KanchanaBuri – Bridge on the River Kwai

After 3 days in Prachaup Khiri Khan and 5 days in Hua Hin, we decided it was time to move on, we had recovered enough from our 4 weeks of teaching English to Thai kids.  We booked our mode of transport and set off  in the mini bus: destination Kanchanaburi 200+ Km away (west of Bangkok) estimated travel time 3 hours.

We left Hua Hin on time; the journey was interesting to say the least, after 20 minutes we turned back, as the driver had forgotten to pick someone up. No problem with this; set off north again but within 20 minutes we stopped and picked up some boxes.  I guess this was not unusual.  In the front passenger seat was a Thai woman, presumably the driver’s wife as she fed him peanuts, sweets and cans of Red Bull (or something similar).  Anyway we exited the main road again, headed down some little lane and dropped off his wife.  To get back travelling north again we drove on the hard shoulder for about 100m, the wrong way up the dual carriageway, went up a slip road, the wrong way and headed north again.  At this point if available I would have taken a valium.

The rest of the journey was as normal as one could expect, we picked up another parcel and dropped some off.  Journey time 3.5 hrs, total cost 640 Baht (£13 for both of us).  Good value.

We checked in the hotel in Kanchanaburi and took stroll down to the” Infamous Bridge over the River Kwai”.  It wasn’t what we expected.  There were hundreds of people, the majority of them Thai kids in school uniform. The area was very commercialised with shops, eating establishments and a huge Jewelly shop (see photograph)

The War Museum was pretty poor; some of the exhibits were not really of the period.

The majority of you will have heard about this Bridge, it was built by 60,000 British and allied prisoners of war; they also used over 180,000 Asian labourers. 16,000 allied POW and 90,000 Asians lost their constructing it.

We also visited the POW war cemetery, where 6,800 allied soldiers are buried.

We also visited and walked through Hell Fire Pass; this was the most difficult part of the Thai Burma Railway to build and was cut through solid rock. Some of the original railway sleepers are still in place and throughout the pass there are many tributes paid to those who lost their lives in its construction.

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