At the risk of sounding like an obnoxious twit who’s obviously been away from the real world for far too long; we had a few crap ‘nothing’ days there for a while. Days where we couldn’t be arsed going to see another temple or waterfall or bat filled cave with hawkers selling plastic inflatable crap and monkies shamelessly fornicating out the front. We couldn’t be arsed spending the whole day driving (when I say whole day, bear in mind we’re stretched to get moving before midday) only to get to an average looking beach and hunt down ‘value’ accommodation’. For some reason, and maybe it’s the fact we’ve lived in each others pockets for such a long time, we were both just on edge, itching to do something fun, to be entertained, but not bothered at having to make it ourselves. Now there’s a shameless confession of a true Gen Y ‘I can’t be bothered to be a travelling bum, can someone please breath for me? What? 100 Baht? Tell ‘im he’s dreamin’’

Thankfully, we got over that ilk of laziness, and found ourselves in Kanchanaburi, in a cheap-ass bungalow on the infamous (and famous)  River Kwai.

At first I thought it was funny how a movie could motivate an entire tourism movement as it does in Kanchanaburi, but I soon realised there’s a lot more to it than that. The allied solidiers cemetry alone is testament to what an incredibly sad place this is – the end of the line for the thousands of prisoners of war who suffered mistreatment, malnourishment and exhaustion to build the railway from Burma under the command of the Japanese, back in WW2.

The train itself was a novelty, although used by the locals to run from Bangkok to Nam-Tok (a journey which takes something like 4 years) we decided to catch the 9.29am train to Nam Tok to see some of the amazing feats of railway architecture along the riverside. The 9.29am train eventually came at 11.20, and we sat down on our wooden seats with our picnic stowed in the rucksack, settling in for the relaxing and picturesque two hour journey. At the next stop, the other 5000 sweating passengers crammed in, killing relaxation and rising the temperature to fever pitch.

The journey was slow but worthwhile, winding through farms and then up towards the river along a bridge with rock faces on one side of the train and sheer drops on the other.

It took nearly 3 hours, and with the drive to Bangkok still to come in the evening, we started planning a taxi back instead. In fact, when we finally arrived at Nam Tok, I dotted off to the loo whilst Joe sat down to make some sandwiches, and just as he was negotiating a shared Taxi back to Kanchanaburi with a nice Dutch couple, I came running back yelling ‘train leaves in one minute!’ Flinging money on the counter for our tickets at the guard who’d hurried me back from the loo…(how did he know we wanted to go back??)

I have a great mental image of Joe with two sandwiches splayed out on his knees, clutching a tin of tuna, the dutch man warning ‘You wont make it! What about your lunch???’ As Joe flung the tuna tin in the bin and ran towards the already moving train, thai guards shaking their heads…