Sorry for the long delay posting updates, it’s been a busy week. As I mentioned a few days ago we were going to be visiting Kanchana’s family along with fitting in sightseeing events.
Here’s what we have done so far:
- Bridge over River Kwai
- Floating Restaurant on River Kwai
- Toured Thai Musical Instruments Factory
- Kanchanaburi Town Market
- Sai Yok Noi Waterfall
- Hellfire Pass
- Tiger Temple (Wat Pa Luangta Maha Bua Yannasampanno)
- Bridge over River Kwai War Museum
- Bridge over River Kwai Train Trolley Ride
Bridge over River Kwai
This bridge was part of the Burma Railway (also referred to the Death Railway). During World War II the Japanese used prisoners of war to construct this rail line between Bangkok, Thailand and Rangoon, Burma. Over a 100,000 people died (forced Asian laborers and POW’s) constructing this rail line. Allied Forces bombed the iron bridge in 1944. For more information regarding the history of the Burma Railway and Bridge over River Kwai please follow this link to Wikipedia’s “Burma Railway“.
Here’s proof that Thailand has no rules for who they allow in the country…
Floating Restaurant on River Kwai
The area around the Bridge over River Kwai is primarily a tourist trap. Included in this category is the floating restaurant that is located next to the bridge. This restaurant caters to the numerous tour groups and tour bus businesses that bring people to visit the bridge. They have a large buffet that has the most common Thai dishes. The food was decent but no doubt prepared more for the tourist. The best of what this restaurant offers would be the wonderful view of the bridge.
Thai Musical Instruments Factory
We got a special treat Tuesday as we got to tour a Thai music instrument factory just outside of Kanchanaburi. Everything built here is still done by hand by some very talented artisans. I could not resist and ended up purchasing a Ranad (fourth picture).
Kanchanaburi Town – Open Market
The “Open Market” concept is something you will see throughout Thailand. You never know what you may find in these markets. The market in Kanchanaburi offered all types of prepared foods (grilled meats), vegetables, Thai deserts, fruits, fresh meats, fresh water fish, etc.
Sai Yok Noi Waterfall
Sai Yok Noi is a waterfall in Sai Yok district of Kanchanaburi Province (located north of the town of Kanchanburi). Its in a beautiful setting and seems very popular with the locals and tourists.
Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum – Death Railway
Hellfire Pass is the name of the rock cutting in the Tenasserim Hills (80km or 50 miles North of Kanchanaburi). This section of the Death Railway was the most difficult to construct due to cutting through rock (solid limestone and quartz rock). Groups of POW worked 16-18 hours to cut a section 17 meters (56 feet) high by 110 meters (361 feet) long. This section was completed in 12 weeks. The name came from the men working at night under hammering noises, lighting from fires, oil filled bamboo torches and carbide lamps that created a setting that resembled the “Fires from Hell”.
Here’s a short video of the beautiful view atop the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum:
Tiger Temple (Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua)
Is a Theravade Buddhist Temple (Forest) about 20 miles North of Kanchanaburi. It was opened in 1994 as a sanctuary for wild animals (such as water buffalo, wild boar, bears, deer, exotic birds) which also includes Indochinese and Bengal tigers. After signing a waver, people are allowed (one by one – with a guide) to go into an enclosed area (called the tiger canyon) to pet and have their picture taken with the tigers. People are not allowed to wear bright yellow, pink or orange clothing when in close contact with the tigers.
Out of our group (Kanchana and I, Kanchana’s parents, along with her sister and brother in-law) I was the only one brave enough to venture into the “Tiger Canyon” (is this adventurous enough Oak?). Later on though we had another opportunity to have our picture taken with a tiger cub which Kanchana felt more at ease with.
The last picture is me with the current head Monk of the Temple.
Trolley Train – Video Riding on Bridge over River Kwai (3:53)
At the Bridge over River Kwai people can take a short train ride (troleey train) over the bridge continuing a couple miles outside of town. This is a video of us coming back into town (over the Bridge over River Kwai)