Bridge over the river Kwai
Kanchanaburi Travel Blog› entry 29 of 39 › view all entries
So, after Ayutthaya we got a minibus to Kanchanaburi.
The journey wasnt too bad, a bit bumpy and took 3 hours but we didnt get kicked off in the middle of nowhere at stupid o'clock in the morning. We arrived in Kanchanaburi around midday, it was hot as blazes but we didnt have far to go.
The first place we visited was the POW cemetery. The cemetery is the final resting place for over 6 thousand British, American, Canadian, Polish & Dutch soldiers that worked & died building the bridge over the river Kwai. We spent some time walking along the rows of headstones, reading the names and ages. The next place we went was the Death railway museum (cheery title). The museum was laid out in a timeline style account of how the bridge was built, and why it was built.
We also visited the Jeath War museum. The building it is in is a recreation of the wooden huts prisoners had to live and sleep in, basic bamboo structures that were as hot as hell and full of creepy crawlies. There were rows of newspaper cuttings about the bridge, about the POW's that survived and told their stories.
The map in our guidebook, trusty old Lonely Planet, indicated that the bridge wasnt too far from where we were staying so we decided to walk to it. Unfortunately the scale seemed to be a tad off as we ended up walking 3kms before getting to it (I should write a strongly worded letter to the folk at LP)! When we did finally get there we found that it was crowded with tourists, but were lucky enough to arrive just in time to see a train go across it (there are only three a day). After the train passed across we were allowed to walk over the bridge. There are no handrails, no safety guards and no platform, you literally just walk across the tracks and try not to overbalance and fall off!
Afterwards we decided to get a drink at a restaurant nearby and sat watching as the sun set, which was pretty cool. We didnt fancy walking the 3km back to our guesthouse so took a bike taxi back.