Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Still in Kanchanaburi

Ok, so where to start... I've done a lot in the last two days. First off dinner was really good two nights ago. We went to the night market and had an all you can eat thing, the Austrailian couple showed it two me but it wasn't there the next night, and then it was there the third (they said it was off and on). They put a barbeque think on your table with coals in it, a grill thing domed on top, and water around the edges. Then there is a bunch of raw meat, and vegies, and noodles, and stuff, that you take to your table and cook. It was good but strange because you didn't always know what you were eating. Then we (me and the Quebeckian from Montreal, instead of Canadian) went to the "No Name Bar" and hung out untill we were tired. The next morning we met up again for breakfast before she went back to Bangkok to celebrate the Chinese New Year with some friends she met earlier in Bangkok.

I decided I was going to go on a bike ride around town that day after breakfast. Then I just picked up my book and some really good chapters occured so it was afternoon and hot before I knew it (The Poisonwood Bible is a really good book). So I hung out with some of the long term residents of the Jolly Frog and talked. The guy in the room next to me said he knew the perfect ride I could check out in the evening after it cooled off a bit. He gave me directions to over the river and into the countryside next to the limestone hills in the distance (The hills in the distance are a bit hazy because of the burning of rice paddies in the region, I guess there is another range behind it I haven't been able to see it). On the ride he told me how to get to his girlfriends (a real thai woman, not a girl whore) property in the country and asked if I could water there plants for them, I happily agreed.

I read and waited out the main heat of the day and left around 2 for the bike ride. I had picked a place to rent the bike that had mountain bikes, not the weak thai bikes (only 50 bhat). Before I headed to the countryside I wanted to ride through the rest of Kanchanaburi, just to see the town. I'm glad I did, the other side of town in the real city, with teak houses, a vibrant market, and no farang (the word for white people, like gringo its not a nice word). I rode through the WWII POW cemetary, a chinese wat, and the area of town with a lot of house boats and boat resturants also before heading out to the country.

The town of Kanchanaburi

The countryside was really nice. I rode to the property where there was a hammock under the shade, and a little pond that the guy said I could take a dip in. I did take a dip but perhaps I shouldn't have because it was all runoff from the adjacent rice paddies that had been planted a couple weeks earlier and had a few inch tall sprouts. After watering the plants I continued towards the hills and ended up right next to them after ridding on dirt roads through sugarcane fields, and rice paddies. The hills just came right out of the ground and there was a dirt road that winded along right at the base. From there I went back to the hostel after I got back to the main road. It was a wonderful ride all in all!

The property in the country

Last night was low key, I just had dinner with a brit I met at lunch and then hung out with the Irish guy and another traveler. We went out to "1 more bar" where there was a 41st birthday party for some woman. The bar is owned by a british guy and I assume the woman was a friend of his. There was free barbeque, and cake, and a nintendo wii that we played. Its strange that the first time I played the nintendo wii was in Thailand at a bar but it was fun and I went to bed not too late.

Today I knew I wanted to go to the Erawan Water Falls, but wasn't sure if I was going to ride a motorbike or the public bus (I've heard good things about both). I decided to go with the public bus. I went out to the main street and waited for the bus and flagged him down (thats what I was told to do). The falls were pretty amazing, kinda like samuc champe in Guate, lots of pools that were built up by the limestone in the water that cascaded into each other. There were 7 tiers and it was about a 2 km hike to the highest tier. I hiked up to the top fast and swam around the highest pools. There were little fish in the water that ate the dead skin off your feet, it was a strange feeling to let them nibble at you. The highest water fall was pretty amazing and you had to swim through some pools to get there, so no pictures.
Pictures of the falls don't do it justice!

While I was up there and away from my stuff I saw some monkeys around in the trees. Then I watched three monkeys climb down from the trees and try to take my water bottle, when they realized it was plastic and not food they left it alone. I thought it was funny to watch them look at my stuff. Later when I was putting on my shoes another monkey was trying to do the same thing with me like one foot away, he would raise his eyebrows like "what are you going to do". On the way down I even saw a group (maybe 10) baby monkeys playing around, they would miss branches and fall in the water and get all wet, it was funny. I also stopped at the 4th tier to swim becuase it had a big pool and a natural formation that people used as an about 15 foot slide into the water, I couldn't pass that up!

The Monkey The 4th tier with the slide, its the left most green line with not much water

Now I'm back in town and decided to go to the internet place before I go back to the Jolly Frog. There is going to be a reggae concert accross the street either today or tomorrow as a tribute to Bob Marley. I've been watching them set up the stage. I hope its tonight because tomorrow I think I'm going to head out of town to spend a night at the hot springs. I don't have much time before the silent meditation, basically three nights besides tonight before I need to be at the monistary. I also think I'm going to pay to keep my room at the Jolly Frog while I'm at the hot spring so I know I have a bed there when I get back (Its so cheap I think it would be worth it).

On a side note I've felt a little under the whether the last two days and have been trying to ignore it. I think it may be the Doxy stuff I'm taking for Malaria protection, I don't like it. I think I'm going to stop taking it while I'm in Thailand because there isn't much risk here and I havn't really even been bit. I think right now I'm going to look it up and see if its an antibiotic like some people have told me. If it is then I'm deffinately stopping, I don't want an antibiotic in my system for over a year, that just sounds stupid to me. Ok, I'll write more later, probably after I get back from the Hin Dat Hot Springs.
Also, I added pictures to some of the old posts, fyi.


  1. Great blog, Andy. Thinking of you. I can't wait to hear how the silent meditation goes. Love, Carol

  2. It IS an antibiotic, I promise you. You are fine not taking it while in Thailand- the only malaria risk there is right near the borders to other countries, and a teeny tiny area by the Gulf, nearish Cambodia.

    Email me when you have a chance- trying to figure out my plans for the first few days there, and I have to book a train ticket in advance if I'm coming to Chiang Mai (apparently it fills fast).

  3. Love the photos! Esp. of the monkeys -- reminds me of Goyo, accompanier to La Quetzal in Guate, (about your current age when he left) describing how a certain type of monkey would look him straight in the eye and then throw feces at him -- and he lamented that, due to various bacteria, etc, -- his feces were never firm enough to throw anything back at him! (He was kidding, of course...)