Travelogue

Backpacking in Thailand: Our First Stop – Kanchanaburi

This time to Thailand we decided to take the Southern Path. The Southern part of Thailand has many interesting beautiful islands. There are more beaches and sea breeze encounters on the southern path.

Our Travel Plan: Singapore – Bangkok – Kanchanaburi – Hua Hin – Turtle Island- Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)-Singapore 

Our first destination: Kanchanaburi

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It’s about 2 hours from Bangkok and has become quite a traveler hangout. Laid back atmosphere, plenty of stuff to see and do, very cosy accommodation and a chilled but fun nightlife. It’s so accessible too, there’s no excuse not to whack it on your Thailand itinerary. It’s a similar atmosphere to Pai and Chiang Mai but with less people, all in all one of my favourite spots in the whole of Thailand.

Some Worthy Things to see in Kanchanaburi:

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Bridge over the River Kwai: Made famous from the movie with the same title, this is the main draw for visitors to Kanchanaburi. It’s found at the end of the town, so hop on your rented scooter or bicycle and spend 2 minutes burning down the mainstreet to get it to and you’re all set.

You can walk across the bridge or you can actually take the train from Nam Tok to the River Kwai station (2 hours) where you actually cross the bridge by train, its quite a nice ride.

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Also, Hellfire pass is worth a mention if morbid tourism is your thing. The Australian government funded a great museum and cleared the jungle back so you can see the tunnels the POW worked on for 18+ hours a day, months on end. Grim.

How to get to Kanchanburi: From Bangkok, it’s pretty easy.

BUS: From BKK’s southern bus terminal, leaving every 30 mins or so. US$4 and 2 hours.

Also, from Khao San Road you can get mini-vans for around US$5, easy and convenient.

TRAIN: From Thonburi Train Station, a train leave BKK at 7.45am and arrives around 10am. This is my preferred choice, comfortable and awesome views. Costs around US$3.

Coming up next post …. Hua Hin

ADventure is an Xpression,

The Gaia Adventurers

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Activity 18 – 2D1N Wilderness (Surviving KKB – Rafting)

It was the dawn. I could hardly opened my eyes. The sun just broke as the coach slowly pulls into town.

There laid rows of eateries steaming with hot food and the fresh aroma of coffee. Our primeval instinct to satisfy our hunger kicks in as we waited for our raft guides to pick us up. Our trip leader, Katherine gave us a briefing for our weekend adventures. After our hearty breakfast, we then went to change and had our warm up session.

A familiar sight of jeep with a raft mounted on its roof top, pulls up by the coffee shop where we were having our breakfast signalling the start of our adventure.

We took a short ride in the jeep and arrived at a clearing just before the lower section of the river. There laid 4 rafts all primed and ready to surf the white waters of KKB. It was raining the night before and the river is pouring over its banks. After a short briefing, we pushed our rafts over a small cliff and scrambled down a gentle slope to retrieve our ride. And the journey begins…

Selangor River is one of the more popular rivers in the western peninsular. The river consist of 2 sections namely the upper and the lower section. All of our rafting activities take place in the lower section of the river when the damn opens its gates. This is a Class 4 river with 3-5m drops along the entire 7km run.

The white water churns and spits our raft out through every boulder and whirlpool. There were times when we were stuck between shallow underlying rocks and the strong waters. We have to rock our rafts out into a short drop before paddling our way to safety.

Occasionally we were thrown overboard in to the gushing white waters as we were flying off the rocks into the waters below. Our most memorable event was when one of our crew members who was fishing madly to recover the overboard rafter, upon realizing that it is not his wife, he dumps the rafter back into the water to float another 3 drops along the white torrents of KKB. Most of us nearly fell over the raft after hearing his joke.

Soon we left the white waters behind us and paddled into a calm smooth flowing stream. Our crew jumped into the waters with our PFDs and cruise casually down the river on our backs. Birds chipping, and freshness of the forest air floods our lungs. It is such tranquillity that make the long  journey here all worthwhile!

More photos:  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151210233394044.480572.563239043&type=1

Blog by our Gaia Adventurer,

Ah Long

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