Kanchanaburi

So yesterday morning I left Bangkok to head to Kanchanaburi, a small town on the River Kwai.  Because I’m not very bright, I decided to walk from the train station to the bus station in Bangkok where I needed to catch the bus. On the way I got lost/stuck in Queen Sirikit Park for longer than intended.  In 90*. While wearing two backpacks.  But at least it was pretty.IMG_8429

IMG_8433

And there were elephants!

IMG_8439

Everywhere! Get it?  🙂

I decided to pick up a snack for the bus ride so wandered into the 7-11 there at the station

IMG_8440

I skipped the (chicken) hotdogs

IMG_8444

*But decided to get a non-fat drinking fermented milk.  It’s a dutch mill delight! How could I not?

It tasted sort of like thin lemon yogurt, which I know sounds weird but was actually pretty tasty.  It was, like so many Thai foods, sort of tangy and sweet, all at the same time.

 

 

IMG_8445

*Mystery pastries

I got some of these too, I’m not quite sure how to describe them.  I wasn’t really into them, more for textural reasons than an issue with flavor.

IMG_8447

*Sponge cakes filled with banana cream

I saw these in the airport when I first landed, but didn’t buy them and have been regretting it since, but here they were again!  With free “Lepan Banana Gros Michel” banana pendant!  I can’t wait to put it on my cell phone case or whatever you’re meant to do with a banana pendant that comes free with pastries.

After the two and a half hour minibus ride, where I made the mistake of sitting near the door so every passenger could climb in and out over me, we finally arrived at Kanchanaburi.  I’d booked a guest house in advance, and decided to walk the 4k there, because I was already drenched. On the way, I passed this beautiful cemetery.

IMG_8450

And this adorable puppy, which was chewing on a coconut, but started chewing on me when I stopped to pet him.

IMG_8452

The guest house looked so lovely in the pictures, and had a great write up in my guidebook, but the bathroom in my room is less than picturesque:

IMG_8454

You get what you pay for.

Not only does the bathroom double as the shower, but you need to supply your own toilet paper, AND there’s no flushing mechanism.  You have to use that maroon bowl to take some water out of the bucket and pour it down the toilet.  Now I really feel like I’m traveling!

After dropping my stuff I decided to walk to the famous Bridge over the River Kwai, the movie of which I’ve never seen.  A woman was selling clementines out of the back of her truck.

IMG_8458

*Clementines (or something similar) 35 baht a kilo

Turns out the bridge is really beautiful, although not original, as the original was bombed by the allies in WWII.

IMG_8460

IMG_8475

The bridge is still active and has “safety platforms” for tourists to stand on if a train comes while they’re standing on it

I’d been seeing commercials for these gift baskets while I was on the Sky Train in Bangkok, and finally saw one in person.  I’d been so curious as to what they are, and it turns out, they’re chicken essence!  I guess that’s a big thing here, giving chicken essence as a gift?  They have them in every little grocery store.

IMG_8482

Chicken essence gift baskets…?

IMG_8483

All of the women’s facial creams advertise their whitening properties.  That could be a whole discussion but just wanted to mention it…

So, I’m going to admit my complete ignorance of the WWII situation here in Thailand, but apparently Japan occupied the country during the war. The Allied forces had cut off their original supply routes, so they decided to build a bridge in order to resupply their troops in Burma.  They forced 200,000 local people (Thai, Indian, Chinese, etc.) and 30,000 English, Australian, American and Dutch prisoners of war to build the bridge.  The original estimate for the time needed for the railway to be completed was 5 years, but when they decided to use forced labor, they readjusted their estimate to be 18 months.  They drove the men so harshly that it was completed in one year.  The conditions were horrible, and 100,000 locals and 16,000 POWs  died of starvation and disease.  There is a cemetery in town that was built to honor the foreigners, who lost their lives, and it holds the remains of nearly 7,000 POWs.  The cemetery itself is beautiful, and immaculately maintained.  All of the men were so young, and the inscriptions were some of the saddest I’ve ever seen.  I cried reading them.

IMG_8484

The tomb inscriptions were the saddest I’ve ever seen

IMG_8490

 

On a lighter note… I stopped to visit the cemetery on my way to the train station.  I didn’t manage to buy a ticket, but the trip wasn’t a total waste, as there was a night market just outside.

IMG_8496

More delicious and exotic fruit, all served with salty sweet chili topping (40 baht)

IMG_8492

*Dumplings made with rice? flour and stuffed with shrimp, scallions or some sort of green (a choy of some kind?) (30 baht)

 

IMG_8507

I’m thinking because of the color they must be duck eggs?

IMG_8497

*Everything tastes better on a stick, even mushrooms.  Especially if they’re wrapped in some bacon-like meat

IMG_8511

Duck in many forms?

IMG_8494

*Little baby omelettes with krab, mussel, or shrimp inside (6 for 25 baht)

IMG_8510

*Delicious strawberries topped with some mixture of sugar, salt, and ?  They were great (30 baht)

IMG_8503

*Baby pineapples, I got two of them and she just sliced them into quarters.  They were some of the best I’ve ever had.  They’re so young and sweet, you just eat the core. (20 baht each)

IMG_8491

*Bananas grilled and served with a warm, sweet, coconutty sauce (5 baht per stick)

IMG_8515

*Rose apples served with that sweet, salty chili topping.  They tasted kinda like a cross between an apple and a pear in texture. (40 baht)

Tomorrow I’m going to visit Erawan Waterfall, the real reason for my trip to Kanchanaburi

 

2 comments

  1. I have been waiting for a banana pendant as well as some chicken essence!… Just never knew where to get them!! The fruit is making me jealous…. Yummy!! Looking forward to tomorrow’s adventures!! ❌⭕️🐘🐘❌⭕️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sharon · January 8, 2016

    The food is so appetizing …but just the fruit and sweet stuff. Continue to have fun and send pictures. Please do not sent any sad animal pictures especially of puppies as I will have to come and try to sneak some out.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s