The River Kwai and Kanchanaburi Province – Learn More About Thailand’s War History on Vacation

in Thailand

When most people think of vacationing in Thailand they imagine shopping up a storm in Bangkok or lazing by the beach in Koh Samui.

But the Asian country also has a rich history just waiting to be explored.

The best place for history buffs to discover is Kanchanaburi Province, home to the famous River Kwai. This is the site the Japanese Imperial Army invaded during the Second World War, and there are many remnants of this tragic time in Thai history.

Visitors can take a train ride along the stretch of the Thai-Burma Railway commonly known as the Death Railway. The Japanese soldiers used this passage to carry supplies to their troops in Burma. The train trip leads to the famous Bridge on the River Kwai. Immortalized by the Hollywood film, prisoners of war built the bridge so the railway could cross the water. Many prisoners lost their lives here, and seeing it today is a sobering reminder of the horrors of war.

If you want to learn more about the Death Railway and the River Kwai, make sure you call in to the Hellfire Pass Museum. Located at Konyu Cutting, otherwise known as Hellfire Pass, this museum features artifacts from the period which tell the story of the Thai-Burma railway in unflinching detail.

The famous bridge over the River Kwai

The famous bridge over the River Kwai

There is a memorial walking trail on site which takes travelers alongside one of the old railway tracks. At four kilometers long it’s not a trip for tourists short on time, but it’s a journey worth making for the gorgeous valley views from Kwae Noi Lookout.

By all means, enjoy Thailand’s shopping opportunities and soak up some rays. But make sure you take the time to see some of the country’s historical sites as well. They’re the memories you’ll have long after your sun tan fades.

[Image Source: Ahoerstemeier/Wikipedia Commons]

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