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Sunday, 30 March 2014

Bangkok/Kanchanaburi 2014 - Day 2 Part II

Date of travel: 18.03.2014

Singapore/Bangkok Day 1 - click HERE
Bangkok/Kanchanaburi Day 2 Part I - click HERE

Lunch was yucky and glad that I had "stole" 2 pieces of pastries from the hotel's breakfast kept in my bag. From Erawan Waterfall, we took another 15 to 20mins drive to this place for elephant ride/bath.

Together with the keeper, the elephant took us to a river.  Water was clear and cool.
I was holding onto a chain at the elephant's neck and King Luis was gripping onto me for dear life.  

Balancing on the elephant was more challenging than expected.  Don't ask me how this teenage keeper could be more stable than us when he was standing.  People stand also can stand steadily, we couldn't even sit properly -___-

My idea of bathing the elephant was brushing the elephant with a big brush while the elephant splatter water with it's trunk, kind of water play.  But what happened was, we bath together with it as it lower itself into the river.

We lost balance and ..... fell into the river.... 
...... and both of us can't swim 0__0

Why and how did I lost grip on the chain, I really don't know.   I had no idea how long was I in the water, but it should be less than a minute, any longer I would be probably be dead.  When I dropped into the river, I told myself not to panic, tried my best to swim to the surface.   I even thought of stop moving to let myself float up.  I wasn't afraid, I just know I can't die like this.

I felt a pull on my outfit, and I stopped splattering as I know someone's gotten me.   My head was lifted up from the water and I was breathing again.  Immediately I was looking for King Luis, other than coughing and shivering, he was alive, we were alive and my bikini were still intact, phew.  But the feeling of being drowned to death was so close, so close........

King Luis told me he managed to grab to elephant's ear (poor elephant).  The keeper pulled him up first but he still drank quite a bit of water.  He said I was splattering like crazy, less than an arm's length away from the elephant.   The keeper was calm and got me very quickly.  Elephant kena scolded by the keeper, poor thing, not it's fault really.

City pumpkins as we were, must seemed really useless to the keeper and the locals.  The teenage keeper asked we were alright and was obviously surprised that we can't swim.  The scenario will be very different if we can swim, we would probably be amused, laughing and swimming when fell off the elephant.
I left my camera with a teenage girl who's working there, she took these photos from the shore.

The tour agency should had advise us on the possible dangers as we can't swim, I wouldn't had chose this itinerary if I know the activity is in a river. We were not told what to expect, no life jackets whatsoever.

Gonna sign a swimming class for King Luis, else he's going to have a hard time in NS.

On our way back to Bangkok, this thing happen..... tyre punctured.
Fortunately, there was a workshop just a few metres away, it was fixed up and we were on the move again in less than 10mins.

Reached Bangkok at around 7.30pm and we were dropped off at Khao San Road.
 Finally over and done with this lousy Day Tours Bangkok.

It's my first visit to Khao San and it's somehow different from the central Bangkok.  Central Bangkok is filled with tourists from asia, we saw more caucasians over here.

There's no lack of food here.  There are many mobile stalls of cheap street food.

Plenty of restaurants are non-aircon but with interesting and attractive ambience, selling local and western food with beer.

We settled at this place called Macaroni Club for dinner as well as to rest our feet.

The charcoal grilled fish and chicken had attracted me.

We ordered some dishes to go with rice.
Stir fried veg wasn't nice....

King Luis ate the eggs only....

Big fat grilled fish which I ate all by myself, with hands, shiok.  It's 300 baht.

Fish's stomach was stuffed with garlic and some spices.
The total bill was around S$24.

After dinner, we walked a few shops down and found a massage parlour offering 120 baht for 30mins foot massage!

Too good a deal to resist and reject.
 It wasn't really fantastic but it's still soothing and relaxing for my aching legs after a tough day.
This parlour is called Orchid Massage and Orchid motel is just next to it.
Address: 323/2-3 Rambuttri Road, Pranakorn, Bangkok 10200.

Spotted a stall that sells thai desserts.

