As soon as I arrived, I took a convoluted taxi to the Bangkok Noi (West) train station, dropped my bags in the office (they didn’t have a luggage storage area and just told me I could leave my stuff there, which was hilariously odd) and bought a ticket to Kanchanaburi. This is the location of the famous Bridge Over the River Kwai, from WW2.
The train ride was rather hilarious. Everything is just economy class, and they sold however many tickets people wanted to buy, regardless of the number of seats. When the train arrived, there was a mad dash to get in. I had been talking to a Dutch couple while waiting on the platform, so the girl (quite small) jumped into the train and staked out some seats, then her boyfriend and I passed their bags in through the window she’d opened. After that, we made our way through the crowd, which never would’ve happened with the backpacks. We had seats, while other people had to stand for the whole journey! It was a national holiday (the Queens’ birthday), so there were more people traveling than normal, and the train was really packed.
At Kanchanaburi, the couple got off, and I rode on to the edge of town, where the actual bridge is located.
The Japanese military used numerous slaves captured from other countries and other militaries to build a train line from Thailand to Myanmar during WW2. One of the craziest parts of this train line was the bridge built to cross the River Kwai. Thousands of people died, due to the heat, exhaustion, lack of food, and poor treatment.
Near the bridge, I visited the absolute worst museum I’ve ever been to.
Look at these rooms with just piles of stuff laying around, no information, etc. Awful. I only stayed 10min.
Walking back toward the bridge from the museum, I passed a cafe that advertised milkshakes & also coconut milk. I talked them into making me a vegan milkshake with the coconut milk, and the Oreo milkshake that resulted was phenomenal!
I went back to the bridge and poked around for a while, reading all of the information and signage.
From the bridge, I walked back into the center of Kanchanaburi.
I stopped to buy a drink, and my phone connected to the wifi. It started instantly going crazy, and I knew something was up. People were messaging me to ask if I was near the bombs that had gone off that morning in Thailand. I knew nothing about it. They were far away from me, luckily. I wound up spending some time at that cafe, reading the news and telling people that I was OK.
When it got close to time for the train, I went back to the station and bought my ticket.
From the Noi train station, I retrieved my bags and decided to try taking the water taxi across the river, to the main part of Bangkok, rather than the circuitous taxi route I’d used that morning. The bridges over the river aren’t near the main or Noi train stations, so it involves a lot of going in the wrong direction.
It turns out that the water taxis don’t just go back-and-forth but run up and down the river, stopping at certain spots. On board, I figured out that there’s a stop not far from my hostel, so I rode this for about 20 minutes and then only had to walk a few blocks to my hostel.