To Down Under and Back Over travel blog

British Gravestones of POW's at the Kanchanaburi War Cemetry

Jeath War Museum and Bridge over the River Kwai in background

Us on the Brigde over the River Kwai...was a bit rickety to...

Bamboo Rafting on the River Kwai, well not quiet rafting more like...

Restaurant on the River Kwai where we lunched!

Black Bear and his monk at the Tiger Temple (have ommitted the...

Sophy stroking two Tigers... oh my goodness!! EISH!!!

Paul shortly before he tried to stroke the Tiger's head (crazy man)!

Train Journey from Wang Pho to Tha Kilen along the River Kwai...

Up at 6.20am with a 2 and half hour Bus journey infront of us as off the the Bridge over the River Kwai and the Tiger Temple!!. It helped that there were some cool people in the bus (2 Aussies on their way home from Europe),2 Swedes, 3 English (incl 1 from Reading who we'll prob meet up with in Sydney.....small world, eh?) and a mad Dutchman who looked like he had been on the lash for the last 2 days with no sleep..hilarious !!

1st stop was the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery where 6,982 British POW from World War II laid to rest, whom helped construct the Bridge and the "Death Railway" which had a film named after it!! Mostly British, Dutch and Aussies are at the cemetry and the grounds were immaculate. Then we were off to the Jeath Museum packed with history of the bridge, how it was built, guns, photo's etc, really interesting of how the bridge was built as initially an engineers estimate was 5 years but they actually took 16 months to build the bridge and all 415km of the railway, which linked Bangkok and Yangon (Burma) to take military supplies for the Japanese during the war. Crazy how it was completed so quickly, especially with the heat and conditions that these POW had to endure and their rations. Over 100'000 POW lost their lives during the construction of the railway and bridge mainly to exhaustion and malnutrition. We then walked along the bridge where a train goes across daily and the views from the bridge were great and the walking part of the bridge was quiet rickety and not for the fainthearted and they were having a night display in the evening with a flyby, lights and fireworks which we unfortunately missed (to simulate the bombing of the bridge during the war). Lunch was next but we needed to earn it by paddling downstream on a bamboo raft which we just managed to do together (despite taking sneaky breaks at teh back!!).

Off to the Tiger Temple which was built by monks in 1994 and basically looks after Tigers who have been saved from poachers or orphaned cubs, really well looked after by the monks who cooked there meat for the Tigers which loses their quest for blood and helps tame them a little but still look very big and fearsome especially close up and we were allowed to have our pictures taken with a few and .... stroke them............... unreal and made the old ticker beat really fast!! Yikes!

Just before we headed back to Bangkok, we had a 20min train ride on the train along the Railway line from Wang Pho to Tha Kilen that has lasted the war until today. Part of the train journey was alongside a cliff face with a sheer drop down to the river.... another scary moment but the donut man on the train kept us happy :O) Another night in Bangkok later on and another trip to look forward to tomorrow as then off to Cambodia and Vietnam.... Bye for now!!

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