Bridge on the river Kwai
Trip Start Jul 11, 2010
21Trip End Apr 22, 2011
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Where I stayed
We walked down to the replacement bridge which was erected in 1946 due to the original bridge being destroyed by allied bombers in March 1945 - the replacement bridge also being built by the allies and sold to the Thai government after the end of the war
The area of Kanchanaburi itself is a breath of fresh air from the hustle bustle of Bangkok, the people are friendlier, the streets are quieter, you are left alone to do your own thing and even the soi dogs are more relaxed! Food is cheaper and more authentic (Mangusteen cafe and bookshop was our favourite) although of course it still caters for the tourist industry...I think 'Del Boy's bar' gave that away straight away! We were only staying for a couple of nights so to made the most of our time we booked up a trip from one of the many that were being sold for the next day to go to Erewan waterfalls, Elephant Trekking, Bamboo Rafting, a trip on the death railway and then back to the river Kwai, as the attractions are quite spread out, it was probably the cheapest and most economical way to make the most of our time in Kanchanaburi and the prices seemed reasonable for all that we got.
We were picked up in the morning and made our way to Erewan waterfalls in the mountains of Kanchanaburi, the drive was about 2hrs but well worth it when we were there - there are seven waterfalls in total and it takes about 4hrs to get up and down from number 7 so we went up to 5 which was definitely enough for my little legs and limited trekking abilities
We then made the drive to the infamous 'Death railway' so called because of all the people who died whilst building it - so much so that the locals have out a Buddha in the cave next to the railway (which was a hospital in war times) for all the spirits who are left around the railway - apparently local people could hear all the spirits at night before the Buddha was erected. The original railway tracks can be seen in between the tracks that are now used, the railway no longer goes all the way to Burma and is now only used as a local line for the Kanchanaburi area. If you want you are able to walk down the tracks to get some photographs, I wouldn't recommend this for anyone who is scared of heights, I didn't go but Rob did and took some great photos. After the war, Thai people used the original death railway to Burma for main transport instead of using the river but today it is seen as uneconomical
After a good night sleep - I think a mixture of the river location and being away from the city, we sat by the river outside our room and took in the view - the most relaxed we'd been for a long time. Then after our last visit to Mangusteen cafe we made the journey back to Bangkok and the smog...where we write this from now...
On the a funny side, Kanchanaburi offers some potentially great X-Factor candidates for Simon Cowell from the many Karaoke bars...maybe one of you could let him know......