|Subject: Kanchanaburi (was: Bangkok in October)|
Hi Patti We took a day trip to Kanchanaburi including riding
on the railway last year. We had an excellent day out,
leaving our hotel in Bangkok at 0600, driving to
Kanchanaburi, then a short boatride to the Bridge on the
Kwai, which was very hard on the backside I must tell you,
with the JEATH museum also included. We particularly enjoyed
the train ride out through the Thai countryside. We boarded
at Kanchanaburi, and ended up towards "Hellfire Pass"
somewhere, then we enjoyed a really delicious lunch and bus
trip back into Bangkok. I don't remember the company we
used, but they were in Silom Rd, and I booked over the net
but paid in person (I remember being unsure about their
security with credit card details). There's a range of
1,2and 3 day trips that various companies offer to this
We were in the War Graves Cemetry in Kanchanaburi when we struck up a conversation with a man who turned out to be Rod Beattie, the Managing Director of the Thailand Burma Railway Centre, and who was also responsible for all the C'wealth War Cemetries in Thailand. Rod is passionate about what he does, and has been featured on Australian TV discussing "Hellfire Pass" and other important points along the railway route. Rod pointed out the graves of the men that had been looked after by "Weary" Dunlop, an Australian surgeon who worked tirelessly for "his" men on the railway, and who is an absolute legend and iconic figure in Australian history.
All this is a long winded way of telling you that a new museum has opened up in Kanchanaburi, to the west of the cemetry. If you are interested in the Thai Burma Railway at all I would encourage you to try to get there. Their website is http//:www.tbrconline.com The museum is factually accurate, interactive and modern. Last year the Thai tour companies weren't stopping there, (it had only just opened) instead still going to the JEATH museum. The JEATH, while interesting and confronting, is not historically accurate. While we were there my husband pointed out artifacts from the Vietnam War that were on display as part of the WWII display at JEATH. Rod remarked that the Thai people running the tours hadn't really grasped the fact that for many people these areas are really places of pilgrimage, and that lots of people are actually looking for historically accurate information. So they continue to go to the JEATH museum.
If we ever get back to Thailand the new museum is top of the list of things we want to do. Hope you enjoy Bangkok - it's fabulous! Vibrant, colourful, smelly, smoggy, exciting. Cheers, Sally from Sydney