While our passports were in the care of the ‘English Center’ there were some logistical problems in the renewing process and they expired, so Plan B: we had to leave the country in order to renew our visa’s. Airfare was about $200US each to Thailand, so we happily packed our bags for a 1 week vacation in ‘The Land of Smiles’.
While in Thailand, Richelle and I took a tour to the province Kanchanaburi. One of the day trips was to the spectacular Erawan waterfall. It just wasn’t one fall; it was a series of 7 tiers, each one outstanding in beauty. These waterfalls are inside the Erawan National Park and are thankfully protected. One of the ways they protect it is by checking that each person does not bring in any garbage, so everyone has to line up, check/sign in their lunches, etc. into lockers to be eaten in the lunch area only, and, you must sign for each water bottle you take up the trail plus leave a deposit, to be returned when you return the bottle. I am so grateful they have this system in place, but even so, there was still garbage littering the site and marring the natural beauty.
The 1.5 km. pathway is mostly natural, with stone steps, tree roots popping up everywhere, railings in some of the tougher spots, and quite a rise in elevation, I’m sure that on rainy days the path would be more like a mud bath. So it’s not a hike for the faint of heart, but on the other hand we saw people of all ages and abilities on the trail, everyone could probably get to the first couple of falls. Richelle and I unfortunately only had flip-flops for this adventure which was a definite handicap, it proved too difficult to scramble over some of the wet, slippery rocks we encountered between the 6th and 7th waterfall , and bare feet was too painful and option for us.
After seeing the 6 breathtakingly beautiful falls we decided on the 4th to go for a swim. That falls had a huge rock you could climb up on and go through and behind the waterfall, also, we saw a group of monkeys there on the way up and was hoping to see them again. Now, to refresh ourselves in the beautiful, cool, green, green pool of water. Freezing was more like it, but certainly refreshing! We wanted to go in slowly since it was so cold but the unexpected ‘Footy Fish’ nibbling made quick work of our submerging into the icy depths. At first the Footy Fish nibbling brings to mind all the horror movies you have ever watched with creatures coming up from the depths of hell especially to eat you and your tasty feet. After taking a few deep breaths and being assured that there is no blood involved you can relax… a bit, although I never got used to it. In Bangkok you can find spas where they put your feet into a tank filled with these fish and they will nibble all the old skin off and refresh your feet, kinda like a luffa. It’s a special treat, I imagine that it even tickles your toes and it costs a fair amount so it must be great, right! But, in the spas they use tiny, little baby Footy Fish, under an inch long whereas in contrast the Footy Fish in these pools were mostly over a foot long and probably weighed over a pound! The sensation is definitely not painful but it is very strange, and they are very persistent in glomming onto your feet and legs. The other weird part to get used to is that you can’t actually see the fish, the water is silty, not clear. So the jury is still out as to whether or not I actually enjoyed it or if I was ‘thrilled’ like I am when facing the downside of a very high roller coaster ride. I suspect that the more one swims with the Footy Fish the more one would enjoy the relaxing experience. Will let you know how that goes the next time we encounter the strangely weird Footy Fish.