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Only a three hours ride between Bangkok and Kanchanaburi, it’s easy to get on a bus or mini-bus from most bus stations in the capital.
Located in the province of the same name, Kanchanaburi is a town of little interest, that developed along the famous river Kwai, and was a very strategic place during the Pacific war, from 1942, under Japanese occupying forces
The railway bridge, ordered by the Japanese authorities, was built by well over 100 000 prisoners, Thais and other Asians and also 30 000 allied prisoners. A quarter died during the works, tortured to make them go faster building the bridge…. The train journey is called “The death track”, as a tribute to all these men.
This link was to allow the Japanese army to invade Burma and get to India, the ultimate destination.
The bridge was back in use, at the end of the war, and became a high spot for tourists, and the historical part of Thailand, some years later.
Today it is easy to hire a floating bungalow on the river, and/or go on foot across the bridge. Not much interest doing this, beside the beauty of the province, and especially as regards to its nature and national parks.
The train is still going, it’s very moving to be on it. It takes you from Kanchanaburi to Nam Tok in two hours, a small village, not far from the Erawan springs, i will relate more in my next post.
The Wat Tham Khao Noi
About 12kms far from the town center, going along the river and then going deeper in the land, we go past lots of Chinese cemeteries, and then we get to What Tham Khao Noi, high up the plains and ricefields. A large three colors staircase leads us to this recent Buddhist complex. The whole thing looks more like a Walt Disney’s cartoon film set….. he, he… yes, it is Thailand and often Disneyland but nevermind, this weird fantasy and this atmosphere are very soothing, one feels good and strangly enough goes in every nook and cranny !
The sky was very dense that night, from the top of the hill, we could see many places where the rain was falling and it made the grey-blue clouds look kind of orange color.
But the most important in Kanchanaburi, it’s the bunches of dwarf bananas flowing in the streets !!!!