Travel to Kanchanaburi and The River Kwai

Trip Start Feb 21, 2008
Trip End Aug 21, 2008

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We arrived in Bangkok at 6.25am and need to get to a different Rail station called Bangkok Noi to get a train to Kanchanaburi. Quick Taxi ride and there in plenty of time for 07.45 train to get us to Sams Guest house. A nice Thai man asked at Bangkok if we wanted a taxi for 300 baht so told him where to get off and seeing thjat we were seasoned travellers he instantly reduced the price to 250. We went to the taxi rank and got a nice old boy to take us for 100 Baht. A 50 Baht tip, less than a pound resulted in the biggest smile and a traditional Thai thank you. His smile got our day off to a great start.

After he dropped us off we found an ATM, where we did not expect one and then bought tickets from a lady who understood us. Only 3rd class on this train, but Hels just does not bat an eyelid anymore. Train arrived on time and as we had had a laugh with the Assistant Station Manager he indicated that we were heading for the right train. The train was ok and not full and the windows all opened, thats 3rd class air conditioning. Three hours later we arrived in Kanchanaburi and accepted the offer of another old boy for a taxi ride for only 40 Baht. We then found out it was a bicycle taxi ride with a bike each....very comfortable and they earnt their money as hostel about a mile from rail station.

After settling in we went for a long walk to reach the River Kwai and see the famous bridge. We also wanted to visit the nearby museum to learn a bit more about the facts of building the bridge. The museum was very very disappointing and was just a collection of photos, a few personal belongings of POW's and some other artefacts from after the war. Nothing was in any order to help you understand exactly what had happened in real life and not relying on your memories of the famous film which actually bears very little resemblance to what went on. The market stalls and numerous restaurants also detracted from what we thought would be a rather quiet and solemn place. We did however go to a riverside restaurant for a disappointing meal for lunch.

Walked back and quickly went on Internet to check next accommodation in Cha Am.

About 6.30 returned to room for shower and made mistake of lying on the bed. We had both been trying to cool off and were reading. Hels asleep by about 7.15 and Tony asleep not long after. Apart from waking a few times we did not surface till 8am the next morning. The overnight train was comfy but regular stops at night for stations so quite a disturbed night followed by more travelling and then lots of walking, all took it's toll.
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gdalby on

Are there 2 museums?
Hi there - interesting to read your comments. I thought the bridge was less impressive than I expected but we both thought the museum we went to was good - we learnt a few things like the way conditions changed - not being too bad in the beginning, the larger no. of workers from other countries that lost their lives and the fact that Thailand made a pact with Japan which meant they didn't have to supply workers. I assume you went to the same museum as us but I remember being told there was more than one. On a different matter - we would be interested in your thoughts/comparison of Laos with Vietnam and Cambodia (in an email is probably best) - if you get the time. All the best - Graham and Karen

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