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el2995 Kanchanaburi - A travel report by USC
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Kanchanaburi,  Thailand - flag Thailand -  Kanchanaburi
3808 readers

el2995's travel reports

Why ask Kwai?

  18 votes
Page: 1 2 3

Kanchanaburi travelogue picture
The infamous Bridge on the River Kwai (Khwae Yai) lies just north of the town of Kanchanaburi, and along with Ayutthaya, is one of the required day trips out of Bangkok. The drive is perhaps two hours or so each way, but is particularly scenic near Kanchanaburi, where stunning limestone hills and outcroppings flank the lush countryside and numerous crop fields. Having seen the movie, the bridge and its surroundings were a bit different from what I had expected to see, but one does get a sense of history and an appreciation for what it must have been like for the POW work crews, especially given the heat and humidity. Allied bombers dropped the center of the bridge during WWII, and it was subsequently rebuilt and can be crossed on foot.

Favourite spots:
Kanchanaburi travelogue picture
En route to the bridge is the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, which contains the graves of almost 7,000 prisoners, mainly British and Australian, and two memorial plaques dedicated to those who lost their lives constructing the bridge for the Burma-Siam Railroad, also known as the Death Railway. It's sobering to know that many more lives were lost in the form of Asian slave laborers. Near the bridge are a small station and some locomotives dating from the period, and a bomb casing positioned tail up at the start of the bridge. Nearby is the JEATH War Museum, which is highly recommended but unfortunately I wasn't able to visit. Besides being able to walk across the bridge, longboats are available for hire for those who wish to spend time on the river.

What's really great:
Kanchanaburi travelogue picture
Walking the bridge was enjoyable. There are a few platforms that protrude from the bridge that allow for some nice photos of the bridge and the river. On the far side of the river, the bridge extends above the ground for some distance amid an assortment of vendor stalls and rural houses. I hired a longboat for a quick trip (about 20 minutes at a cost of 70 Baht, which was negotiated down from 120 Baht) first up, then down river to take some photos beneath the bridge and of some of the surrounding scenery, which included a Chinese-styled pagoda downstream which was commissioned by one of the Thai kings.

Accommodations:
Kanchanaburi was only a day trip, but the Felix River Kwai Resort is supposed to be very nice...and very expensive!

Restaurants:
We ate at the River Kwai Restaurant, which is on the left side of the bridge as you face the opposite shore. The tables are in an enclosed section with large windows and air conditioning, which was key to our choice of where to eat given the oppressive heat and humidity. The crab fried rice was quite good. On the right side of the bridge is an outdoor restaurant that's supposed to be really good; note that because it sits on the river atop a series of pontoons, the place really rocks when one of the frequent longboats goes by.

Published on Friday January 2th, 2004


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Wed, Apr 21 2004 - 11:48 AM rating by kathmandukitten

Wow! Fantasticly detailed report, much better than mine. Well done!

Thu, Jan 08 2004 - 09:22 AM rating by marianne

great writing, great pictures.
As far as I understood 'everybody' is going there, so I wonder was it very crowded with tourists?

Sat, Jan 03 2004 - 12:08 AM rating by whereisliz

Yet another of your thoroughly satisfying reports -- great photos, interesting and useful details: bravo! (although I *should* deduct a star for that terrible pun in your title! :-)

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