5am. Not exactly the time you want to be getting out of bed in the morning, especially when the three Scouse girls in your dorm room managed to pull three Yorkshire lads the night before, and you've had to endure what was probably minutes, (but felt like hours) of very Northern sex noises. Dragging myself out of bed, I made it my mission to make as much noise as possible whilst I got ready and then sleepily made my way to the train station.
As much as I love Bangkok, it's a little bit full on and crazy, so when someone suggested I should visit Kanchanaburi to get away for a few days, I did some research on the little town. I've always been a bit of a history geek, especially when it comes to World War 2, so when I realised that this was the home of The Bridge Over The River Kwai, I decided to take the opportunity for a little break from city life and hopped on the 7:45am train.
My guesthouse was pretty cool. It was a cute little floating guesthouse, right on the river itself. It also had pet dogs, and I made really good friends with one of them as soon as I met him. He wanted stay in my room, and I sort of wanted him to stay too, but I was a bit worried the man might tell me off so I didn't let him stay.
After settling in, (and saying goodbye to the dogs) I went to meet with the Canadian girl I'd met on the train. We did some wandering, got caught in an absolutely crazy rainstorm, ate really spicy street food and then made our way to the Bridge Over The River Kwai to have a beer and watch the sunset. It was my first ever Chang, it took me about two hours to drink, and the sky was really cloudy, so the sunset wasn't amazing, but it was still pretty surreal to be watching at such a historic landmark.
The next few days gave me the very much needed chance to chill out and explore, and learn more about the Thailand - Burma Railway and the absolutely atrocious conditions that the prisoners of war who were forced to build it endured. I visited the Hellfire Pass Museum which was really interesting, though I had to leave early when my patience hit an all time low with a French family, who had seemingly brought their children along just to play 'tag,' whilst they stood around, appearing to have a 'who can talk the loudest?' competition. You can actually walk through a part of the Hellfire Pass, and that was pretty sobering (once I made it past all the Thai families, who for some reason all wanted photos with me...)
The train back to the town actually runs on the Death Railway, and over the Bridge (over the River Kwai) so that's a bit of an experience in itself. Of course, the loud, annoying French family from the museum were sat next to me on the train, and it turns out that they were pretty good at pushing me away from the window at the best parts, as well as being loud and annoying, so I didn't manage to get any photos of the parts that I wanted to. I probably could have, had I thrown one of their little brats out of the window, but sometimes a photo just isn't that important.
Time to head back to Bangkok. I'd been looking forward to the train journey back, as it was a couple of hours long and I thought it would give me the chance to finish my book. More fool me! A fascinatingly strange Thai man chose to sit next to me, and spent the whole journey trying to charge me money to talk to him. He sang to me, tried to teach me some Thai (but stopped teaching me when I said I wasn't going to pay him to do so) and at one point tried to kiss me. If it weren't for the American family sat in the next seats, fitting conversation into me (when they could get a word in edgeways) I would have quite possibly been driven insane!
Everything about Thailand - even an educational weekend away, is a little crazy, and I love it.