Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Kanchanaburi

From Lopburi I made my way to Kanchanaburi. The guide book said there are regular buses but you will have to go via another town. I arrived at the bus station in Lopburi about 10:00 and was told the next bus was at 11 and I could buy a ticket on the bus. I was waiting for the 11AM when a person in a uniform ask where I was going and was lead to a bus about 10:45 where I sat until the bus left a little after 12:30. This bus was sort of interesting. The bus appeared to be run by a family and it also appeared that they live out of the bus where they make their living. All of the storage space above the seats and some of the seats were full of the family's belongings. I sat in a seat behind a seat full of a TV set and Tricycle.

The name Kanchanaburi is not well known at least not by me but it is the setting for something that is really well known. The bridge over the river Kwai is just outside the town.



I visited the JEATH War Museum, the Kanchanaburi Allied War Cemetery, The Bridge over the river Kawi and took a ride on a train riding the tracks known as the death railroad while staying in Kanchanaburi. The JEATH stands for Japan, England, Australia/America, Thailand and Holland or the countries that where involved in building the death railway during WWII. I was not aware of all the Dutch that died here and it appeared there are as many Dutch graves in the Kanchanaburi cemetery as from any other country and I did not see one US grave. There were also people from Asia that were forced to work on building the railroad but they seem to be forgotten in the name of the museum and not in the allied cemetery. 100,000 men from India, Chain, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Burma and Thailand died while being forced to work on the railroad where 16,000 men from the allied countries died.

Even though I found the sites about the war interesting, the highlight of Kanchanaburi for me was going to Erawan National Park and visiting the waterfalls. The falls are sort of 7 different small waterfalls up the side of a mountain. It was a bit of a hike to get to the top but I really enjoyed swimming in the pool at the bottom of the last waterfall and it was really refreshing standing under the waterfall after the hike up the mountain.

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