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The Bridge Over The River Kwai
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    We had been wanting to visit Thailand for a long long time, the dream became a reality when a digger friend of Jay's said he could get us a very good deal through the aeronautical company where he worked, that with his extra staff discount passed onto us made it within our budget.
  • "Many Thanks Richard we will never forget this"
    We had no funds for accommodation, plus we really did not know where we were staying or even where we were going.  Jay was quite adamant that he was going to spend the whole trip searching the "Death" Railway and diving the River Kwai.
    Once we landed at Bangkok airport we picked up our hired 4x4 which was not only our ride for the next 3 weeks, it was also our accommodation !
     
    Jay posing with our lovely new 4x4
     
     
       

    One night in Bangkok sure made us humble, Deep fried bugs and tattoos being done in the street are about the only photos we dare display on this family web site !

     

     

    After our first night in the 4x4 and a gas station breakfast we headed out to Kanchanaburi which is about 130 kilometers 81 miles west of Bangkok.

    Our first stop was at the JEATH Museum just down the road from the bridge. JEATH stands for the 6 countries involved in the building of the bridge during the second world war : Japan, England, America, Australia, Thailand and Holland.

    Photography is not allowed in the museum but here are a couple of pics of rail pins, bolts and British incendiary bombs that Paul managed to grab before getting told off by a Monk on duty there.

     
    Our next stop was the Bridge over the River Kwai. Of course it was not noting like the book or the movie, but there again how could it be ? this bridge didn't even cross the River Kwai. The author who wrote the original book, had never been here.  He knew that the 'death railway' ran parallel to the River Kwae , and thought that it was the Kwae which it crossed just North of Kanchanaburi.   Wrong ! - The bridge they had was over the  Mae Khlung River.  So, without further ado, they renamed the river in 1960 thus making is easier for the tourists.  The Mae Khlung is now the Kwae Yai 'Big Kwae' for several miles north of the confluence with the Kwae Noi 'Little Kwae', including the bit under the bridge.

     The Bridge over the River "Kwai."

    There were originally two bridges, both of them built by the prisoners of war - The first was a wooden bridge, completed in February 1943.  This was superseded a  couple of  months later by the steel bridge which is still standing today today.  The bridge is all original apart from the two straight-sided spans which replaced the spans destroyed by allied bombing in 1945.
     
     
    These pictures show the bridge after the aerial attacks in 1945.  You can clearly see the damaged sections and the wooden bridge.

    We walked the length of the bridge whistling "Colonel Bogey"

     

    Jay was interested in every single nut and bolt

     

    It felt strange to see the rail pins in action after seeing so many in the museum.

    Under the bridge there was a market

     

    Some of the wares and local transport.

     

    A good time to get off of the bridge as it is still in use today.

    We went looking for the remains of the old wooden bridge

     

    This all that remains of the old structure.

    Well That's the end of another crazy adventure.

    Contact us if you have an idea for a search or an adventure.

     
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