Kanchanaburi is a village about 120 km from Bangkok with plenty to offer. I've been there once and I like it. The village itself is quiet and ideal to escape from the congestion of Bangkok, and in the province there are several national parks with some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand. As in many other places, what is now the main tourist attraction of Kanchanaburi, the Bridge over the River Kwai, was born out of the suffering of thousands of people during a war, World War II.
Brief History of the Railway of Death
In 1942 the Japanese, who had invaded Thailand and Myanmar, were building a railway line to link the two countries so that they could take weapons and vehicles from Bangkok to Rangoon and thus stay strong in Burma (they could not do this by sea as they were vulnerable to Allied submarines).
To build the 415 km of this difficult railway line, which had to pass through the middle of an unexplored jungle, the Japanese used allied prisoners of war (known as POWs).
It is estimated that some 180,000 Asian workers and 60,000 Allied prisoners worked on the construction of this railroad under appalling and inhumane conditions.
There were two groups, one working from Burma and the other from Thailand. The main concentration camp for the workers' group in Thailand was in Kanchanaburi. About 90,000 Asian workers and about 16,000 Allied prisoners died during the year and a half that construction lasted. This is why what is left of that train line is known as the Death Railway. From this story was born the famous film The Bridge over the River Kwai (1957).
The main historical sites of Kanchanaburi
The Bridge over the Kwai River
Located in the same town of Kanchanaburi is the main tourist attraction of the same.
It was built by the war prisons of the Japanese. It can be crossed on foot without problems and is surrounded by souvenir stands and restaurants.
The train ride from Kanchanaburi to Nam Tok
You can take the train and do a part of the tour that the prisoners built. You can get on the train either at the Kanchanaburi village station (it will be easier to sit down) or at the station next to the Kwai River Bridge itself.
The journey costs 100 THB and takes about two hours. Some sections are quite impressive. The train ends at Nam Tok village, from where you can walk 2 km to Sai Yok Noi waterfall.
The train leaves Kanchanaburi at 05:57, 10:45 and 16:19 if it is on time. It returns from Nam tok to Kanchanaburi at 05:20, 12:50 and 15:15.
The Allied Prisoners' Cemeteries
There are at least two cemeteries where some of the thousands of workers who left their lives in the construction of the railway line lie.
On the gravestones you can read their names, nationalities, ranks, ages and phrases in their memory. It is shocking to note that most were fairly young soldiers. Many Australians, Dutch and British.
The cemetery is very well maintained and every year it is visited by family members and the few survivors left from that brutality. Last April 25th, one of these ceremonies was held. One of the cemeteries is in front of the Death Railway Museum, while the other is 2km outside (Chongkai War)
The rest of niclear Bomb
All photos are taken by me (Nikon D5100)
I hope you enjoyed the poste and i wish you a good day