Saturday, March 08, 2008

Day 1004 – Bangkok – River Kwai, Thailand

Day 1004 – 7th March 2008 +7:00 GMT

Had to get up at 4:45am and check out of hotel. Got picked up by coach just before 6am and the coach then picked up other people from hotels around Bangkok and then headed out to Kanchanaburi. We arrived just before 9:30am we dropped off at the pier where we got the “James Bond” speed boat (the same boat used in Man With A Golden Gun) along the River Kwai to get our first view of the bridge made famous from the post war movie Bridge Over The River Kwai. The Boast went far to fast and was very very uncomfortable to sit in. We stopped just after the bridge and then had 30 minutes to walk around the town of Kanchanaburi and walk over bridge.

The River Kwai

Me in Kanchanaburi On River Kwai

The Bridge Over The River Kwai

Me On The Bridge Over The River Kwai
Jill And I By River Kwai

Train On Bridge Over River Kwai

We then headed to the war cemetery and museum which tells the story of the Thailand-Burma Railway and how the Japanese used hundreds of thousands of Prisoners Of War to build the railway under horrific conditions. The 430 Km of railway track was laid in just 20 months with the deaths of over 90,000 people.

Kanchanaburi War Cemetary

Kanchanaburi War Cemetary

Death Railway Museum

Death Railway Museum

After the museum we got back on the coach and travelled North-West for another hour until we reached Pakseng which is where we left the coach and boarded a long boat we took us up the Kwai Noi River for about 45 minutes until we reached our hotel The Kwai Jungle Rafts. The River is famous for it’s floating houses and has more houses on it than any other river in the world.

Foating Houses On River Kwai

Water Buffalo

The hotel is a number of buildings on rafts all linked together. We had a nice double room with an on-suite bathroom, but the hotel has no hot water or electricity so is only lit at night by kerosene lamps.

Our Room On The Jungle Rafts

Our Porch On Jungle Rafts

We arrived at the hotel and had lunch and then got checked in. At 2pm we got whisked away by long boat down the river and then by truck to the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum. This is a large cutting out of the rock that the POW's dug out for the Thai-Burma railway.
Me At Hellfire Pass

Hellfire Pass Memorial

Jill and I In Hellfire Pass

Hellfire Pass

The workers worked 18 hours a day with little food and water. We looked around the museum and then took a walk to the cutting through the hillside.

A longboat On The Kwai Noi

Jill and I Outside Our Room On Jungle Rafts Hotel
Afterwards we headed back to the hotel and had a few hours to relax before having dinner and then went to watch the local tribe called the Mon people perform their local dance.
The Mon Tribal Dance
After the dance we had a few drinks at the bar then had an early night. I got the scare of my life that night I was sitting on the bed in the dark and suddenly something leapt onto my chest. I ran out the room and grabbed a kerosene lamp only to find it was a large frog. So I spent the next 15 minutes trying to catch this frog and throw it back into the river. Eventually i got to sleep.
Frog In My Room

Jill In Room With Kerosene Lamp


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