Hi all! It's Harriet this time, blogging from the heart of Thailand! A few days ago we started our volunteering adventure...
Wow what a day we've had today! Earlyish start around 9am. Wandered over to our new favourite local restaurant for some breakfast for me (and coffee for Ben!) I opted for noodles fried with egg and chilli flakes with lime - it was ideal, so much more fun than cornflakes!
We then met our amazing guide for the day - Mr Watts. He was a wonderfully kind 50 year old man who had lived in Kanchanaburi for 49 years so we knew we were in good hands! He referred to himself in the 3rd person (such as: "Mr Watts take good care of you today. Mr Watts show you Erawan National Park Thailand.") He was such a great character!
First stop was at the memorial burial ground for prisoners of war and the Death Railway. It was an incredibly sad place to see but it was really interesting and a real eye opener. It was a 415 km railway built between Burma and Thailand by the Empire of Japan using forced labour. More than 16,000 prisoners died during the construction of the railway. The prisoners died because of sickness, malnutrition and exhaustion. There was very little or no medical treatment available and many prisoners suffered horribly before they died. We then went on to visit the railway bridge over the River Kwai which was very beautiful. It was so crazy as tourists were walking across it taking loads of photos and then a train came!!
We then drove out for about an hour to the stunning Erawan National Park to visit the famous waterfalls. There are 7 main waterfalls to visit and in the midday heat it felt like a bit of a trek (especially in flip flops!) but we made it to the top and it was so worth it. The falls were absolutely beautiful crashing down into clear turquoise blue pools where you could swim and cool down. The craziest part were the fish in the pools. As soon as you dipped your feet in they would rush over and suck your toes! Mr Watts described it as a "fish kiss massage!" Well me and Ben were not fans of this at all, infact we both squeeled like complete girls every time and quickly scrambled to get out over the slippery rocks!
After an amazing day of history, culture and waterfalls we were both knackered! We headed back to the hotel for a late afternoon laze by the pool before heading out for an other delicious meal of massaman curry washed down with a cold Chang beer. Tomorrow we are meeting up with the Thailand Experience group for the 4 hour bus ride to Sangklaburi for some volunteering. We both can't wait!!