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Thread: Bridge Over The River Kwai

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    เมืองเชียงราย Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Rivo's Avatar
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    Bridge Over The River Kwai

    Well I finally made time and made a day tour with my usual Taxi driver - Mr Sompong, I thought I will get out of Bangkok town and head out to Kanchanaburi to see the Bridge Over The River Kwai, here's a bit of history then I will post some pictures - Kanchanaburi, in Myanmar border, is home to the famous Bridge River Kwai. During WW II, Japan constructed the meter-gauge railway line from Ban Pong, Thailand to Thanbyuzayat, Burma. The line passing through the scenic Three Pagodas Pass runs for 250 miles. This is now known as the Death Railway.

    The railway line was meant to transport cargo daily to India, to back up their planned attack on India. The construction was done using POWs and Asian slave laborers in unfavorable conditions. The work started in October 1942 was completed in a year. Due to the difficult terrain, thousands of laborers lost their lives. It is believed that one life was lost for each sleeper laid in the track.

    Leaving Bangkok













    We stopped on the way for some fuel







    A Wise Man Once Said "Nothing"

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    เมืองเชียงราย Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Rivo's Avatar
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    Ill let the Taxi driver decide the best way to go here 555




    This bloke would come in handy if I needed to buy a ladder, but with Air Asia's strick luggage control I had to say no 555




    Here is the Famous Bridge






















    A Wise Man Once Said "Nothing"

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    เมืองเชียงราย Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Rivo's Avatar
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    A Wise Man Once Said "Nothing"

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    เมืองเชียงราย Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Rivo's Avatar
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    At the nearby Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, around 7,000 POWs, who sacrificed their lives in the railway construction, are buried. Another 2,000 are laid to rest at the Chungkai Cemetery.

    Allied Forces bombed the iron bridge in 1944. Three sections of Bridge River Kwai were destroyed. The present bridge has two of its central spans rebuilt. The original parts of the bridge are now displayed in the War Museum.

    The Bridge River Kwai became famous all over the world, when it was featured in movies and books. The cliff-hugging tracks and the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains and valleys are well captured in the David Lean movie.










    Quite a sad fealing when you go out and read the plots, some died really young, my TGF was saddened to read the ages













    Enough of the history, we head back to Bangkok for a night at Soi Cowboy 555

    A Wise Man Once Said "Nothing"

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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PatongBeachBoy's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if this is true or not, but I was told by an expat that the 'Bridge over the River Kwai' was actually over a river of another name... After the bridge featured in the movie the Thais changed the name of this river to 'Kwai'....
    Believe it or not... sounded like a good tale to me!....

    Did you go to the Tiger Temple Rivo?

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    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatongBeachBoy View Post
    I'm not sure if this is true or not, but I was told by an expat that the 'Bridge over the River Kwai' was actually over a river of another name... After the bridge featured in the movie the Thais changed the name of this river to 'Kwai'....
    Believe it or not... sounded like a good tale to me!....

    Did you go to the Tiger Temple Rivo?
    I heard that as well. Was it Evil Baz went there recently? Anyway... great photos Rivo. Enjoyed it...
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


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    เมืองเชียงราย Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Rivo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatongBeachBoy View Post
    Did you go to the Tiger Temple Rivo?

    No I didnt PBB, I went to the original floating markets before Kachanaburi, I will post some pics later.


    Just these two destinations seemed to fill up the whole day, was about 6pm back at Bangkok, 9am start which is early for us on holidays 555
    A Wise Man Once Said "Nothing"

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    Foundation Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Minder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatongBeachBoy View Post
    I'm not sure if this is true or not, but I was told by an expat that the 'Bridge over the River Kwai' was actually over a river of another name... After the bridge featured in the movie the Thais changed the name of this river to 'Kwai'....
    Believe it or not... sounded like a good tale to me!....
    It is a true story - after the film came out and was a success the Thais were faced with a situation of thousands of tourists flocking to see a bridge they did not have and that never actually existed (the author of the book knew that the Railway ran alongside the river and just -wrongly - assumed it must have crossed it at some point) so they renamed the part of the Mae Klong in Kanchanaburi that had a bridge over it.

