We caught the train from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi which was hot (3rd class with fans but not much breeze). Despite the heat, the journey was great. The train was quiet and Otto got to sleep the whole way.
Bangkok was very brief this visit. A quick trip to MBK the supposed mecca for shopping and a swim in the hotel pool - oh and a slow, massively over heated jog by me as I try and get some fitness back after nearly a year since exercise.
We stayed in a beautiful hotel, Ploy, which had beds on raised platforms and a cottage right on the river side which my ma and pa stayed in.
Despite the 'get drunk for 10 baht' signs (that's about 20p) the town was worth a visit and we took a good look around the war museum and the bridge over the river Kwae. A visit up the the Erewan National Park was also fun as we braved the pedicuring fish to swim in the pools at the 2nd and 3rd waterfall (except these fish were over a foot long so the nibbling was more than a little tickle!)
However, the real highlight of our time in Kanchanaburi was our day spent at Elephant World, a sanctuary for sick elephants rescued from logging, trecking and begging work. We got to spend the full day helping the volunteers look after the 22 elephants at the sanctuary who range from 4 to 81 in age.
We prepared their food - fruit baskets as snacks for the youngsters; sticky rice with pumpkin for the oldies who've lost their last set of teeth. We learned lots about these magnificent beasts. For instance, did you know elephants only have two teeth but they get six sets of them during their lifetime? They are also the only other animal apart from us who knowingly morns their dead family and friends. And lots of them don't like papaya but they all love watermelon - hmm, maybe I was an elephant in a previous life.
We made Easter Egg hunts for them with bits of watermelon hidden and got to watch them playing around in the mud a lot. At the end of our day, we even got a chance to join in bathtime although Otto did more swimming away from the huge creatures as fast as he could than scrubbing them.
Jess was in her element and was a proper teachers pet following our volunteer Julia around all day on her very best, most helpful ever behaviour. The whole day was amazing from start to finish and gave me a new found empathy with the elephants that surprised me.
I would thoroughly recommend it if you ever get the chance.
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Kelly and Mikey (but mostly Kelly). We sold up in the UK to travel with our two littluns for a year or so. If you want to know more click the about us!