Hellfire Pass "A life for every sleeper"

Trip Start Sep 28, 2010
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Trip End Dec 16, 2010


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Flag of Thailand  ,
Thursday, October 28, 2010

We went to Kanchanburi as it's next to the River Kwai - anyone who has seen The Bridge Over the River Kwai will know what we're on about, for the rest of you it's part of the Burma-Thailand railway built by Japanese POWs in WW2 (commonly referred to as Death Railway because so many people died during construction due to the harsh working conditions).

On arrival we checked into VN Guesthouse by the river, only to realise our room was actually part of a rafthouse, so every time a boat went past it moved!! Fortunately we weren't there much that day and there weren't many boats at night. It's a weird sensation being seasick in bed!

We just had the afternoon on the first day so we visited the Jeath War Museum in a replica of the bamboo huts the POWs lived in, and booked a tour for the next day. Our tour package included the Erawan National Park, Hellfire Pass museum, a ride on the Death Railway and finishing at the River Kwai Bridge.

So early the next morning we were picked up along with 6 others, including two English girls (Eloise and Leoni). We've not met many English people so it's always great to find some! Erawan was beautiful, it's home to a seven-step waterfall and we visited the 5 first steps. You can swim in the pools there although Sophie was a bit put off by the fish - they are the same fish as those that do the foot massage (which we have been avoiding, eeeew) but much much bigger. Didn't fancy being eaten by them! However, at step 4 there was an amazing natural slide down the rocks which we had to go on. Eloise took videos which we can try and upload, they are quite funny!

We had lunch at the park and then went to Hellfire Pass. There is a museum there plus you can walk along the pass itself. It is really sobering to see, as it is 8m high on one side and 6m on the other, all of which was dug out by the POWs. After that we got to ride on the still operational section of the railway, and finally we walked across the River Kwai bridge.

After the tour we arranged to meet the girls for dinner and Sophie finally managed to get her MSc results (she got a Distinction and her wisdom tooth has been hurting a bit since!), so we turned dinner into a celebratory evening! We met lots of people heading north from Bangkok, which was our next move too - first stop, Chaing Mai.

Sophie and Keiron xx
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