We're finally going round the world! travel blog

 

Tara harassing the river kittens

Our river bungalow in the background & Tara still harassing the poor...

 

Pretty flowers

 

 

 

 

Very pretty dragonfly

 

 

 

 

 

Franc from Tahiti

 

Getting ready for our kayak down the River Kwai

Sandra (from Tahiti) and Da

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So very exhausting here

 

He's not getting the hang of Kayaking!

 

 

 

An exotic looking king-fisher

 

 

 

 

We finally made it to the Bridge over the River Kwai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Franc having his three meals at dinner!!

 

 

One of the tiers in the 7 tier waterfall Erawan

 

Walking on the waterfall!

 

 

 

 

Sandra and Tara under number 7

 

 

 

It's a bit trickier getting back down

 

 

 

Tara admiring number 6

Swimming in number 5

number 5 again

It's so pretty

One of many decorated trees

A little slide at number 4 - wheeee!!

 

A little head in the centre with number 3 behind

There she is!

 

Swimming with the nibbly fishes at number 2

 

Number 1 - yea!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A naughty cub - bopping his friend on the nose

He got told off for it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A monk playing dominance games with a cub

He got the toy when he submitted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Playing marbles in the street

 

 

 

 

 

Sitting at a table in the back of a pick-up

 

 


After a long night on a bus, a quick 5am journey across Bangkok, and another 2 hours on a bus, we made it to Kanchanaburi in time to joined our Tahetian friends, Frank and Sandra, for breakfast :). We last saw them in Vilcabamba in Ecuador, so it was great to meet up again! Bamboo House, where we stayed, was beautiful and peaceful, just down the river from the famous River Kwai Bridge (which we could see from our balcony), and home to three gorgeous 3-month-old kittens.

We spent our first afternoon there drifting down the river in kayaks (as you can see from the pictures, the kayaking was very hard work - so hard in fact that Da fell asleep at one point and only woke up when his kayak got stuck between some rocks!). It was very beautiful and relaxing, and we saw lots of very striking blue kingfishers and even a big monitor lizard.

The next day we went to see the Erawan waterfalls - a series of seven falls, with turquoise blue water, lots of swimming places, and lots of fish (that nip!). It's an incredible place - at the top, we walked up the falls (literally!) to see the highest waterfall, and swimming there, went through it to the little cave behind - magic! On the way back down, Tara swam in the pool at every waterfall, and we only just made the last bus back to Kanchanaburi.

On our last day, after lots of debate, we decided to go to the Tiger Temple. We'd heard many good and many bad things about the place, and in the end decided to go to see it for ourselves. It's a Budhist temple where the monks had a history of taking in and caring for injured wild animals (mostly pigs and deer). Since 1999 they've also been taking in and breeding tigers, and now receive daily tour-bus loads of tourists to see them. We felt honoured to be close to such incredible animals, they looked well-fed, and the cubs were playful (especially the one which kept escaping his carer to play with the adults!). The other animals in the grounds were also lovely to see: a deer spent some time licking the salt off of Tara's hands, and there were lots of happy piglets about. However, we didn't feel good about having gone: of course it was lovely to see and touch tigers, but the temple is now a well-oiled and successful photo opportunity and money making machine, and the tigers aren't treated with the respect they deserve. Their carers were often rough with them (pulling their whiskers, etc), some were chained in the sun, and when they get to the canyon in which they spend the afternoon sleeping, they have their heads hauled on and off of lap after lap (not gently) for the photos that people have paid for. We also felt sad that with such an opportunity, the owners haven't taken the chance to educate all the hundreds of people who come every day about tigers. We were no wiser for the visit and we had no one we could ask questions about where all the additional cubs came from or how they are trained or even if they are doing anything for the conservation of tigers in the wild. We didn't stay long.

Getting back to Kanchanaburi proved a bit tricky - the bus didn't pass, and in the end (after some roadside games of marbles, using seeds), we got a lift sitting at a table on the back of a truck(!). We said goodbye to Fank and Sandra (till next time!), and made it to the station in time for a bus back to Bangkok so that we could catch our night train north.



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