The Kanchanaburi Tales
Kanchanaburi Travel Blog› entry 62 of 117 › view all entries
May 11th, 2007 – by: dan2105
And it was at B that we would have our first experience of another Thai institution - ladyboys. It was then that Kyle uttered the immortal words, 'Are you sure she's a tranny? He's not very pretty.' My laughs turned to frowns when she asked if 'that is another one,' in reference to another employee, to which I said, 'Don't be ridiculous.' I was wrong, apparently, even though it was just a fat bloke wearing bloke's clothes but with long hair and his hair up.
The next day we started with a trip to the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre, a good place to learn a bit about the Death Railway - why it was built, why so many people died - and seemed a natural progression from what we had experienced at the Changi Prison Museum in Singapore. Hard-hitting, it made the short trip over to the Allied War Cemetary even more humbling. It was there that I was able to locate a grave belonging to my great uncle, who had fought in the War with my grandad but ended up working on the Death Railway. It was pleasing to know that the gardens were so well-kept and obviously of interest to a lot of other tourists passing through.
Having done nothing stressful all day, and going for the hat trick, we embraced another Thai tradition: Thai massage.
An early start was then followed by a trip to Erewan National Park, to the seven-tiered waterfalls stretching into the Mar Nam Khwae Yai River.
Hellfire Pass is a section of the Thai-Burmese Railway, so-called by the PoWs describing the cutting in part of the rock when lit up at night by torch light. The workers were often made to work up to 18 hours a day in horrendous conditions, and thus a large majority of the workforce died at this and other points of the track. After visiting the museum, you are given a headset that gives you a walking commentary of the area, with accounts of some of the surviving PoWs.
Despite most of the track being unoperational, it is possible to ride some of the railway. Although it was in essence just a slow tourist train over the remaining tracks, the noise as the train's wheels hit the track was reminiscent of the clinking of the hammers that the PoWs described in their accounts at the museum.
At the restaurant that night we realised that if you are ever asked how spicy you would like your food on a scale of one to seven - seven being what Thais usually have - don't do what we did and choose 3 (or above). We were drinking drinks at twice the rate we were shovelling forkloads and trying desperately not to let our faces melt or, worse still, look too lightweight in front of the Thais.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!