A Travellerspoint blog

Thailand and a motorcycle mishap


Arrived under our own steam in Bangkok on 7th September after an easy border crossing from Cambodia and again met up with the group at the hotel on the Koa San Road. Once again no window in the room but Hey Hi now getting used to it. Went out on our own the first evening for a great fish meal, I had tiger prawns and Sandra went for snapper!
Then took the train as a group to Chang Mai to meet up with Jim who had collected Calypso from Laos as the truck had not been allowed in to Vietnam and Cambodia due to technicalities. Decided to rent a motorcycle for the day (10th Sep) and made our" first mistake" by not paying extra for an automatic, after a brief sortie around the ring road it was off to the mountain to visit the temple, as we arrived it absolutely tipped down for about an hour and on the way back we saw a sign for the waterfall "second mistake", after taking the turnoff and paying our entrance fee 400 baht we found ourselves going up a steep hill and the bike was struggling in 2nd gear so "third mistake" I put it into 1st gear and immediately the front wheel reared up and the bike fell back on top of us. As we were only wearing shorts t-shirts and sandals "fourth mistake" we found ourselves with varios wounds to hands, elbows, knees and toes etc and after a brief mop up we decided to get back to the hotel to clean up our wounded pride. Surprised everybody raves about Chang Mai as we found it quite boring, must be our ages or the extraordinary places that we have visited on our journey so far .
As we had the choice to take the train or truck to Kanchanaburi we decided on the train and were surprised to be the only people to take this option. The sleeper train journey was quite exciting as the recent heavy rain had caused extensive flooding of the countryside, and the train was delayed 5 hours as the water was covering the tracks and the train could only go at walking pace, all you could see for miles was the tops of trees poking out with thousands of birds looking for a perch. We found out later that ours was the last train to get through for 7 days. We stayed at the Apple Retreat Hotel which was within walking distance of the Bridge over the River Kwai made famous by the film with Alec Guinness. Also visited the Erawan Waterfalls which consisted of 7 falls at various heights we made 6 before time ran out and we were turned back by park staff as you needed enough time to return safely before dark.
Wednesday 14th Sept and a group of us rented a large Tuk Tuk and visited the Death Railway at Hellfire Pass. The railway was 415km linking Burma with Thailand and was built by allied prisoners of war in 1942 over 100,000 men died in brutal conditions. In the afternoon it was off to the Tiger Sanctuary and we were not sure what to expect as there had been a lot of bad publicity, but everyone who decided to enter had an excellant afternoon walking fully grown tigers on leads and petting them whilst having numerous photographs taken. I can only say that we saw no evidence of drugs or ill treatment to the animals and it was the best 600 bahts spent so far.
On an off note and a warning to future travellers to Asia two ladies in our group had bags snatched by motorcyclists within a 24 hour period in Kanchanaburi .
After a long drive to Surat Thani the group separated for "beach week" on the islands, we opted for Koh Samui and had swopped a week of our timeshare in Spain for a week at Saboey Resort in the north of the island. We chose well, and spent a wonderful relaxing time around the infinity swimming pool with jacuzi. Risked another motorbike for 3 days without mishap this time .
Decided to bypass the two nights at the National Park as we had been warned it was the wrong time of the year to visit (rain) and caught the bus ,train and ferry to Penang, crossing the border into Malaysia 2 days early and another new adventure .

Posted by palaceboy1 03:26

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