Existing Member?

Running away from Home

A Trip to the Falls and Then a Trip and a Fall

THAILAND | Tuesday, 19 January 2010 | Views [560]

lower level at Erawan Falls--cue the unicorn!

lower level at Erawan Falls--cue the unicorn!

I arose early this morning to make it to the bus station for the 8:00 bus to Erawan Falls. It took me a while to walk there, but at 7:30 in the morning, the Thai sun hasn’t made it’s full brilliant appearance. The ride to Erawan National Park took about two hours. I took me about an hour to get up the seven tiers of waterfalls. At this time of year, the falls are mesmerizingly beautiful. The scene reminded me of an magical forest where I would see a white unicorn come to have a sip of the enchanted waters. I kept wondering what they would be like in the rainy season. Would it be more spectacular? Someday I will have to see. The park was already crowded with people eager to bath in the pools under the falls so I often had too wait for swimmers to get out of my shots. I thought that the more tiers I ascended, the crowds would be smaller. What led me to believe this was that the terrain was quite rugged those last couple of tiers. The park had built steps in some places, but in others you had to climb onto huge boulders. I came prepared in my hiking outfit, which consisted of hiking shoes, long pants and a hat to keep the sun off of my face as well as the bugs out of my hair. There were women hiking to the top in flip-flops and bikinis. A couple of Russian guys in speedos and watershoes were enthusiastically bouncing up the trail. It was enough to make me blush…..even as I made a mental note to include Russia on the list of possible countries where I will search for teaching jobs.

After kicking my hiking shoes off and doing the commoratative dipping of the toes into Erawan Falls, I took off down the trails to try to catch the 12:00 bus back to Kanchanaburi. Now, I could have stayed at the park for quite a while. There were other trails to follow, locals at the visitor center selling food, and bathroom facilities (one stall even had a western toilet), but for some reason I got it in my head that I just had to be on that 12:00 bus back to Kanchanaburi. I pretty much ran down that trail. When I got to the parking lot outside of the trailhead, I broke into a full sprint to catch the bus that was just about to leave. On the bus I thought to myself, “you are so lucky that you did not twist and ankle, fall off a cliff, or slip and crack your head open, running down that trail like you did, and for such a stupid reason.” That’s my mom talking. I remember hearing quite frequently as a child the phrase, “crack your head open”. I have sustained a lot of knocks to the noggin, but I have never cracked anything open. The self-scolding made me feel impish, “yeah, but I got away with it.” It’s hell being a Gemini.

I decided to tempt fate a bit further. The bus station is about three kilometers south of my hotel. Since we were coming from the North, I wanted to get off of the bus before we got to the station. The bus driver already had my 50 Baht, so I figured he wouldn’t care. My only hope was an intersection with a red light. I saw one come up and the bus was coming to a stop. I moved to the door to make a jump for it. The woman who collects the money saw what I was doing. She grabbed my arm and made gestures to indicate that the station is just down the road. I started chanted, “hotel, hotel” in Thai while pointing over my shoulder. I don’t think that she understood, but I shook her off anyway and jumped off of the bus (which had come to a full stop, Mom) This action reduced the amount of walking time back to my hotel, but apparently not enough. I was walking along just about to reach my hotel. A bunch of motorcycle taxi drivers were standing around as I walked past. They asked if I needed a ride, and I pointed to the hotel and I said, “I am almost there.” One of the drivers said, “one Baht.” I looked back at him and smiled to let him know that I got the joke. I should have kept my eyes on the sidewalk. I tripped on, well it could have been anything in Thailand, I did not have time to investigate because I was trying to regain my balance on legs that had just climbed a mountain (and run down it). I was not able to right my equilibrium by myself. An obliging table caught me just across the chest before I hit the ground. So you see, injuries can happen anywhere and I have come full circle. I’m not discouraged, though. In fact, I would have a good laugh about it, if it didn’t hurt so badly.

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.

About melissa_k

Follow Me

Where I've been

Photo Galleries

My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about Thailand

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.