today. Using the Nancy Chandlers map as a guide.

It was a quick walk from the New Siam Guest House to the river crossing at pier number 11, and a ride on a water taxi over to Bangkok Noi Station, also known as Thonburi Station.
We arrived in plenty of time and got our 4 tickets to Kanchanaburi. They cost £2.00 for four.
This railway line is on the historic ‘Death Railway’, built by the WW II POWs. The carriages were very basic, with fans on the ceiling for the AC. The journey took 4 hours and travelled through very nice countryside. I saw lots of Lotus and paddy fields.

On arriving in Kanchanburi the first job was to locate the offices of ‘The Good Times Travel Service’. I had seen a 3 day, 2 night tour advertised by them on the Internet and liked the sound of it. But I had not been able to verify if they were a real company so did not want to book it on line. We hailed a Songthew...a Thai Taxi, and negotiated a price with him for a tour of Kanchaburi and to end up at Good Times.
First, we visited a real tourist Trap, the WW II Museum. This was a very odd place, full of old war Kitsch. Including, life size sculptures of Hitler, Mussolini, Churchill and others. On the top floor is a collection of clothes worn by Miss Thailand entrants in the Miss World Competitions. In the cellar there is a replica wooden bridge, it is all very odd, but quite funny. Are you meant to come out of a WWII Museum giggling?
On the 'Real Wooden Bridge'.
We then went to the Chung Kai Allied War Cemetery. This is build on the former POW camp. The JEATH War Museum was far simpler then the WWII one. Just replica POW huts full of photos and drawings done by the POWs. It was a very, simple but very moving, exhibit. One I will remember for ever.
We then ended up at the famous bridge, walked over it, where a man was playing ‘Cournel Bogie’ on his violin.
At the ‘Good Times’ Travel office we caused a stir when we said we wanted the 2 night / 3 day trip, it was booked very quickly, and we met our guide Noi.
We then found our nights accommodation at The Pong Phen Guest house. The beds did not have blankets, just big pink towels to use as blankets...but to late, we used them towels! It must be a regular occurrence as the girl at the reception desk just smiled when we asked for new ones!
Once again the accommodation was simple, but clean, bright and airy. It was £19.00 per room per night. B & B.
That night we headed into the night market to eat ‘street food’ for our supper. We had some very nice looking stir fired muscles. I had some chicken with rice.
Note...the unused Chili Sauce.