Blogs from Kanchanaburi, Western Thailand, Thailand, Asia

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Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Kanchanaburi February 24th 2014

Monday Today was the train to Hellfire Pass. The host’s mother and her friend were coming as Thais don't usually do these things but they can ride the train for free. We arrived at the station over half an hour early and the train arrives over half an hour late. They sat in the free cars while the rest of us sat in the 100THB cars (tourists and their guides). I started chatting with the guides near me and they arranged for a car to take me to the cutting which was about 15kms further out from the end of the line. The train rattled and clacked thru the countryside with the windows wide open for over 2 hours. Generally you risk serious injury or death if you put any parts of your body outside the ... read more
Manu's mother and her friend
rice paddies
country road

Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Kanchanaburi February 23rd 2014

Friday I took my first tuktuk ride from the guest house to the sky train saving me a ten min walk. It's amazing where vehicles squeeze thru in the narrow allies. I made it to the mini bus rendezvous with time to spare then waited another 30 mins to be picked up and taken by taxi half way across town to the mini bus. Wow, taxis are very cheap. Saturday I'm eating breakfast, a tasty soup with rice and probably ground pork, looking across a small canal to a field of sugar cane and the rugged hills beyond. One man is cutting cane by hand. I think all the cane is cut by hand. They were loading it into the trucks late into the night last night. The other cutters are now returning to work. Some ... read more
how to vote car
the evening view
my host, Manu

Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Kanchanaburi February 9th 2014

Picked up early from The Chatrium in Bangkok. This is the day for our visit to the Bridge Over the River Kwai and the Death Railway. On the way we stopped for a quick visit at a local market, literally along a railway track where the train brings people to buy their fish, fruit and vegetables. The track is the main aisle of the market and when the train comes twice a day, the stall holders literally have to move everything back from the side of the track to allow the train through. We then headed to a floating market where you get into a paddle boat and get paddled up and down the canal to look at stalls along the sides and also to buy food, goods etc from others boats. Very busy and a ... read more
Death Railway

Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Kanchanaburi January 1st 2014

I awoke early, filled with excitement. Last week, my coworker asked where I was traveling for the holiday. I told her Kanchanaburi. A few hours later, she asked if I wanted to come to her family home for part of my trip. I immediately accepted. She sent a songthaew to pick me up at my guest house. (After some research she decided taking the bus might be too confusing and involve a bit of walking, so this seemed like a better plan.) She said it would take 30-45 minutes for the trip. I climbed in, eager to enjoy the sights and sounds of slightly more rural Thailand. I saw many families going to and from the market, some washing cars, but mostly people were just relaxing together. Most people who were driving were a bit confused ... read more
The outdoor kitchen
Getting ready...
"No, Kris, it's not beautiful!"

Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Kanchanaburi December 31st 2013

About 17 months ago I sat by the beautiful River Kwai, not wanting to leave. I had a year of big decisions ahead of me and staying put seemed like the best plan, though not very realistic. I left on time, but only after promising myself that I would come back to that very spot in one year's time. So, a year passed, I survived unscathed, and I live in Thailand. With just a few days off for the national new year's holiday, I headed west to Kanchanaburi. I went back to the same guest house--the same room even, knowing that I'd know my way around, have great food, and gorgeous views. Plus, it's just a great area to wander, get lost, and take photos. All in all, my ideal holiday. I spent the next two ... read more
And now the sun is setting a bit.
I always make a stop here
I'm happy to see that people still visit the graves

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Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Kanchanaburi » Thong Pha Phum September 28th 2013

After almost four hours on the train we finally arrived in Kanchanaburi, the home of the Bridge Over The River Kwai, which became infamous as part of the ‘Death Railway’ given its name by allied prisoners of war, who the Japanese had made to build during world war two as they pushed on their conquest of SE Asia. So many POWs died building this railway, which started in Thailand and crossed over into Burma to the Indian border, that the prisoners themselves (mainly British and Australian) gave the name The Death Railway. There’s still a section of the railway which you can ride the train on, right up to Nam Tok from Bangkok, and this is how we had decided to get to Kanchanaburi. You can get a minibus which gets you there in half the ... read more
Kanchanaburi War Cemetary
Grant on Krasae Bridge

Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Kanchanaburi March 22nd 2013

YOU CAN CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE IT, THEN GO BACK TO THE BLOG OR GO THROUGH THE PHOTOS (63 TOTAL - CLICK ON THE NUMBERS AT THE BOTTOM OR ARROWS IN TOP CORNERS) IN THAT ENLARGED FORMAT. I PUT LOTS OF INFORMATION IN THE PHOTO CAPTIONS SO YOU CAN SKIP THE NARRATIVE, JUST LOOK AT THE ENLARGED PHOTOS AND CAPTIONS AND YOU'LL STILL GET MORE INFORMATION THAT YOU EVER WANTED. TO RETURN TO THE BLOG ENTRY, JUST CLICK YOUR BACK BUTTON OR ON THE NAME OF THE BLOG, BELOW THE NUMBERS ON THE LEFT. Bangkok, Thailand, February 28 - March 2, 2013 We flew to Bangkok a few days early to acclimate and get over our jet-lag before the Jean-Pictet IHL Moot Court Competition, which began March 2. We got in late in the ... read more
Bangkok, Ananita Samakhom Throne Hall
Bangkok, Marble Temple Buddha
Kanchanaburi, The Bridge On the River Kwai

Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Kanchanaburi February 27th 2013

Day One After breakfast we made our way to the bus station to leave the crazy capital behind. We knew our Lonely Planet bible would now be our go to, for all of our decision making from now on. We had a 2 hour bus trip to Kanchanaburi ahead of us and we were just taking it as it comes. On buying our bus tickets we got some accomodation and tourist pamphlets and Pong Phen Guesthouse kept popping up so we decided to check it out - and it had a pool!! Bonus!! We got the last room at the guesthouse, we were very pleased with our decision, we didn't know it yet but we were about to make some great friends here. We soon found we had a wee gecko friend in our room. I ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Kanchanaburi February 24th 2013

Having consumed lunch we made our way back to the car and then it was off to the Elephant Sanctuary. This took about 30 minutes and the journey took us ever deeper into the rural backwaters of Thailand. We were now climbing above the plains and into the mountains that border Thailand & Myanmar (Burma) which made it so difficult to build the railway and cause so much suffering. When we arrived we were the only tourists there so without any waiting (apart from the opportunity to purchase some ripe Thai bananas - 20 Baht - approx 50p) the Mahout arrived atop the Elephant we were to ride. On her back was, what can only be described as, a garden seat sitting precariously on her shoulders. Luckily the park had provided platforms which we climbed so ... read more
The Mensahib and I
Mahout Guy
The Intrepid Explorer

Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Kanchanaburi February 23rd 2013

After the sober reflection of the war cemetery it was back to the car and a short drive to the Bridge over the River Kwai. The driver dropped us of and with the guide we made our way to the site of the bridge. The guide explained how the the Thai government allowed the japanese to build th railway as they felt indebted to them for helping get rid of the French before WW2. Not all Thais felt the same way and some acted as spies sending intelligence back to the Allies. We walked the length of the bridge and it was only at the end that I remembered that I was going to whistle 'Colonel Bogey' as I marched along (See the film if you don't know why!) I was reminded by a local man ... read more
Temple Statue
View from the Lunch table




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