Death Railway and Elephants

Kanchanaburi Travel Blog

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Floating restaurants.
After a mini bus ride back to Bangkok and a few days to take care of laundry we jumped into another mini bus to Kanchanaburi.  On holidays I normally do not look to go to places of sad history, just not my thing.  However due to my personal connection to Japan and the fact long ago ,when I was young, I watched the movie Bridge of River Kwai we headed to Kanchanaburi. 

We were very luck as we were the only ones on this mini bus so we had lots of space.  The would be the first and last time we had lots of space in a mini bus.
Small temple at the edge of the bridge.
  We stayed in a nice hotel just outside the main backpackers ghetto.  We quickly found a good tour company that had a nice tour of some waterfalls, an elephant ride and a ride on the Death Train. 

The waterfalls were cold and sort of ok but small.  The elephants were neat but scary to ride, especially when travelling downhill.  The main reason for the trip was a ride down the Death Railway.  This is of course the railway the Japanese army built with slaves and WWII POWs.  I forget how many thousands died building this railway but it was huge. 

The surprising part of the Death Railway ride is that the train is part of the normal rail service.  We rode it for about 30 minutes from near the elephant farm to near Kanchanaburi.  It went through a canyon with a sheer drop on one side into the river.
Rail car jail of the Imperial Army.
  Serveral of the tourists were a bit unnerved by the cliff but to me it was no different then the drop offs on the highway to Whistler that I see every day.

The tour ended at the famous bridge.  It no longer is part of the normal train ride but you can walk over it.  That was scary as there were many planks missing on the bridge deck and you see straight into the rushing brown water of the river.  It was also just packed with tourists so you had to sort of push your way through to see anything.  I wonder what this place is like during high tourist season.

No disasters here but the ride back to Bangkok was special.  This was the last time I ever will get into a Thai mini bus.  I spent three hours squashed between the side of the van and many people's luggage.  I had a Spiderman backpack right against my face the whole time.  I was never so happy to get out of van then when he just dropped us off in the middle of Bangkok. 

We then got into a tuk tuk for a cross town ride.  The tuk tuk was a much better ride even if a little smelly and rough as the driver could never seem to find 1st gear.  Every time the traffic started up he would rev the engine high and just pop the clutch in what felt like 2nd but could have been 3rd.  I felt like a human bobble head doll.
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Floating restaurants.
Floating restaurants.
Small temple at the edge of the br…
Small temple at the edge of the b…
Rail car jail of the Imperial Army.
Rail car jail of the Imperial Army.
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Kanchanaburi
photo by: wbboy29