We have both been to Kanchanaburi several times before, just for day trips to see the river Khwae and the tiger temple. It's very very gorgeous. But we had never really explored the place before. So we decided to take in the waterfalls, caves and beautiful scenery.
Our first stop was Erawan National Park and it's stunning 7 tiered waterfall. This place is super popular with tourist but it's also a favourite picnic spot with Thais too. This time of year is the best because it's the end of the rainy season and the falls are fit to bursting and at their most stunning. There are also less tourists (peak tourist season is November to March). It costs 200 baht to get in for tourists which will actually get you into any part of the national park for a day so it's not a bad deal! We trekked right up to the seventh tier which took about an hour. It's pretty slippery and the climb is a little tough so I would recommend wearing sturdy shoes. It was totally worth it (and made me feel better about missing the gym that day. Tehehehe). Nature at it's very best!
Here's a fun little guy. He's licking a wrapper. There were tonnes of moneys around the place, all sneaking off with tid bits from people's pic-a-nic baskets. Yogi bear has nothing on the sneaky Thai monkey. While we were there, some monkeys were fighting and one of them fell into the pool right near a Thai girl. Hilarious! He had to swim back and shimmy back up the tree. Feeling sorry for himself I'm sure.
One of the best things about the falls is you can swim there! The water is clear, fresh and clean. But....there are fishys. I hate fish. They are slimy and scary and EW. And these fish nip you. It doesn't hurt but it feels gross. They are trying to eat the dead skin off your feet. I hear they do this in Singapore as part of a pedicure. EW EW EW! I can think of nothing worse. I do not want fish eating me! So......I armed myself with Pokey: The Fish Pokin' stick.
It was taking me ages to get in the water. Here I am mincing around and squealing like a wuss "NOOOOO the fish will get me".
Next thing I know, I'm in the water because some Thai guy push me in! How rude! But I'm glad he did. The water was lovely and cool, just what we needed after the sweaty hike up the falls. The waterfall was great too. Standing under it was like getting a free massage!
Lovely! We were pretty whipped after the hike and the swim so decided to head back into town and find somewhere to stay. After a fruitless search through overpriced shitehouse bungalows and terrible toilets, we stumbled upon Apple's. The rooms were simple but comfy and ultra clean(and cheap! $10AUD for both of us!). The owner, Noi, was lovely and helpful. You also MUST eat in their restaurant. Then food is authentic Thai. Very delicious and very cheap! It's also right on the bar strip which means it's very easy to go out on the town. But even with Black Eye Peas thumping out of a pub across the road, Apple's is still amazingly quiet and serene. It has a really nice garden area where you can sit and think. But bring the mozzie repellent because there are quite a few of them around.
After a good sleep in and one delicious apple pancake courtesy of the delightful Noi, we decided to go to Lawa cave. There are heaps of lovely caves around Kanchanaburi and Lawa is supposed to be the best. We managed to get horribly lost as the signs stopped being in English and we went about 15 minutes past the cave. But the scenery was beautiful so it wasn't a bad thing.
We found our way back to the turn off and decipher the Thai sign to work out which way we should go. The cave was pretty amazing. It was still living which is unusual in Thailand. The usually get carved and turned into underground temples. And there were BATS!
I LOVE bats! I think they are adorable. I have a weird thing with animals in Thailand. I see a squirrel and I go nuts. I see bats and get super excited. I think monkeys are pretty cool. But I'm so blahsay when it comes to Elephants. I think it's because I see them every day on my street and they get soooo annoying sometimes because they block the street you need to go on so you can't get through. I've almost gone careening into an elephant butt before when I was running to get out of the rain. I've have friends come to stay and they squeal when they see one. I'm just like "Oh yeah!"
But anywho, Lawa cave was really nice. It was surprising warm. I always expect caves to be cool and wet. There were some really lovely rock formations.
After the cave, we had some lunch by the River Khwae and then head back to Bangkok. I would recommend it to anyone visit Thailand. The country side is beautiful, the sights are breathtaking and the people are friendly. What more can you ask for?