After the islands we took a much needed hiatus from drinking and took another night bus to Kanchanaburi where we got to hike up waterfalls in Erwan National Park and participate in an ethical elephant experience! The waterfall had 7 tiers, we hiked up a trail that was paved and well trafficked and then we climbed up the actual waterfall for the last 3 tiers. Well worth the experience as you got to swim in the water of each tier. It was crazy blue but there was fish that lived in it. These are the same fish you see people dip their feet into tanks of and they eat your dead skin…. However hey were pretty damn big and would swarm up to you and try to nip at your feet. It didn’t hurt, it more just tickled and shocked you. For this reason it took a lot of balls for me to jump into the water and a few minutes of giving myself a pep talk. However, I did it and I call it an accomplishment! One of the tiers had a natural rock slide and it was a ton of fun!
We got to join up with the another tour that had been traveling for 4 weeks already which was nice, we all got along and became extended family to each others tours. We ended up going to this awesome bar that LBW always goes to that had a reputable, clean tattoo shop attached to it (again, sorry mom) that is recommended by the tour. This bar had crazy games going on which of course meant drinking, but also laughing gas balloons (google it)…. I ended up getting a tattoo at this shop and I am very happy with it as well as how close it was to Canadian tattoo shops, it’s kind of a hole on the wall though. 3 of us ended up with tattoos that night…
(The drops are from sweating)
The following day we got to visit Elephant Haven park to feed as well as bathe the elephants. We first started by making rice balls with Banana and some sort of ground up protein to feed them, we also cut watermelon for them as well. As we fed them their ,assigned trunks would reach out and grab the food from your hand. They weren’t rough or anything, they are actually some of the more gentle creature out there. It was to the point where you could hear them coming up behind you and people would be letting you know one was walking towards you. After feeding them, we then took them for a walk, had our own lunch provided by them and then went for a mud bath. The elephants walked up to the mud and we were told to rip mud on them because it’s good for their sensitive skin. The elephants literally laid down in the mud like a dog wood and closed its eyes as we rubbed mud on them. In my mind, they resemble giant puppy dogs in their tendencies to be loved and pampered. We then took them to the freshwater river to wash the mud off and swim with them. I highly recommend experiencing this for yourself. However, please NEVER ride the elephants, it is animal abuse and really bad for their backs as well as general health; they have feelings too. These are magnificent creatures that deserve to be loved and be in the wild.
After the elephant day, we took a 2 hour bus ride to Bangkok for our last family supper in one of the tallest buildings in Bangkok called Baiyoke Tower, it was a buffet and had a 360 moving floor view outside above the restaurant. The food was okay, however it was a good way to spend one last supper with my LBW family from around the world. This tour was amazing, and highly recommend LBW to anyone who wants to travel. I made many friends, saw many things, and felt very safe while having the time of my life. My guides, Bruce and Sam were able to help and provide support whenever needed. Life Before Work is a Canadian based company, so all you Canadians better support them! I’m sad it’s over, but now the real adventure begins.
I am currently in Chiang Mai and will keep you posted soon!