The additional activity of taking the afternoon boat cruise in Railay was a great experience to adventure around the island. The cruise involved the group traveling around in water taxis.
We stopped at a snorkeling cove, a rock climbing and cliff jumping island, an island with a sand bar connecting to another island, and a final island where we enjoyed a barbecue while watching the sunset over the water. The views were absolutely amazing as was seeing what other islands surround Railay in the Krabi province of Thailand.
The boat journey back to Railay, we stopped off in a cove and jumped off into the boat into pitch darkness to experience the plankton that illuminated in the water at night. When returning from the boat cruise, many of us headed to ‘The Last Bar’, the main nightlife hotspot near our hotel, and enjoyed live music and fire throwers for our last night together as a whole group. The fourth day in Railay was the last day there for the three weekers, so we had our rock climbing and cave exploring activities the morning before we left the island. The cave diving left us with a panoramic view at the top of the other side of Railay, which was a perfect way to say goodbye to the island.The six-week program stays on Railay a couple more days, but the three weekers packed up and began the trek back up to the north to Kanchanaburi. A twenty-minute boat ride, two-hour van, twelve-hour train and another two-hour van ride later and we made it to our new destination – Kanchanaburi. Once we settled into our hotel, the Pong Phen Guesthouse, we ventured into town. We took a taxi truck to view a railway built during World War 2, checked out a marketplace with good deals on jewelry, and got to go to a sanctuary where we got to pet and feed a baby leopard. For dinner on our first night in Kanchanaburi, we walked to a street market, which had all different types of traditional Thai foods.With two more days in Kanchanaburi, we have a lot to look forward to – elephant riding, and a waterfall hike!
Our final days in Kanchanaburi definitely gave us a feel for the wildlife and nature amongst Thailand. On our second day in Kanchanaburi, we headed out early to the Elephant Village, which was about 30 minutes outside of the city. We paired off so that two people were assigned to each elephant. The two people sat on a seat type saddle that was strapped to the elephant, and a guide rode behind the ears of the elephant to steer it through our trail ride. After the trail ride, we got to ride the elephants down to the water and swim with them and bathe them – a truly life changing experience! Our time at the Elephant Village was concluded with an elephant show where two elephants performed tricks and danced for us and it was also a great picture opt with them after the show. As soon as we freshened up post elephant trek, we headed off to the Tiger Temple. We had to dress conservatively with covered knees and shoulders as it is a temple and the monks are the caretakers of the tigers. We each got a chance to walk the tigers alongside the monks, and had a lot of photo opportunities once they were settled down. A worker of the tiger temple escorted us into the cage with the tigers, as they were tied down, and got to sit beside about ten different tigers to get pictures with them. Following the pictures, some of us paid the extra 1000 baht to feed baby tigers, and the others ventured along the skyline walk at the temple, where we got an aerial view of the tigers cages. After our animal filled day, we went out to dinner at an Italian restaurant, Bell’s, which had great pizzas and pasta that we all enjoyed. We then hit the nightlife of Kanchanaburi, which was walking distance from our hotel.
On our third day, we headed off to the Erawan National Park, where we would be doing a hike to seven different waterfalls. After an hour drive through twisty turns, we arrived and started off on our adventure. We made our way through each of the seven waterfalls, swimming in all of them, until about two hours later we made our way to the last and most extravagant waterfall at the Erawan National Park. This hike concluded our last activity in Kanchanaburi, and tomorrow morning we will be heading back to Bangkok, which is where we will say goodbye to our three weeks in Thailand.
Our final night in Kanchanaburi we headed into town to go to a shopping mall, which was definitely a change of scenery and a reminder of home for many of us. The first floor of the shopping mall had a lot of different restaurants to choose from – a KFC, a sushi place, pizza, and Korean bbq to name a few. We had two hours here to shop around at the different departments of the two story mall and dine at whatever restaurant we wanted. The dessert place in the mall was where we all ended up, with amazing sundaes and ice creams to choose from that we all enjoyed. The next morning we were off to Bangkok on a 9am bus taking us a little over an hour and a half to get there. We returned to the same hotel, New Siam 1, which is where we started our trip. Once we settled back in, we headed on another mall adventure, but this time to a seven-story shopping mall in Bangkok. We spent our afternoon there, venturing through the seven floors with hundreds of clothing stores, souvenir shops, food places, and just about anything else you can think of. Our final dinner together as the three-week tour group was at the 75th floor buffet in the Baiyoke Sky Hotel, the tallest hotel in all of Thailand. We enjoyed a little too much food at the delicious buffet which had Thai food, sushi, Italian, and American foods to choose from, along with a wide array of dessert options. Post dinner, we went to the driving range that was inside of the hotel. We each hit some balls on the driving range, which was enclosed by nets but allowed for a beautiful night scenic view of Thailand. After our final dinner, some of us went out as a last celebration together, wandering the streets of Bangkok amidst the scorpion sellers, the live music playing, the street vendors, and the stray dogs roaming around here and there.
Our three weeks in Thailand have sadly come to an end, and the LBW experience was incredible. We each will leave this country in our separate ways, but have made so many memorable experiences and friendships, and have learned so much about the beautiful country of Thailand that will stay with us forever!
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