A city full of history – Kanchanaburi

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A short two hour drive from Bangkok city centre is all it takes to get to the historic city of Kanchanaburi, filled with World War memories, it truly is a must see destination in Thailand.

Starting the tour at the River Kwai Railway Bridge, the group got to see local markets, try local foods and experience the amazing panoramic views of the River Kwai.

The railway is still in use today and from the station at the Bridge you can board the train along the countryside, following the river upstream.

The story of the railway comes from World War 2, where the Japanese utilized their prisoners of war and Asian slave laborers to construct the train tracks.

Nicknamed the ‘Death Railway’ due to the amount of prisoners of war that died whilst building the bridge, it is said there is a piece of track for each person that lost their life in the process.

We got to see a section of the railway that is known as the The Death Railway, as it consists of a very tight corner on a very steep slope, many prisoners died in constructing this section of the railway and there is a cave there where locals visit to pray.

We then visited the War museum alongside the railway, at the museum it explains the cruel happenings in the area during World War 2, listening to what happened to the prisoners of war was quite a humbling experience.

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A short walk from the museum in the infamous ‘Hellfire Pass’ which is a section of the railway where walls were carved into the rock face of the cliff. Amazingly the path was all carved by hand!

Even though visiting the museum and ‘Hellfire Pass’ was a somewhat saddening experience, it was inspiring to walk on the same railway that was built by ANZACs and other soldiers from around the world.

The evening was filled with lasers, lights and fireworks at the annual Loy Kratong festival on the River Kwai Railway Bridge.

The light show was incredible, explaining the happenings of the war through ample visual aids was a great way to understand it, definitely something worth seeing.

Kanchanaburi is a city filled heritage and history, it is definitely a place worth visiting in Thailand, and being only a short distance from Bangkok it is easily accessible too.

Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman
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