Thailand – Kanchanaburi Death Railway & museum

14/10/16

Today as a “rest day” I decided to get on the train and travel along the railway which was originally built by the Japanese to connect Thailand with Burma during WW2. It is a notorious railway line as so many men died from building it, hence the name Death Railway.

To get the ticket I walked to the railway station early and bought my seat. I’m glad I got there early as many tour groups came afterwards and suddenly the train was packed! It was a very scenic 2 hour journey. The best view of the railway at the most famous ‘death’ part is on the left hand side, which I was lucky to get a seat. At this point on the journey, everyone runs over to the left and it’s a battle to get a picture without anyones hands in it.

I was shocked and saddened knowing this was where the most amount of men died during the construction of the railway. When you look down you see how steep it is, and you just can’t imagine men hacking away at the rock with no machinery.. It also completely juxtaposes the beautiful scenery and I almost felt bad for enjoying the sights.

Many people got off right after we passed over the bridge, and went off with their tour guides. I didn’t have a guide so I stayed on until the end of the track, and when I got there I had no idea where to go, so I jumped off and quickly bought my return ticket to catch the same train back. I don’t think anybody else did this, but I really enjoyed chilling out on the train. It was nice on the way back as there were hardly any people and I got a better view, there’s also people selling snacks which came in very handy.

Once back it was a quick walk to the museum. It was a little pricey for a small museum but worth every baht. It really put everything into perspective and offered me a full explanation of what happened and why. It explained in depth why certain POW camps faired better than others and why some had more deaths. All so interesting and disturbing, it’s a definite must while you’re in Kanchanaburi.

I spent only an hour here and headed back to my hostel to relax, I didn’t really enjoy wondering around the street because of all the sleezy men trying to catch a Thai wife…

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