A Long Journey from Yangon to Kanchanaburi
19.03.2013 - 19.03.2013
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Today has been a long hard slog, just travelling from Yangon to Kanchanaburi. We got up nice and early and had the obligatory egg and toast breakfast. We were packed (Chelsea as had to transfer some of here things into Liam’s bag as here is now over the 15kg baggage allowance we get on the flight) and out of our hotel for 9am on the dot and we immediately jumped in a taxi to the airport.
The journey to the airport took near enough an hour, partly due to traffic and partly due to the airport being nowhere near the centre of Yangon and cost 6000Ks. Even so we were still too early to check in for our flight and had to sit around half an hour waiting. We figured it was better to be early and wait in the airport than to be sat waiting in our room. We checked in no problems and went through to the departure lounge. It was a lot better than we anticipated, there were several duty free shops and a restaurant where we went and had a burger and chocolate milkshake each. We had not long since had breakfast and spent more than we should but could not help ourselves. The wait in the lounge was quick and before long we were sat on the plane.
The flight was not as smooth as it could have been, there was some horrific (possibly slight exaggeration but at the time it felt bad) turbulence on take-off and Liam nearly freaked out. He still has not got to like flying. The flight was ahead of schedule however and with a bit of turbulence whilst descending we landed In Bangkok after almost exactly an hour. We have been really pleasantly surprised with Air Asia, we did not know what to expect with them being a budget airline but both our flights have been easy and more or less pain free. We have definitely flown with worse airlines.
Our next challenge was how to get to Kanchanaburi. There are two airports in Bangkok, the major international one, and Don Mueng, that mainly deals with domestic flights but also Air Asia and other Asian flights. Neither are any where near the bus terminal that we used last time to get to Kanchanaburi. We asked for a taxi at the airport and we quoted a ridiculous price of 900B to take us to the bus terminal. We walked away. We decided the easiest way for us was to get the airport shuttle bus to Victory Monument in the city centre and get a minivan from there are a large amount operate from there with destinations all over Thailand. It took around an hour through the legendary Bangkok traffic to get to the monument and then it was a mission to find the minivan we needed. Luckily it did not take too long and within 20 minutes we were sat in the van. We paid 130B each for the minibus which is slighty more than the local bus from Bangkok but when we priced in getting to the bus terminal worked out better. We thought we would be in Kanchanaburi for tea time but then for some reason the driver decided to start lapping the block and coming back to the pick up area. We passed where we started twice, and after an hour (due to the traffic) we were actually further away than we started. He must have been waiting for more people but why he had to drive around the block we don’t know. It was around 5.30pm when we set off proper.
The journey was nail biting. We had an absolute looney of a driver who thrashed the van all the way, overtaking, undertaking, squeezing into tiny gaps – we both looked at each other a few times thinking if we were going to make it in one piece. Somehow we did though and got to Kanchanaburi around 7.45. Our next form of transport for the day (trying to get a clean sweep) was a motorbike, as we took a motorcycle taxi to our guesthouse. We did not book a guesthouse and our first choice was Pong Phen. We have got a double room for way more than we normally spend in Thailand (650B) but we have a hot shower, A/C, a balcony (where we have sat to write this), TV, fridge and a swimming pool (where we are planning to spend the who day tomorrow).
We were tired and hungry by the time we settled in and as Chelsea has done nothing but talk about pizza for the last three weeks, we went for pizza. We shared a vegetable pizza and a pepperoni pizza cooked in a proper wood fired oven. It was delicious. On the way back we bought a bottle of cheap Thai whiskey and coke to stock our fridge and keep us fuelled while we sit on our balcony.
Today has been a really long day and it is strange been back after Thailand, even after just 3 weeks. The place is so different from Myanmar. At least we can have a few home comforts and a relaxing couple of days.