Saturday, October 19, 2013

Rafting and elephants and dinner cruise, Oh My!!!

Our Thai lessons are over, no more TOEFL classes.  Our final destination... Kanchanaburi!  Our OEG leaders like to keep surprises, so all we knew was we were to pack an overnight bag and make sure we had a bathing suit.  A three hour bus ride (most of it in Bangkok traffic) brought us northwest of Bangkok to the Taweechai Elephant Camp.  The day included floating and swimming down the river on bamboo rafts and riding elephants.


I swear Thais can sleep anywhere!

and then we noticed the people on the other raft had jumped in.....

The ride was too short, we could have floated all afternoon, but the elephants were waiting!

and, of course, the other assortment of animals.....

A quick trip to the River Kwai (pronounced Kwa like apple not Kwy)

 The original bridge was bombed and rebuilt, and then bombed again.  The one you see today was rebuilt after the war was over.

because I knew Hillary would appreciate this shot...

The Japanese ordered the bridge to be built to carry supplies from Myanmar (Burma) to Thailand.
Almost half of the POWs forced to work on this project died from malnutrition or disease.

And, yes, it is still used.

A whirlwind visit to the bridge, then back to our hotel to change for dinner.

The Pavillion
The view from our window.

The grounds went on endlessly.

Just one of the two pools.

and the other.

No time for play, we had to leave by 5PM sharp.... (well, we're always on Thai time) for

our dinner on the river.  Four barges tied together floating down the river.

My new BFFs, Hillary and Ari

And then the DJ cranks it up!

Long day that ended too early.  Back to the hotel for a night of rest (for some of us), then back to Bangkok the next day to meet our school coordinators and head to our new homes.