We stayed in Sangkhlaburi for twelve days in total, so we were keen to make the most of our days off from volunteering in the village or at the building site with some adrenaline fuelled activities.
One of the most hilarious days of the trip was spent river rafting down the river near the Mon village. We climbed aboard our raft with tentative optimism. When I say raft, I mean two planks of wood tied to five individual rubber inner tubes in which sat myself, Ula, Stacey, Char and Hannah. Approximately five seconds after pushing off from the shore, all five of us careered straight into a tree, immediately bursting two of the tyres, leaving three passengers bobbing gently down the river in our lifejackets, whilst Ula and I were left half dangling off the remains of the raft. The river was very calm, and thus our titanic impressions more than a little melodramatic.
Our other daring escapade saw us visit the area’s Nature Club. This was about half an hours drive from our hotel and it was beautiful. A great little hut area on the edge of an enormous lake, complete with pontoon, canoes and trampoline in the water. The lake was surrounded by steep, dense jungle and housed the longest zipline in Thailand. Can you see where this is going?
Had more thought been given to the adequacy of Thai health and safety, we probably would not have harnessed ourselves up to slide 500m down a zipwire in the middle of the jungle, only to swing at full speed onto a wonky, rickety platform. The true brown pants moment came when our guide explained to us that we would need to grab a small rope at the other side (whilst still moving at pace) in order to – AND I QUOTE – stop us ‘swinging out back into the middle of the wire’. All this info was naturally provided in broken English just as we were about to let go. Thankfully, a small Thai man grabbed me as I pelted towards him and we all escaped unscathed. Brilliant.
Other highlights of our stay:
- An hour long oil massage in town
- A haphazard dinner from the street food market (setting me back £1.50) for spicy glass noodles, six delicious spring rolls (both veggie and with chicken), tempura king prawns with chilli sauce, hot sweetcorn in a bag and a pancake piled high with banana and chocolate sauce.
- An endless supply of delicious strawberry dacquiris from Western Bar (MADE WITH REAL STRAWBERRIES – NOT JUST SYRUP. This is a rarity in Thai bars – UTILISE IT!)
- A traditional Thai BBQ (a flame-fuelled grill with a soup compartment around the edge) for somebody’s 23rd that culminated in the birthday girl projectile vomiting over the floor of a bakery. Nice.
Low points included approximately three thousand mosquito bites collectively and an unwelcome helping of condensed milk in my iced green tea. I’m open to new flavours Thailand, but that’s a solid no from me…