Travel/Work Thailand: bye Kanchanaburi and River Kwai!

*extremely picture-heavy post

After several days of stay in Kanchanaburi, our stay had to come to an end. I know that at one point people began getting tired of the lessons, but hey, it was needed.LOL I feel the energy dwindling a bit on the last two days and there was a slight decrease of participation from almost everyone.

I still got to hand it to the trainers, though, because they were unwavering. Oh the things you think of when you have seen it all already!

Our training quarters

Our training quarters

I even had to the time to write ‘Invictus’ thrice. I could not believe I still remember the poem by heart.

Handwritten Invictus

Handwritten Invictus by William Ernest Henley

On Tuesday, to make up for the lack of usual staff integration activities, they arranged for us to visit the bridge over River Kwai. I was eventually told by Karin that the famous bridge was, in reality, made out of wood and what we will be seeing is a reconstructed one from steel. But still, it is a famous landmark worth my time in Kanchanaburi.

How gracious our trainers were to book shuttle services for us? It was not a long ride going there but they still made us feel comfortable.

Next to the bridge

Next to the bridge

The rest of the gang beelined for the bridge and cross it to the other side. Meanwhile, Team PH (except for Harry) went on the stairs to take photos below the bridge.

The bridge is famous because of a 1957-Hollywood blockbuster The Bridge on the River Kwai. It went on to win seven Oscars including Best Picture on the 30th Academy Awards. It was like the Titanic of its time. Just like my regret not watching any documentaries about King Bhumibol prior to arriving in Thailand, I felt the same way on not reading or watching anything about this bridge. It was a missed opportunity.

Jump shot with the bridge over River Kwai

Jump shot with the bridge over River Kwai

There was not much to do around the bridge. But frankly, given that we have been soaking a lot during the integration, it was a welcome respite for everyone. We just lounged around, drank fruit shakes and beer (for them). I especially loved that by the time the Golden Hour was upon us, I was able to take this wonderful photo of my friends.

I love this shot of my colleagues with the Kanchanaburi sunset

I love this shot of my colleagues with the Kanchanaburi sunset

Karin mentioned that on the occasions that she was there at the bridge, she never managed to see the train cross the river. We were lucky, then, because we have seen it pass by thrice! We were click like mad and I was so delighted. I looked awful in most of the shots, and the one below was least foolish I looked.

Oh, look, a train! And I look silly and/or delighted

Oh, look, a train! And I look silly and/or delighted!

Philippines, Taiwan and Myanmar

At almost lunch of Wednesday, we had our group photo taken. This is the lovely bunch I was with for about 10 days in Kanchanaburi. All the walking and running around Comsaed were not enough. The food was so plenty that I gained a couple of pounds and you can see all of our cheeks getting rotund.

We also had to get this photo early because later that day, we will be leaving to back to Bangkok. By lunch time, we already had all our bags packed and checked out of our rooms.

The whole crew on our last day in Kanchanaburi

The whole crew on our last day in KanchanaburiI was quite emotional going boarding the bus that afternoon. It rained REALLY hard on us as well. It was as if Kanchanaburi was preventing us to leave. The ride back to Bangkok felt ages too. We did not stop by the usual gas station to eat, and we were living on Aileen’s food stash.

At around 8:30 pm, I finally arrived at Swissotel.

On the bus back to Bangkok

This is the last night that all five of us will be together. I never knew that I will feel strongly attached to them, considering that we belong to different offices. I just felt lucky that I attended the staff integration with them. The ice has not only been broken, but it has melted and evaporated  as well.

Harry, who managed to go around the area with his girlfriend last weekend, brought us to a place near the hotel to eat our last dinner. It was a feast for five people. I have also never seen a tilapia that big!

Last dinner together with my PH friends

Harry and Francis seriously talking

The funny part? Instead of walking back to the hotel, all of us cramped ourselves in one tuk tuk! Crazy passengers merit a crazy driver. The driver would take his hands off of the steering, while chitchatting with us about Manny Pacquiao. It was a memorable first tuk tuk ride for me.

Inside our first tuktuk ride

Last group photo

Oblation pose at the lobby of Swissotel

We got back to the hotel, lounged some more at the lobby, said our goodbyes and promised we will keep in touch with each other when we go back to the Philippines. Harry and I would have to stay at the hotel for two more days more for a separate training. Francis would fly back to Manila the day after, while Aileen and Jommel would transfer on a different hotel for their extended vacation.

It was a long week, but the adventure was not yet over.


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