Kanchanaburi is a beautiful, mountainous province located approximately 130 kilometres west of Bangkok in Thailand that shares the border with Myanmar. It’s lush landscape is filled with tapioca and sugar cane fields, high plains, waterfalls and caves. Perhaps what the region is most infamously known for, however, is being the location of the Burma Railway, immortalised in the book and film, ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’. Under Japanese control during WWII, the occupying forces used Allied POWs and other forced labourers to construct the Burma Railway, beginning in 1942, which aimed to connect and supply Japanese forces in Burma. Also known as the ‘Death Railway’, it is estimated that over 180,000 prisoners died during construction.
Today, Kanchanaburi is a popular destination for history buffs (like me!) who come to see the historical locations of the region including the bridge itself, parts of it a reconstruction after Allied bombing; the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, where 6982 POWs are buried, mostly Australian, British and Dutch; and the Hellfire Pass, a railway cutting noted for its harsh conditions and heavy loss of life, the name of which was derived from the sight of emaciated prisoners working by torchlight at night, said to resemble a scene from hell. When I travel, I always feel that it’s important to learn about the history of a region and pay my respects.
For a truly unique experience, a stay at the River Kwai Jungle Rafts is an experience like no other. This award-winning floating eco-lodge is made from rafts anchored in the middle of the river and is only accessible by boat. The walls are weaved from bamboo and light from kerosene lamps instead of electricity creates a wonderfully ambient atmosphere. See for yourself why a visit to Kanchanaburi should be on your Thailand itinerary!
10 photos that will make you want to visit Kanchanaburi:
Have you been to Thailand? What regions are your favourites? Leave a comment below or use the hashtag #wanderlust_wednesday on Instagram to share your experience with me!