Feb 2011- River Kwai, Elephant Ride & Bamboo Raft

Trip Start Jul 07, 1995
Trip End Dec 20, 2011

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Where I stayed
Novotel Bangkok Fenix Pleonchit Hotel

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 3 of 4: 4 February 2011 (Friday)

0615: Breakfast time.
*Mommy wished that she could skip breakfast in exchanged for longer zzz time!

0710: Met Ann again for our day tour to Kanchanaburi.
*We have booked this day tour at THB2200 per person irregardless adult or child as the price was a charter rate!

0900: Arrived at the JEATH War Museum. It was a tiny museum which photography was not allowed. Mommy guessed the Grandparents weren't so interested as they don't understand the descriptions which were written in English.
*JEATH is the abbreviation of the names of the six countries involved: J is for Japan, E is for England, A is for America & Australia, T is for Thailand and H is for Holland. The Japanese were the controllers of the railway project, Thailand was the conquered country and the other four countries were involved as POW (Prisoners of War) on the construction of the 415km long Death Railway and the Bridge over the River Kwai.

0925: Left the museum.

0930: Arrived at Kanchanaburi War Cemetery. This cemetary was very peaceful and well kept but looking through the tomb stones, Mommy was saddened by the fact, majority of the dead were so young! We stayed for only 5 mins because the Grandparents didn't seem interested at all!

0940: Arrived at the Bridge over the River Kwai, this place was the reason why Mommy wanted to book for this day tour. The bridge and the surrounding were very nice but the atmosphere was kinda sad, perhaps only to Mommy, knowing thousands of POW died and buried here. While waiting for the train, we had some time to walk around and saw many shops selling local titbits and souvenirs. Shopping for these stuffs are Grandparents' favourite!

*Some history on the River Kwai Bridge & the Death Railway:
The Death Railway was a strategic railway built between Thailand and Burma. It was 415km (303km in Thailand & 112km in Burma) which passed through the Three Pagoda Pass in Sangkhlaburi District and the most northern part of Kanchanaburi Province.

Construction was began on 16 Sep 1942 at Nong Pladuk, Thailand by approximately 30,000 POW and more than 200,000 impressed labourers from India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Burma and Thailand. Of these, more than 16,000 POW and 100,000 impressed labourers died of many diseases due to starvation and lack of medical equipments.

It is said that the first survey by the Japanese engineers predicted that it would take at least 5 years to finish the railway line but the Japanese army forced the POW to complete it in only 16 months. Thus it was completed on 25 Dec 1943.

1120: Finally the train arrived, guess the train was delayed. Excitedly we were on the Death Railway to Nam Tok. The journey was rather boring as there wasn't any spectacular sights!
*Tip: Try to sit on the left side of the train for nice photography especially as the train approaching Nam Tok Station.

1310: Arrived after more than 1.5 hour! Though it took us such a long time but the large crowd at the restaurant was gone by the time we reached and we could have a nice peaceful lunch enjoying the scenery.

1410: After lunch & toilet break, we walked on the railway for some photo taking and left for Saiyok Elephant Park.

1415: Arrived and went for the elephant trekking.
*Grandparents had a baby elephant followed them throughout the trekking, it was so cute! The baby elephant has to follow the mother wherever she goes! When we reached the river, it totally submerged into the water for about 5mins! We found it cruel but the crew said it was ok & could still breathe while in the water!

1435: Went on for the bamboo rafting.

1500: Fed the elephants & watched the elephant show!

1530: Left for Bangkok.

1830: Arrived at Baiyoke Sky Hotel. Ann went to get the tickets for us while we headed to the toilet.

1900: After that she led us to the 76th floor Sky Restaurant for the buffet dinner.
*We paid THB650 per person, guess it was slightly more expensive than direct from the hotel.

2100: Went up to the 77th floor Oberservation Deck and 84th floor Revolving View Point for a spectacular view of Bangkok city.

2120: Left Baiyoke Sky Hotel and took the train & BTS back to our hotel.

2215: Arrived at our hotel.

*Thank God, though the traffic jam was terrible in Bangkok but we managed to avoid it totally hence we were on time for our dinner!

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