Day 2 – Kanchanaburi and the River Kwai

Day 2. .  My Auntie was finally able to join us this morning and there are now 3 in our party. (My Cousin, My Auntie and Me)

We pack up and are head out to Kanchanaburi.  It is approx. 2 hrs from Bangkok. Although I really don’t know in which direction, because I still haven’t looked at a map. ( I did not plan the trip I’m just a passenger.)   We meet up with a man who will be taking us to Kanchanaburi.  Its a large van, technically able to hold 16 individuals (including driver) but our driver finds a way to cram 20 of us  (and our luggage) in there. oh so snuggly.  The seat belts work great and I strap in.
Initially there aren’t 20 of us in the van. It started out as only 8 (including the driver and his girlfriend).   We are sitting in  the van and waiting for other passengers.  The air conditioning is off and the driver is standing in front of the 7-11.  Well it is hotter than the hinges of hell and I’m starting to feel a little deprived of oxygen.  We open the door, because really there is no point in sitting in the van all sealed up in 90 degree weather.  Our driver doesn’t much care for that so he comes back and drives us to pick up a few more folks. However, my suitcase was on the curb. . . with my computer and all my clothing. vroom vroom. Away we go.  It was a lot like trying to put a cat in a bathtub as I hissed and screamed and scratched at the windows, trying to do everything in my power to show the driver how displeased I was with the situation.   He just sighed a big sigh and said “It’s fine.” My heart is beating out of my chest. It is totally not fine and I’m trying not to cry.    We pick up a couple more passengers on the other side of the building and then do a big loop and come back to our original spot. (it probably took about 10 minutes to do the loop, but it felt like an eternity.)   I am reunited with my bag and I vow that I will never part company with it again.  We do this strange loop a few more times until there are 20 of us in the van.   Onwards.

Kanchanaburi, This is the home of The Bridge Over the River Kwai. ( Kwai means water buffalo. ) When we get here a tuk tuk driver offers to take us to the hotel for 150 baht. I’m  skeptical of anyone offering me a ride that I no longer know if this is a good deal.   We agree and hop on the tuk tuk.  This tuk tuk is different from the one in Bangkok as it is a motorcycle with a side car…. sorta.  It’s on the side of the motorcycle, but bench seating.  (wish I’d taken a photo).    It was really nice, zooming down the road in a funny metal box, with our new friend, who doesn’t say one word and takes us directly to our hotel (which was really far away).  This was a great deal. Transportation in Thailand is looking up for me.

Our Hotel overlooks the River Kwai.The water here is clean, far cleaner than the canal we were staying above in Bangkok.  It is also quiet and very beautiful.
Tonight we walk across the bridge and look around. It’s quite sobering to be here. I knew nothing of the history behind the bridge until I started walking across it. Tomorrow we will explore the area more.


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