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Group Tour of West Thailand

THAILAND | Sunday, 25 May 2008 | Views [935] | Comments [1]

Having stayed in some fairly basic accommodation for the first week, I was pleasantly surprised when the hotel receptionist of the Viengtai Hotel handed me a room key after checking in for my tour. Clean, air-conditioned room - bliss.

There were 5 other people in my group tour:

Steve - a 40-something year-old Australian government lawyer with whom I was sharing a room for the week.

Marianna - late-20's Austrian working for Swarovski

Martin - late-20's Austrian, Marianna's bf.

Isabel - 40-something Austrian

Sarah - 25-year-old South African.

All in all, they were a nice bunch and well-travelled, which made for many interesting stories along the way.

The tour was of West Thailand up to the Burmese border. Since I am falling behind on my stories, I will keep this short and just note down what we did (please check out the photos which I are accessible on the right-hand side of the page - i have tried to add extensive commentary to these photos):

DAY 2

* Arrived in Sangkhlaburi, West Thailand (a 7 hour bus ride from Bangkok). Checked into guesthouse at about 2pm and rested for the day.

DAY 3

* I decided to start the day by going canoeing by myself - to get some early morning exercise and fresh air.

* Went by long-tail speed boat to find the sunken temple.

* Rode elephants through national park, with lunch at elephant camp.

* Travelled by pick-up truck to Three Pagodas Pass, on the Thai-Burmese border.

* Visit a village of the Mon people, a Burmese hill tribe which have been displaced into Thailand due to their treatment by the Burmese junta.

* Visit to Baan Unrak, an orphanage near to our guesthouse. This was a very memorable experience, just to see the happiness in the eyes of these young children despite their dire circumstances.

DAY 4

* Went by pick-up truck to visit a different hill tribe, called the Karen people. A group of women at a nursery performed a wonderful traditional welcome dance for the group before we started to play with the kids, who were very shy at first.

* After showing us how they prepared their food, the Karen women made a feast of a lunch for us to eat.

* We then checked into a different hotel in a small town called Thong Pha Phum. The hotel was not great, nor was the town. The restaurant attached to the hotel was missing some ingredients to make breakfast because it was low season, and there was nothing to do in the town except climb a steep hill to see a nearby Temple.

DAY 5

* Visited Hell Fire Pass, which was created in tragic circumstances during World War II, in order to build a railway (the Death Railway) from Thailand to Burma. We also went to see the memorial museum which has since been created - which provided an excellent audiotour of the grounds.

* From there we actually had an opportunity to ride part of the Death Railway for about 2 hours, which included crossing the Bridge over the River Kwai.

* Checked into guesthouse in Kanchanaburi.

DAY 6

* In the morning, a small group of us went to see the Erawan waterfalls, which involved climbing up some difficult terrain. Quite a few fell, and some were injured - I was not amongst those.

* We then travelled for 3 hours into a northern suburb of Bangkok to stay with a Thai family overnight.

DAY 7

* Visited a local market near the Thai family home.

* Travelled by long-tail boat down the Chao Praya to Bangkok, to check into the Viengtai Hotel again.

* Had a farewell dinner with the group.

The group riding in a speedboat across the Khao Laem Reservoir to find the sunken temple.

The group riding in a speedboat across the Khao Laem Reservoir to find the sunken temple.

Comments

1

Hi Jonathan,

Hope all is well. You looked very relaxed. Keep safe.
Mum gives me information as well. She is fine.

  Betty Jun 2, 2008 7:28 PM

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