The Death Railway, known also as the Burma-Siam Railway, named after the survivors of the appalling historical event is a living testimony of the second-world war. Kanchanaburi, from where you get to visit some of the most prominent landmarks along the Death Railway, is an eerily beautiful town. Relive the history of the Death Railway through this beautifully haunting tour.
The Death Railway, built during the 2nd World War by POWs, stretches for 415 km. Construction began in the month of September, 1942 in Burma and in November, Thailand with about 310,000 laborers and prisoners, and was concluded in 1943. This project witnessed exploitation of Prisoners of War by the Japanese in an effort to avoid the dangers associated with sending supplies through sea. Death Railway’s history is full of strife; 90% of the Asian laborers that were a part of it, died either due to the treachery of construction or of food deprivation and exhaustion.
What’s So Awesome About It
The River Kwai Bridge will be your first stop, giving you serene and scenic spots, almost as if to prepare you for the rest of the tour. Kanchanaburi War Memorial Cemetery would be next on the tour list, the resting ground for almost 7000 Prisoners of War (POWs) that died during construction. The Death Railway Museum and Research Center next to the cemetery, walks you through the history of the railway in monochrome photographs of starved men, construction sites and the railway path. You can take a train ride from the River Kwai Bridge or Kanchanaburi Station to NamTok, to look at rice paddy fields, the lush green forestry and the river as you pass along the mountainside. A visit to the Krasae Cave on this trip is a great way to learn about the campsite and a walk through the Wampo Viaduct will get you there. End your tour at Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum, a stunning depiction that retells compelling stories of the men that worked on the Death Railway.
What’s The Catch
It can get emotionally overwhelming learning about the horrific stories. It could also get boring for children, if they are not history enthusiasts.
How To Reach There
You have two trains that leave every day from Bangkok to Kanchanburi and the fare is approximately 100 THB. You can also take buses from Bangkok and reach Kanchanaburi in 3 to 4 hours of find tourist minivans, minibuses or tour vans.
Stay back in Kanchanaburi to explore the many lakes, national parks and caves once you tour the Death Railway so you can couple a historical visit while you also enjoy in the lap of nature.
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