 I bought half pumpkin with egg custard at 60 baht.
   It's so crazy yummy but a lot of thai restaurants in Singapore don't serve this. 

Took a cab who refused to ran on meter, paid 200 baht for a 15mins journey back to our hotel.  A bit expensive but gave it to him anyway cos' the taxi is pink, heehee.... and it's new and spotlessly clean.   Comfort level equivalent to Mercedes sia.  6hrs in that grandfather old white car was quite enough for us already lolxx....

Dinner wasn't too satisfying for King Luis.  So we popped into this 24hrs Mcdonald which was just beside our hotel.
Nuggets tasted very much like what we have over here, but no curry sauce leh, so we took hot & spicy sauce.

But my story didn't end with supper.

Back to the hotel, sis walked over to me room, talked to us, make sure we were not traumatized or injured any where.

Sis:  Your passports still with you?
Me:  Of course!  I kept them in the safe! *proud*

It's time to open to safe to take out some money and also to make sure the passports were still there.

The safe box couldn't be open -____-|||

Sis:  Do you remember the password?
Me:  Nope, I locked it by swapping a credit card.
Sis:  Genius.  Did you test if it can really be close and open with credit card.
Me:  Tested, it was fine, yesterday (na bei).
Sis:  You used the same credit card?
Me:  Yes lah, cos' all my other cards are in the safe leh, I only have one card with me now.

The both of us swapped the card a few more times.   Initially, the safe box gave a "ERROR" on the display screen, after a few more attempts, the display screen displayed nothing.  The safe is securely locked.

Sis:  I guess you have to call the counter, you know how to call?
Idiot Me: No.
Sis: Just dial "0" *shakes head*

In less than 5mins, two men in smart suit arrived.  The younger man appeared to be the hotel's manager, handsome 到。。。。。like LiHom 王力宏 you know!  I should had showered, put on makeup before requesting from help >.<  I looked horrible, literally a 落汤鸡, in an air-dried state.  I mean how good looking a person can be after being pulled out of a river wor, 妈的.  I hope I didn't smell.

The freaking handsome manager talked to me with eye contact, he gave me signed necessary documents and I didn't get his name *face palm*.  Done, they left, we were all exhausted at around 10.30pm.

Sis:  I hope no more drama from you baby (with that don't know to cry or laugh expression)
Me:  Hur hur.....

Relax lah, shared red-bull with King Luis before sleep.

Anyway, luckily I did not promise her, cos' some thing happened, again, the next day, heeheehee.....  Life is never boring with me around.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Bangkok/Kanchanaburi 2014 - Day 2 Part I

Date of travel: 18.03.2014

This post is a continuation from Day 1 - HERE

Our hotel stay includes breakfast buffet from 6 to 10am.

We were down for breakfast at 6am cos' our day tour to Kanchanaburi was supposed to pick us up at 6.30am -____-

Ate full full, cos'  I predicted a long day ahead.

We waited at the lobby at around 6.25am.
The lobby was full of mosquitoes attacking only King Luis.

So we went to sit at Starbucks which is just next to the hotel's lobby.

The non-English speaking driver from the tour agency finally arrived at 6.50am.  They were late and I knew I had chosen a lousy tour agency.

With us were another 2 caucasian tourists.

We were drove to this place first, which I had no idea where was this, to drop those caucasians off and pick up another 2.

At around 7.30am, we finally made our 3hrs drive to Kanchanaburi in this grandfather old white car with a cracked windscreen.

During toilet break, managed to take a pic of the transport this stupid tour agency provided.

We reached the entrance of  Erawan Waterfall at 10.30am.   The driver told us to come back by 1.00pm and left us.  Only then I realised that the tour was not guided.  I panicked a little initially but as we moved on, it was unlikely to lost our way at Erawan Waterfall.  There were signboards clear enough for visitors.

Hadn't got much time to lose, we left the caucasians who were taking their leisure time smoking and relaxing .

We walked into the Visitor Center, no time to view the exhibits.

Adventure began from here....

Took a pic of the overall map in case we lost of way.

