Kanchanaburi- My two day tour

What I got up to in Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi is a historical province north west of Bangkok; there are loads of places in the area for you to visit. You can book one, two or three days tours which include loads of activities and places to see. I went on a two day, one night tour which included transfers to and from my hotel in Bangkok, accommodation and the activities. They do also ask you to pay entrance fees on top of this for some places as well.

We started off by visiting the Damnoensaduak Floating Market which I loved, it was a great experience and something really interesting to see. You should definitely visit one if you ever get the chance in Asia! I didn’t buy much, just a photo album but I can’t wait to fill it up once I get home from my travels.

After that we visited the Jeath War Museum and the railway bridge over the River Kwai.

It was interesting to learn about how Kanchanaburi was used during WW2, and to learn more about how the prisoners were forced to build the railway bridge. After the museum trip we took a ride on death railway and had a little tour of the River Kwai.


We then went back to spend the night at our accommodation which was a floating house further down the river. That was an experience as the bedroom shook whenever a boat went past!

 

It was definitely not the best accommodation we’d encountered on our travels but it was all part of the experience. The next day we did bamboo rafting down the river. We didn’t do much though, the boys leading us spent most of the time playing around with each other and jumping in the river in their clothes! We then went to visit elephants.

I did feel uneasy whilst visiting the elephants; there are bad stories about how they’re looked after in Thailand. I didn’t really want to ride them because I felt sorry for them. Not just because of where they were, but just for elephants in general. However I was encouraged to do so by both my friends and the guys at the elephant camp; they thought I was just too scared to get on them and kept pushing me to get on. It was an experience but I won’t be doing it again just for my own personal peace of mind.


After the ride we went into the river with the elephants for elephant washing, although we didn’t really wash them it was more just playing with them. With the tours you can choose different places to add on to the trip if you want to, such as visiting Tiger Temple or a waterfall. We did not want to visit Tiger Temple. None of us really like the idea of it and the way the tigers are treated, they are sedated so tourists can take pictures and it all seems a bit wrong in my opinion. It was a cold but good few days!

Let me know if you’ve been on this trip!

Gemma

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Phuket- Patong Beach area

Phuket is another destination in Thailand that is popular with backpackers, but also very popular with holiday goers and tourists as well. There is a fair bit to do in Phuket, there’s Patong Beach (although it’s very busy) where you can do water sports, a nearby water park, a shopping mall with cinema, bowling, karaoke etc and a load of restaurants, and plenty to do in the evening. Phuket is popular with families for this reason so some backpackers would choose to avoid it. 

Phukets nightlife is a bit crazy. Bangla Road is the main strip full of bars, however it is very seedy as almost every bar has pole dancers both inside and out.

  
 As in Bangkok, there are also men trying to get you to visit a Ping Pong show whilst you are there. My friends and I actually did this just for the entertainment and shock factor, and although it was an experience, I certainly do not recommend it! Although it’s free, they charge you really high prices for drinks (we haggled and only paid what we wanted to), and the show was just jaw droppingly gross. The bar was mostly filled with other travellers there for the experience, but there were also men with prostitutes so it was a bit uncomfortable. I think Phuket is generally like that though! 

For a more family friendly night out, there are a few different cabaret options and different shows to see; we went to Simon Cabaret which was a ladyboys show and it was really good. The Beyoncé was amazing! Unfortunately you’re not allowed to take pictures. 

My friends and I visited Phuket Town one day and went to the 3D Trick Eye Musuem. There are a few of these in Thailand but they are really good and you can take some great pictures! Here’re some of my faves from the day. 

  
  

 Overall I had a good time partying in Phuket, but I wouldn’t go there again. If you’ve been what did you think? 

Gemma

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Koh Lanta- The “quiet” island and my trip to the Emerald Caves 

Koh Lanta is an island not far from Koh Phi Phi and Phuket, and is considered the quietest and most relaxing one of the three. I went there after Koh Phi Phi and before Phuket to take a break from the partying! It is a beautiful island with many beaches, however as far as I’m aware some of them are pretty rocky and therefore make them a bit harder to access, so just be sure to do a bit of research if you’re planning on staying there. As I was backpacking and obviously choosing budget accommodation, most of the accommodation I stayed at did not have a pool, at least not in the islands anyway. We purposely booked a hotel with a pool in Koh Lanta so we had somewhere besides the beach to spend our days and relax. 

Whilst there are still bars and parties on Koh Lanta, it’s definitely not “buzzing” like other destinations in Thailand. We spent our evenings eating dinner in beach restaurants, then relaxing on the sand with a cocktail. A lot of the bars do have fire shows like most places in Thailand, and most of them were also letting off Chinese lanterns which looked really pretty. Maybe where the name Lanta comes from? 

  
   
This is a photo of the sunset from our room one night ?.

  
Another good reason to visit Koh Lanta is that because it is fairly quiet, it’s a good place to hire a moped if you want to try that out in Asia. There’s hardly any traffic and I think it’s pretty flat. We hired mopeds from our hotel for around £5 or 250 baht for 24 hours and just explored. We drove around near the hotel to get used to it, then adventured to another beach and had lunch. 

   
 
We did a day trip from Koh Lanta which was a Four Island Tour and included a visit to the Emerald Caves. To be honest I can’t remember too much about the different islands, we mainly just snorkeled near the boat once we arrived, but the highlight of the trip was the Emerald Caves. I believe the Thai name for island where the caves are located is Koh Mook. We stuck our life jackets on and then plunged into the water, then headed for the darkness within the cave. We swam in a group led by a guide with a torch, but for a couple of minutes we were swimming through the cave in total darkness, it was amazing! We could hear the bats flying above us. Once we reached the other side we arrived on this beautiful secluded beach, completely consealed by trees and nature. This small beach is where pirates used to hide treasure!

   

   
If you’re ever near Koh Lanta I would totally recommend this trip, it was such a fun and interesting experience! 

Have you got any other Koh Lanta recommendations?

Thanks

Gemma

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