Kanchanaburi - Part One
Kanchanaburi Travel Blog› entry 5 of 13 › view all entries
Feeling rough as it's possible to feel, Adam from a night of vomitting, and Steph from the pain of a concrete bed and listening to said vomitting, we were up at 6.30am to get a taxi to the bus station. The taxi our guesthouse had booked was a nightmare. A common enough experience in Bangkok as there is no expectation that a taxi driver will be able to navigate the city. He was told in Thai by the guesthouse reception where we were going but whether in an attempt to bump up the fare or just have a laugh at the rough looking tourists expense he decided to head off in the wrong direction. By this time we had got hold of maps and a guidebook and bearing in mind we had been to the bus station yesterday his was a very bad decision.
Our new driver was a dream and the rest of the trip was uneventful. Our bus left the station bang on time and the expected two and a half hour trip was even cut short by 10 minutes. Our guesthouse in Kanchanaburi couldn't be more different. We are staying at 'Bluestar Guesthouse' and it has a really sleepy feel with a lovely terrace area serving great coffee, breakfasts and other food.
Emotionally charged we headed across the road where the Allied War Cemetry cares for the remains of 7,000 of the allied dead who died constructing the railway. A fraction of the total the majority of whom were Asian workers that were burried in unamed and unmarked graves near the camps along the railways length. The cemetry is the most beautifully kept and manicured site we have seen and the row after row of grave stones are inscribed with the names and ages of the dead with moving inscriptions from loved ones left behind. It is an incredibly moving thing to see and a testament to a generation of people who suffered in ways younger generations will never understand. Whilst wars inevitably continue and lives are still lost in various pointless conflicts daily, the scale of WWII , the call ups and the length of time families were apart is not a factor in modern warfare. Adam's Grandad was stationed in North Africa during the war and didn't see his wife or son for six years! Unlike those whose graves we saw, he came home. A stranger to his son and to an interrupted life, with little help form a government crippled with war debts! It's a sad fact that the corn row brigade of kids that we saw in Bangkok failled to make the trip out here preferring to get out of it on the beach instead!!