500m to the 1st waterfall.

It was easy with a cement path.

Not sure what plant this was, it cut through our path.

A sign board indicating the distance of each waterfall.  We were quite determined to conquer all the 7 Waterfalls of Erawan.

First sight of a river.

As we moved on, we saw many of these bamboo platforms for picnickers.

This man in blue was taking photos of the 1st tier waterfall, that was what I thought.

He was taking photos of the 1st tier waterfall with that ang mo in bikini -___-

2nd tier was like a playground for the locals.

A closer pic of the 2nd tier waterfall.

Near the waterfall were herds of big black fishes.

3rd tier
Image credit www.tropicultures.blogspot.sg

4th tier is interesting, people would slide down from the smooth rocks.
You can see a boy sitting there ready to slide down into the water.

Water is clear with fishes swimming around.

We saw 2 trees like this one being wrapped with fabrics.  Not sure what it is all about.

At this point, after the 4th tier, no more cement or easy paths....  no more young children were seen, the real trekking began....

Besides the main 7 tiers of waterfalls, there are numerous little ones like this.

Love this photo cos' I am in bikini, those clever leaves hide my fat tummy, yayness to my photographer King Luis.

I found spot to sit down and enjoy splattering with the cool water.

Luis called me childish, but I enjoyed it.

We were competing with time, so I knew I couldn't stay too long....  trekked on....

Wooden bridge that cracks and cricks when walked over -___-|||  But the water below seemed shallow.

One of the smoothest ground we had walked.
Many were steep, full of uneven stones, muddy.  Luis was busy cursing while I was busy panting, so not able to take photos of those challenging roads we covered.

 Still, I appreciate the nature, I know I wouldn't see such sights once back in Singapore.

5th tier waterfall, it's amazing.

Walking further up, we found more and more marble stone.  Many are already in "semi-polished" finish caused by stepping from numerous visitors.  Marbles are slippery , so we avoid stepping onto them.
King Luis was able to identify normal stones from marbles, damn clever.

I missed taking photo of the 6th tier.  Not even sure if the few pics below are part of it.

We were near the 7th tier.

Need to walk through this small section of river.... luckily we brought slippers.

King Luis in despair........

There were so many times we thought of giving up, but we were so near to our target destination, it would be a waste to give up at any junction.
Luis, man up!

All the surrounding area were muddy, our only path was this tree trunk.
I took ages just to get myself up this trunk, fml.

End of trail, at the foot of 7th tier waterfall.

It wasn't as majestic as I had seen in photos.
Water streams down from many meters up, but not enough volume for any gushing effect.

This doggy later woke up and followed us down.

It was with us till the 4th tier, then it went faster than us.  Yes, even a dog was faster than us.

Not too long after this pic was taken, this dog went chasing after a huge black slimy monitor lizard.   I screamed like hell sia.  When I finally got hold of myself, I found a crowd starring at me.  I nearly died of embarrassment...........  -_____-|||

By the time we reached the entrance, we were 40mins late.  We saw that black doggie was laying under a shady tree licking itself while we were panting with legs breaking.

Lunch was included in this tour package and this was what packed for us.
Sorry, blur pic on the moving car.  It's rice with slices of tomatoes and shreds of green veg.  That's it!  No meat nor fish, not even an egg!!  Ok, to be fair, there was a packet of sliced watermelon and pineapple plus a bottle of mineral water for each of us.  Big deal, cheap deal.

This lousy tour was brought to us by Day Tours Bangkok www.daytoursbangkok.com  They are the cheapest I found on the web-site at 1900 baht/per pax.  Tour includes pick-up from hotel, transport and admission fees to Erawan Waterfall, lunch, elephant ride/bath, transport back to Khao San.  Now I learn my lesson, cheap price comes with cheap service also.  So you all know who to avoid sia.

Although the tour agency sucks, this visit to Erawan Waterfalls was an unforgettable experience.
Thailand is more than Bangkok and shopping malls.

Stay tuned for my next blog post on the elephant bath/ride, I have more to say about this tour agency.