Saturday, October 12, 2013

Concluding the Kanchanaburi Tales

On my last full day of the trip to Kanchanaburi, I decided that raining or not, I was driving up to the Sai Yok National Park.  Trip advisor listed it as being 98 km (60 miles) from Kanchanaburi City.  Bangkok itself isn't that much of a further trip (albeit the other direction).  I was on a rented motorcycle (well, a scooter anyways) that was much more pleasant to drive than my beat-up 12 year-old 2-stroke.  It was smoother, faster and a lot quieter than my bike back home.  I noticed particularly that it had no problems at cruising along at 85-90 km/hr (50 mph).  With my bike, although it can go that fast, the motor whines SO loud at that high rpm that I feel like the it's about to explode.  

The first part of the ride was pleasant.  The rural highways aren't choked with traffic.  The mountains all around me made for a scenic journey.  I did remember one thing I've learned before.  However awe inspiring the vistas, when driving a motorcycle through the rice paddies of the rural tropics, keep your mouth closed.  I ate three or four bugs on the round trip journey.  

Once I started to get up into the hills, the rain started.  Further up the road, the cold descended.  Yes, I was actually cold in Thailand for the first time that didn't involve a cranked up air-conditioner.  

Despite the challenges of the journey, it will be a trip I will back on fondly for the rest of my life.

Some notes on the video:

A pic on a dry day of the Muang Sing castle ruins we tour starting at 1:10.  The rain was a small price to pay to having the place all to myself.  No one else around.  Not everyday you get a 12th Century castle all to yourself.  

Here is a pic of the aedes aegypti mosquito that I mention at 2:24.  Now, just because one has been bitten by this kind of mosquito doesn't mean one will for sure contract dengue fever, but they are the carrier.  They're not found in Bangkok.  

If I find myself with a fever of 104, I'll know what's up.  

The mosquitoes at 5:33 in the video... swarming in front of the lens.  I think they were reacting to the heat that the camera puts out when being used a lot.  It was warmer than I was, so the mosquitoes attacked it.

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