Great Railway Journeys Thailand
Tonight I am going to talk about my passion for great railway journeys in particular my journey along the “Death Railway” in Thailand last year.
During War II, the Japanese used Allied prisoners of war to build a railway from Thailand to Burma so they could supply their army without the dangers of sending supplies by sea. Many prisoners died under appalling conditions during its construction, and the line became known as the “Death Railway”. It was immortalised in David Lean’s 1957 film “The Bridge on the River Kwai” which centres around one of the line’s main engineering feats, the bridge across the Kwae Yai river just north of Kanchanburi. Although the film was shot in Sri Lanka, the Bridge on the River Kwai really exists, and still carries regular passenger trains from Bangkok as far as Nam Tok.
Kanchanaburi is about a hour drive from Bangkok.
You can see the Bridge on the River Kwai as a day trip from Bangkok using the morning train out and afternoon train back, but it’s better to make it a 2 or 3 day trip as there’s a lot more to see than just the Bridge. For example, you could take the morning passenger train from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi on day 1, stay a night or two in Kanchanaburi, then take the afternoon train back on day 2 or 3, so you can visit Hellfire Pass (less well known than the Bridge, but not be missed) and travel the Death Railway through fantastic scenery over the dramatic Wampo Viaduct as far as its current terminus at Nam Tok.
When posing out of a train window please becareful or an accident could happen like this:
As well as crossing the famous Bridge on the River Kwai, the train runs along the beautifully scenic River Kwai, passing at slow speed over the impressive Wampo Viaduct (sometimes written Wang Po), also built by prisoners of war. The viaduct consists of wooden trestles alongside the river, nestling against the cliff side.
The train journey is both a moving experience and a pleasant through peaceful shady jungle.
After the trip, I met a lovely monkey lass – I had heard that Thai Monkeys are hot!!! So making my move, I chatted her up…. *blushs* she was hot that night! Oh…. I love holiday romance.
For anyone interested in 20th century history, a visit to Kanchanaburi and the infamous “Death Railway” is a must.
For more information about Kanchanaburi and the Death Railway please visit: