15. Jan, 2016

Kanchanaburi and Chiang Mai (again)

The Death Railway Bridge / The Bridge on the River Kwai (or Khwae, depending on the spelling used) is here, “built following the novelisation of the popular film in order to cash in”, I was told by a brash, in-your-face, uninformed tourist who sat next to me uninvited. (It was not). When referring to it, it’s recommended to use ‘Khwae’ (rhymes with square) as opposed to ‘Kwai’ (rhymes with why) – Kwai is not a nice word here – it would be a bit like accidentally mispronouncing ‘you can’t’, using a ‘u’ in place of the ‘a’. 

After a past disappointing experience visiting an ‘Air and Space’ museum (it was an empty room), I’ve never been the biggest museum fan, but, for those interested in the history of the bridge, ‘Death Railway’, and Thailand’s involvement in the Second World War, there are a couple of excellent (and slightly haunting) museums nearby that can use up a full day of your time: these are ‘Jeath War Museum’ and the ‘Thailand-Burma Railway Centre’. If you visit the latter, look out for the statue/models of the prisoners used in the construction of the railway, and pay particular attention to the MASSIVE knee-length penises unnecessarily given to each model, and the fact that some have been clothed in such a way as to have that penis hanging out to ensure all male visitors leave with their egos crushed. 

Alas, I became ill here again, and was confined to the pool for the next few days #firstworldproblems As a result, I missed out on an excursion to ‘Hell-Fire Pass’, just north of Kanchanaburi, but I’m told it’s a must. When I go back, I’ll let you know. 

Recovered, and refreshed, I headed north, back to friendly, relaxing Chiang Mai. I’ve not many details to share about this trip as I did many of the same things as last time, but I did experience my first Muay Thai evening – highly recommended. I was never a fan of boxing, and I think Cage Fighting is wrong (I support free range fighting), but there’s something extra about Muay Thai that captures the imagination. Perhaps it was the baying of the crowd, perhaps it was the added factor of knees and elbows, perhaps it was watching four different coaches trying to fix a dislocated shoulder and failing spectacularly, or perhaps it was the many, many beers consumed in a short space of time – whatever it was, it made for a good night. I had considered adding a boxing joke in here somewhere, maybe something about David Haye, but I can’t seem to type properly since breaking my toe…..Maybe some of you have already forgotten him? Shame – as the saying goes, “there is nothing worse than fading into complete obscurity” (Anonymous)