    TBRC Online: THE THAILAND-BURMA RAILWAY CENTRE


    Historical accuracy

    The bridge over the River Kwai . The round truss spans are the originals; the angular replacements were supplied by the Japanese as war reparations.The largely fictitious film plot is loosely based on the building in 1943 of one of the railway bridges over the Mae Klongórenamed Khwae Yai in the 1960sóat a place called Tha Ma Kham, five kilometres from the Thai town of Kanchanaburi.

    According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission:

    "The notorious Burma-Siam railway, built by Commonwealth, Dutch and American prisoners of war, was a Japanese project driven by the need for improved communications to support the large Japanese army in Burma. During its construction, approximately 13,000 prisoners of war died and were buried along the railway. An estimated 80,000 to 100,000 civilians also died in the course of the project, chiefly forced labour brought from Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, or conscripted in Siam (Thailand) and Burma. Two labour forces, one based in Siam and the other in Burma worked from opposite ends of the line towards the centre."[1]

    The incidents portrayed in the film are mostly fictional, and though it depicts bad conditions and suffering caused by the building of the Burma Railway and its bridges, historically the conditions were much worse than depicted.[2] The real senior Allied officer at the bridge was British Lieutenant Colonel Philip Toosey. Some consider the film to be an insulting parody of Toosey.[3] On a BBC Timewatch programme, a former prisoner at the camp states that it is unlikely that a man like the fictional Nicholson could have risen to the rank of lieutenant colonel; and if he had, due to his collaboration he would have been "quietly eliminated" by the other prisoners. Julie Summers, in her book The Colonel of Tamarkan, writes that Pierre Boulle, who had been a prisoner of war in Thailand, created the fictional Nicholson character as an amalgam of his memories of collaborating French officers.[3] He strongly denied the claim that the book was anti-British, though many involved in the film itself (including Alec Guinness) felt otherwise.[4]

    Toosey was very different from Nicholson and was certainly not a collaborator who felt obliged to work with the Japanese. Toosey in fact did as much to delay the building of the bridge as possible. Whereas Nicholson disapproves of acts of sabotage and other deliberate attempts to delay progress, Toosey encouraged this: termites were collected in large numbers to eat the wooden structures, and the concrete was badly mixed.[3][5]

    Some of the characters in the film have the names of real people who were involved in the Burma Railway. Neither their roles nor their characters appear to be portrayed accurately. For example, historically a Sergeant-Major Risaburo Saito was second in command at the camp. In the film a Colonel Saito is camp commandant. In reality, Risaburo Saito was respected by his prisoners for being comparatively merciful and fair towards them; Toosey later defended him in his war crimes trial after the war, and the two became friends.

    The destruction of the bridge as depicted in the film is entirely fictional. In fact, two bridges were built: a temporary wooden bridge and a permanent steel/concrete bridge a few months later. Both bridges were used for two years, until they were destroyed by Allied aerial bombing. The steel bridge was repaired and is still in use today


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    Uber Star Foundation member Uber Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน vanguy77's Avatar
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    Great photos, Rivo, and thanks for the historical update Minder.
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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Uber Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Nomad's Avatar
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    Heading to Kanchanaburi in November...a group of 6-8 guys, including sons. Looking at staying at Kanchanaburi City Hotel, then River Kwai Resotel. Any accommodation suggestions?
    "Don't wait around for your life to happen to you. Find something that makes you happy and do it. Everything else is just background noise." George Mason

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Moo Uaon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
    Heading to Kanchanaburi in November...a group of 6-8 guys, including sons. Looking at staying at Kanchanaburi City Hotel, then River Kwai Resotel. Any accommodation suggestions?
    FACE YOUR FEARS LIVE YOUR DREAMS

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
    Heading to Kanchanaburi in November...a group of 6-8 guys, including sons. Looking at staying at Kanchanaburi City Hotel, then River Kwai Resotel. Any accommodation suggestions?
    I loved the hotel we stayed at on the river
    Nothing fancy but great location right off the road where the bars and restaurants were
    Nice pool and breakfast on the river.

