The way across the river of the Saiyoke Yai Waterfall and National Park reminded me of the Indiana Jones Bridge. You know, the one from The Temple of Doom? With the crocs waiting underneath? I don’t think there were any large reptiles waiting for us to fall to our deaths, but the construction of the bridge was reminiscent just the same. The wood and rope suspension bridge stretched about half the length of a football field. My handy camera wrist strap cut off my circulation as I hobbled across the wobbling bridge suspended over the current ominously raging 100 feet below. The camera swung wildly as I grasped the frayed ropes, trying to ignore the fact that seconds before I stepped onto the loose planks, I had taken a picture of a warning sign that said “no more than five people at one time.” I nervously glanced over my shoulder, noting that all 20 of us, plus other tourists, were on the bowing bridge at the same time. My sweaty palms greased the ropes as I made it safely to the other side—only to dead-end into another bridge!
The few planks that made up this next crossing were literally rotting away. The termite-infested handrails crumpled under my fingers, and there was a huge hole in the middle of the pass. It looked like I was playing some terrible version of hopscotch over the ravine. I imagined myself falling through the boards, but after crossing I saw what we had come to see.
Across the river, the thrashing waterfall spilled over the edge of the cliffs into the flowing current filled with rafts and riverboats. After posing awkwardly on the rocks for pictures, we returned over the same terrifying bridges.