Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kanajaburi, Thailand

Being that this is my first blog and I am just getting my feet wet, I thought I would start off with a recent weekend getaway trip that turned out to be MUCH more fun than I could have ever expected. 
I got a message from one of my riding bu
ddies last week, “Kanchanaburi this weekend?”
Didn’t take long before I replied with a confident, “Of course”, followed by a thought of “Well, as long as I don’t get caught up with any unfortunate weekend work.” 
So that was it. I was already planning the route and deciding whether or not to try out my new Alpinestars touring saddlebags on the upcoming trip, all the while hoping and praying I wouldn’t get caught up with something from work that would keep me off two wheels.  Next thing was a quick phone call to my girlfriend Anne to see if she would be joining this time and sure enough she was up for it.
                Saturday morning could not have come quicker.  I was like a small child on Christmas Eve, as is usually the case before any motorcycle trip.  I couldn’t sleep.  All I could do was imagine was the next day cruising down the road on my bike, listening to the sound of the exhaust, anxiously awaiting the winding roads of Kanchanaburi province.

Saturday morning came just in time; I woke up before the alarm and was getting ready for the day ahead.  Clothes packed, check, breakfast, check, geared up an
d gas in the tank, check.  Running out the door I was on my way to meet up at the usual spot, Fast Corner.

Got out on the road finally, headed out Rama 3 Road towards Phetkasem Road for the first trip to Kanchanaburi by bike.  Weather was great, smooth sailing ahed, or so I thought.  Hit Phetkasem Road and, WOW!!! What a nightmare.  Deadlock traffic, buses, cars, semi-trucks and everyone else on the road was bumper to bumper waiting for the notorious 10 second Bangkok green lights followed by the 7 minute red lights.  How is this even possible?
After almost an hour we started to approach the Rama 2/Outer Ring Road and many cars were starting to turn off which made traffic lighter and consequently the pace began to pick up.  “Great!!” I thought, but in typical Bangkok fashion the roads backed up and we were stuck again.  No sweat, just a few more stoplights and we were cruising.
Got out to Highway 323 and started enjoying the sites, the cooler weather and the beautiful scenery.  

We cruised on for another hour or so until we reached our destination, Mueang Kanchanaburi, also known as the town of Kanchanaburi.  We arrived in town like some travelers that had just crossed the Sahara, eager for a meal and some comfortable lodging.  Went and had a quick change out of our motorcycle gear and down to the local restaurant for some Thai food.  Fried rice with chicken, kai jiaow, or otherwise known as an omelet, some shrimp curry and good old ice cold Coca Cola. 
With our stomachs full and eager for more we went back to the hotel and got in our gear for an afternoon blast out to Sai Yok Waterfall.  At only 60km away it was a nice relaxing afternoon ride with a bit of elevation change and noticeably cooler weather.  The waterfall was less than impressive but at least we didn’t waste a nice day sitting at the local watering hole.  We were saving that for later.

Day 2 – The Return Trip
Woke up around 9am with a headache thanks in part to a friend of mine by the name of Jose Cuervo.  Got some breakfast and got on the road for a morning excursion to the Wat Tam Kao Boon.  It is a temple that is in a cave in the hills of Kanchanaburi Province.  Interestingly, the Japanese military used this same cave as a makeshift hospital during WW2.  There was a reclining Buddha, along with many other guilded statues of Buddhist origin.

Leaving the temple we ventured on to the country roads and did a large loop before heading back to Bangkok.

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