    I will search for it.

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    By the way.
    I wasn't impressed with the bridge but I liked Kanchanaburi

    And probably the wildest Songkran I've ever seen.
    Actually seemed to get a bit too out of control.....a lot of drunk Thai guys

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Zablive's Avatar
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    The bridge my Uncle worked on was certainly wooden.
    When out cutting timber they also foraged for food.
    Their food would be like Thai farm workers - rice plus weeds with the occasional rat.
    Last edited by Zablive; 6th September 2016 at 15:39.
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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน
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    I have spent several months in that area over the past 15 years. That is where the kids I've looked after come from. I've ridden my own motorbike down from Chiang Mai on at least 5 trips, and the other times I rented scooters. I've always stayed at the same cheap (350 baht) guest house, but I can't say I would recommend it to others. There is a tiny night-life scene with pick-up bars, but it doesn't compare to other cities.

    I've got all the same photos that Rivo posted as well as a bunch of others. There are a few things I can recommend seeing. Take a trip on a songthaw baht bus to Mount Erawan waterfalls national park. The songthaw will cost about 1200 baht a day for the 80 km ride... there and back at your time convenience. There are also organized tours. DO NOT GO TO THE TIGER FARM ZOO!!! IT IS A TOTAL RIP-OFF!

    It is 4 km from the main part of the city to the famous bridge area. In December they have a re-enactment play of the bridge bombing.

    It is about a 2 hour bus ride from the south western bus station in Bangkok to the bus station in Kanchanaburi. From there you need to go by songthaw, motorbike taxi or those guys with the 3 wheel bicycles to your residence. That should be from 40 baht to 100 baht depending on how far.





    The war museum is worth seeing



    The death railway trip is worth taking... BUT DON'T TAKE IT ALL THE WAY! it takes too long and gets boring. The tour operators off a shorter ride and then go the rest of the way by tour bus.







    A couple of years ago with Pui and my two kids: Fong and Kong. That was before Pui got sick.

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน
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    I've posted photos of Mount Erawan before, but it is a lovely spot in the mountains. Bring good hiking shoes and a bathing suit.

    Songthaw ride to Mount Erawan



    Erawan local. Watch out or they will steal your pack in search of food. I saw a gal who lost her pack with phone and camera













    I've been taking the kids there since they were small. Now the girl (Fong) is 16 and her brother, Kong, is 18.

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน
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    If you rent motor scooters (about 300 baht per day) there are several temples worth visiting nearby. If you have a GPS then it helps to find your way.









    The dragon cave temple goes up inside a cave in a long series of steps




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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Moo Uaon's Avatar
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    ^ think he was looking for hotel recommendations? 55
    FACE YOUR FEARS LIVE YOUR DREAMS

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
    Heading to Kanchanaburi in November...a group of 6-8 guys, including sons. Looking at staying at Kanchanaburi City Hotel, then River Kwai Resotel. Any accommodation suggestions?
    Here is where we stayed.

    I thought it wss perfect and I usually go for more expensive resorts but I loved this place.

    5min walk to bar and restaurants but down a side street on the river so quiet.

    Good Times Resort

    Good Times Resort, Kanchanaburi, Thailand - Booking.com

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Uber Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Nomad's Avatar
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    Thanks Ian and others. I have been before and have a cycling and canoeing trip fairly well scoped, along with the Kanchanaburi city stuff which we will do solo. Yes, mainly accom, but the other info helpful.
    "Don't wait around for your life to happen to you. Find something that makes you happy and do it. Everything else is just background noise." George Mason

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