The heading here refers to some of the completely extraordinary sights we're seeing each day. buddhist monks in saffron robes abound 9I know the more well travelled amongst our readership ;-) know this but for us there is nothing so fun about travelling in new regions as finding all the things that you've always imagined about the place thrugh books and tv and then actually seeing it all for real!!
Oh yes the monitor lizard- back in BK at one of the ferry terminals on the river in middle of the city there we saw him just lazing on a log, all four foot of him!! Don't get tose in the Mersey kids!
Anyhoo we left BK yesterday for kanchanaburi by train. Some fun and games with the taxi who took us (about 45 min journey) to the wrong train station... we knew this was happening but had spent 15 mins before setting off trying to show which one we meant- in the end we just chilled out and enjoyed the whole mad city as we beetled our way through the mayhem to the wrong place. at GBP1.50 and a few hours to spare you just gotta get zen about things. Speaking of which everyone is really cool here.. you don't see or hear people shouting at each other there's no aggression and it really shows after awhile and rubs off- so different from say those passionate spaniards, italians or greeks who can't speak to one another without it sounding like they're having a humdinger.
The train to Kanchanaburi has to be one of the highlights thus far. wooden seats and fully open windows- every station saw people walking the platform or boarding the train to offer Chicken satay (which simon says is made from chicken bottoms- but it's all bottoms with him!!) Beer, Deep fried peas etc. We took too many photos from the window and all the way it was like thai style slumdog. Kids playing and fishing in little ditches that run between the railway and their palm leaf roofed shacks, women in straw hats and scarves around their faces against dust laying cable in the road, people waiting at level crossings all waving and smiling as the train chugged past. i saw my first elephant at one such crossing - just a second view of him swaying away up the road but of course I was "Elephant, elephant, oh oh elephant" all over the carriage like someone challenged mentally.
And so to kanchanaburi finally and to Apple's guest house- very clean if a little characterless. Completely different feel here almost like a greek village - lots of little bars and internet cafes for tourists. We had a good night but the highlights included sitting on a terrace which is held up on stilts in the River Kwai - it was dark and all we could see was the light from a fisher man on his litte punt boat. The noise from the frogs, little mystery splashings from below in the oily river and lizards everywhere in the bar.
Sorry this is a long post- guess we're using this as a bit of a journal for ourselves too. lots of options today none of which we're taking up. it's raining (still hot though) so swimming at waterfalls doesn't appeal. washing elephants may have to wait until Chiang Mai, we reckon war museum, old town and of course the death railway bridge.
Hope all are well. We'll check in again probably from CM.