- The Bridge
Over The River Kwai
- 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
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 over the River
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superseded a couple of months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
Jay was interested in every single nut and
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
A good time to get
off of the bridge as it is still in use today.
for the remains of the old
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.