Last known location: London, England

The Bridge on the River Kwai

We had a long day of travelling ahead of us when we left the islands and headed back north to Kanchanaburi. First it was a plane to Bangkok, then a trip on the subway into the city, a taxi ride to the river, a five minute ferry to the opposite bank, then lastly a train to our final destination! Everything went surprisingly smoothly, although the train was very slow, stopping in all sorts of places it wasn’t supposed to, and we arrived at least an hour late. Rose managed to pass the time by chatting to locals, including a woman who claimed she was a nun and had left the convent that morning!

Kanchanaburi is best known as the location of the Bridge on the River Kwai, part of the railway line between Thailand and Burma built by Allied POWs during the second world war, and made famous in the book and film of the same name, so most of the tourist sights were connected to the railway and its construction.

The next day our first stop was the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre, an interesting exhibition with photos and displays showing what life was like for the prisoners who worked under the Japanese, and the difficulties of building the railway through the mountains. Across the road was the Allied War Cemetery, where there are memorials to hundreds of the British, Australian and Dutch soldiers who were killed.

We then visited another museum on the outskirts of town that was hosted by a temple and was in a pretty shabby state. It was all housed in a recreation of one of the huts the POWs lived in whilst held captive, which was interesting – Gem didn’t like the look of the sleeping conditions! We’d had enough of museums by then so we thought we’d head back to our hotel for a bit, but ended up walking miles across town in the 30+ heat as there wasn’t a tuk-tuk to be found! We got to see a lot of the sleepy riverside town though so it wasn’t all bad.

On our last morning we visited the bridge itself, which was close to our riverside hotel. It was mainly being used by schoolkids and people going to work, but while we were crossing a very fancy looking Orient Express train came past us – it looked very luxurious but a bit out of our price range!

It was then on to Bangkok that afternoon to face the heat and the ladyboys!

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