7 Step Waterfall(Erawon), Tiger Temple & Bridge on the river Kwai, Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Once we had completed all our banking needs at Sanghklaburi, we headed out to the 7 step waterfall at Erawon which is a small detour on the Sangkhla Buri – Kanchanaburi highway. The idea was to finish this as soon as possible and head to the tiger temple. The first 2 steps were pretty disappointing to say the least.
Lots of people, crowded. So we quickly finished that and headed to the higher steps. With each higher step, we can see the crowd dwindling and a steeper and more challenging climb.
We then decided to do all 7 steps and then return. So when we did reach the 7th Step, it was half past noon and we decided to step into the falls for half hour as then we would be back to the car by 1:45 and would be in time for the tiger temple. We just did that and it was rewarding. Cold water falling from a height and giving that soothing reward to a body after the tiring trek to the 7th step is something to be experienced. By the way if I have not mentioned in my earlier posts, the fishes nibble at your skin when you are in water. Not one or two, around 20-30 of them come and nibble at your feet. At first it is pretty weird, but then apparently its therapy as someone told us there and all the scrapes and small wounds I had from the trekking we had done for the past week were cleanly nibbled and dry skin cleared in no time. After the nice bath we literally ran down the trail to reach the car and head out to reach the tiger temple.
At the tiger temple we paid the entry fee, signed the declaration and headed into the temple. Went directly to the caves to play and pose with the tigers. Walked the tigers back to the caves and headed straight out to see the other animals they had there and took loads of pictures. A small note of the tiger temple – there are some monks who rear tigers as pets and from the time they are small cubs are taken care by one of the monks. So they are said to be docile and friendly specially just after they had taken lunch with a full stomach the would prefer to sit and relax than attack. Inspite of this, they try to keep us behind the tiger as the tiger always hunts or attacks straight ahead and not on the sides. But then we did feel that they were more like drugged and kept docile by artificial methods. Mostly run by Australians and foreigners who happen to be there by choice as volunteers. There are very few Thai volunteers except the monks. Also we couldn’t see any Thai tourists at the tiger temple. Anyhow, being so close to the big cats was definitely an experience and it was well worth it.
By 4:30PM we headed back to the highway towards Kanchanaburi. On the way we spotted the detour to the Black Railway or the Bridge on the River Kwai (pronounced KH+WAY and not KH+WAI which means water buffalo). We were out there walking along the tracks and then enjoying skewers and looking at tshirts available there as souvenirs when unexpectedly a train came by on the tracks. It was amazing except for the fact that over enthusiastic tourists tend to almost fall in front of the train attempting to take pictures. I really pity that fact. It was again very crowded and touristy place so we didn’t spend too much time there. There were a host of Harley’s parked at the place which suggested they were police vehicles. Anyhow, soon we were on our way to Bangkok back on the highway.