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Marooned in Kanchanaburi

(written by Dave)

We are still in Kanchanaburi – that was the plan. Getting out of here is a big question. We spent a good part of the day today trying to get reliable information about our possible routes north from here. Most locals, though they can watch the Thai language news, have no more information than we do. There seems to be a bit of ‘not knowing what’s happening beyond the county line’. Or in many cases, they may know more than they are able to communicate with us in English (our Thai is no help).

We had breakfast at our guesthouse looking over the river and watching it bucket down rain. The guesthouse is full of farangs, all pretty much asking the same questions that we are – that is, “can we get from here to our next destination safely”. A nice Aussie couple who have been here for 10 days suggested that we go into town to the TAT (Tourist Authority of Thailand) office as they had received good information there. We went there after lunch and they were pretty helpful but mostly only covered the province that we are in. They gave us the phone numbers of provinces north of here but not too much information. They were nice enough to call a homestay 2 days up the road for us (speaking in Thai) and we at least learned that we can stay there if we need to. I had tried calling but the owners did not speak much in the way of English.

Our best find of the day was an on-line map produced by the Thailand Highway Department that shows roads that are closed and/or affected. This site currently shows that we can pick a safe path north (at least in terms of roads) but we are thinking of staying one more day here to let the situation develop further. If we believe what we read, the real risk is moving downstream, to the east of us. If this is true, then we should be able to head north safely. But one more day hanging here won’t kill us (even me and my “get moving” itch).

I managed a few photos today, only a few. One photo that is worth noting below is one of Nancy and a sparkling mineral water. Nancy really likes to have sparkling water (editor’s note – after drinking water bottle after water bottle of stale tap water on the road a bit of bubbly water is a welcome respite once we get somewhere). While the cost of a mineral water is not going to affect our trip materially, we had an ongoing debate in Australia about drinking “very expensive” mineral water, over free tap water. Ok, I may be just a wee bit pedantic here but these are the discussions that occupy time on the road. Well, both of us were pretty excited to arrive in Thailand to discover sparkling water for as little as $.15, or if the restaurant is posh, maybe as much as $.75. Almost every day now, Nancy gets a sparkling water and I hardly (that’s hardly) ever bring up how expensive that bottled sparkling water is. (editor’s note – geez, finally I get some little bit of luxury at $0.15 a pop without having to argue about the budget – what a great guy Dave is….).

In addition to the tip on finding the TAT, our new Aussie friends told us about a great pizza restaurant just 50 metres up the road from our guesthouse. We’ve not had good pizza since Georgetown, Penang so we headed there for dinner. The photo below is proof that Thailand folks can make a good pizza as well – though the owner is a farang, at least he lives here. It was very good pizza.

We’ll be up early tomorrow to check the updates from the highway department. As mentioned, we probably won’t ride but hopefully we’ll get some more clarity on the days ahead.

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12 responses to “Marooned in Kanchanaburi

  1. Enjoy your water, Nancy, and tell David to bug off! Enjoy your extra days too. If you can afford them time-wise, it sounds like the smart thing to do.

  2. Great looking pizza. And we got a photo with no bites taken. Nice breakfast hangout. Is that a restaurant or the place you are staying?

  3. You guys are the funniest people I know when it comes to bickering. You always bring me a smile.

  4. Dave, Dave, Dave

  5. floods making our national news….stay on high ground…or stay put…and stay safe….and keep drinking the bubbly!

  6. WOW! Ken has given a great website – Thai Meteorological Dept. – which has regular updated forcasts on the various parts of Thailand. I hope you can find something to do for a few days to occupy your time! Be careful and stay safe!

  7. Dave, have you considered emailing ex-Thai colleagues about the weather situation of your intended route over the next few days?

    • I didn’t – I’ve found so far that few folks know the details we need once you leave their local province. This male sense as the national news is pretty general. So far calling provincial tourist lines has been the best. So far so good…

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