Leaving Bangkok for 2 days Kanchanaburi trip
I desperately needed some fresh air after partying hard on Khao San Road and suffering from Bangkok‘s monstrous weather. At the time, Mr. helpful suggested that we go on a 2 days Kanchanaburi trip together. Of course, I was in! The next day, I was on a train on my way there. As I looked through my 3rd class train’s windows, I was getting more and more excited about 2 days Kanchanaburi trip. Just the idea of seeing new things and visiting new places outside of overwhelming Bangkok was refreshing to me.
It took us three hours to get to Kanchanaburi by train. As soon as we arrived at Kanchanaburi station, we ignored all the tuk-tuk drivers and headed to the guesthouse. The weather wasn’t too bad. It was still hot, and the sun was quite strong, but it wasn’t humid like Bangkok. It was bearable. It wasn’t too bad that I came 2 days Kanchanaburi trip! I was feeling good about Kanchanaburi.
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
After check-in, we headed to Kanchanaburi War Cemetery. It is the main Prisoner of War cemetery for the victims of Japanese imprisonment who died while building the Thai-Burma Railway.
Feeling sad in Kanchanaburi War Cemetary
It was carefully maintained with beautiful flowers and lush green grass. When I read the messages that the families had left for the dead and saw their age, I couldn’t help feeling sad since they were too young to die. I hope they went somewhere nice and now rest in peace.
Kanchanaburi Thailand-Burma Railway Museum
Next, we went to the Thai-Burma Railway Museum (Death Railway Museum). It was a little bit expensive (140 baht) and visitors are not allowed to take any pictures. But it was totally worth visiting.
Typical words about World War 2
When people hear “World War II”, the first two words that come to their mind are “Nazi” and “Germany”! I was the same, but this museum gave me different ideas of WWII. People don’t know what happened to Thailand during WWII and I had no idea what the Japanese government did! They took war prisoners and made them work like dogs. To my surprise, many of the prisoners were from the Netherlands and Australia!
Death Railway prisoners were abused by Japanese
There was a replica boxcar of the Death Railway train at the museum. I read that 40 laborers were transported and locked in there for four days without any food or water. It sounded so terrible and gave me goosebumps. 40 men in that small cabin! How hot, dirty and smelly would it be?! It must be the last thing anyone wants to experience.
I also read that doctors in the camp tried to convince the Japanese authorities to stop abusing the prisoners. Awfully, some of them were beaten to death. I felt sad and angry at the same time. I hate war. I hate violence. Being there at the museum made me hate war even more.
Poor health conditions of Death Railway laborers
In the corner of the museum, a short black and white video clip kept playing. I looked carefully at it. It was of prisoners at the time. I was shocked that they were the ones who built the railway. They were all so skinny I could see their bones almost sticking through their skin. Furthermore, they were so weak that they could barely walk.
The Death Railway
Many of the prisoners who worked to construct the railway died due to malnutrition, severe labor intensity, and different diseases. No wonder why the Thai-Burma Railway is called the Death Railway. If I hadn’t been there, I would never have known about this at all. So it was good that I came to 2 days Kanchanaburi trip.
Kanchanaburi River Kwai Bridge
After riding emotional roller-coasters in both the War Cemetery and the Death Railway Museum, we went to the River Kwai Bridge. It was so crowded with many people like all other touristic spots. It was very alien for me to watch all these people wearing big smiles on their faces, taking selfies in a place with a sad history behind it. (Here is the location of River Kwai Bridge.)
Taking selfies on Kanchanaburi River Kwai Bridges can be a good thing…?
Maybe it’s a good thing that many people come to Kanchanaburi and the River Kwai Bridge and take selfies and post their pictures on the internet. It will attract more tourists. The more people that visit here, the more they are likely to have opportunities to learn about the Thai-Burma Death Railway.
Heavy hearts and the sunset
Our hearts were heavy but we couldn’t miss the sunset. Sunset was even more beautiful after a long day. The sunset I saw at River Kwai Bridge took all the sad feelings away and brought pure joy to me.
Train to Namtok
The next day, I got up early in the morning and took a train to Namtok to see the Wang Po Viaduct on the Thai-Burma railway. The train slowed down its speed to give people time to see the viaduct. I was busy taking pictures of the Death Railway like everyone on the train.
Wang Po Viaduct
There were railway spikes and old wooden sleepers that I’d seen earlier at the museum. I could picture Allied prisoners working and dying on that railway, and feel their pain. I was sad and angry again. Maybe I’m too emotional. I just couldn’t help it.
Leaving Kanchanaburi: 2 days Kanchanaburi trip
It was only a 2 days Kanchanaburi trip, but I really enjoyed it! It was so good to learn history about Thai-Burma Death Railway during WW2, visit Kanchanaburi War Cemetary, walk on River Kwai bridge and see the different scenery of Thailand on the train. If you are tired of seeing temples, then I highly recommend 2 days Kanchanaburi trip, especially if you want to learn about the other side of WWII! But I don’t recommend visiting 2 days Kanchanaburi trip if you just expect to have a fun, exciting day trip — it can be boring or depressing.
Do you want to read more my travel stories?
- first time backpacking in Bangkok for 7 days: Days of Nightmare in Bangkok
- Loy Krathong: Bangkok’s beautiful festival
- 3 things that can happen to you in Koh Tao
- Top 3 weird guys I’ve met on the road for 7 months
- The reason why I avoid Asian travelers
- Traveling Depression
Are you going to the south or north of Thailand?
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- Top 5 things to do in a beautiful old city Ayutthaya
- Top 6 fun things to do in Chiang Mai
- Best things to do in a lovely town Pai
What about your Kanchanaburi experience? Was it depressing or refreshing?
Please leave a comment and let’s share stories together! : )