Sightseeing SpeedBoat Cruise on The River Kwai [City]

November 24, 2011 

One of the best ways to go sightseeing the city of Kanchanaburi is to take a long tail speed boat ride along the River Kwai : it is well worth a go.

The trip lasts approximately  2 hours duration  and  allows  not only  picturesque  views of the beauty  of the city from its River Kwai’s side, but  it also allows you  to explore 3 unique places : World War II Chungkai Cemetery – Khao Poon Underground Cave Temple – The JEATH World War II Museum.

CHUNGKAI WAR CEMETERY

When visiting the Chungkai World War II cemetery in Kanchanaburi, everyone can feel a contemplative mood and a sense of solemnity which shrouds this final resting place for 1740 British, Dutch, Australian, New-Zealand and American prisoners of war (POW’s) who perished from exhaustion, starvation, disease and torture during their captivity in the camps of the Japanese Army, when building a rail supply route from Thailand to Burma, called the  «  Death Railway « .

Situated only 2 kilometers South of town, on the bank of the River Kwai Noï, the cemetery occupies the site of Chung Kai, which once was a prisoner of war camp.

This immaculately maintained cemetery attracts visitors, not only to see its peaceful, well-designed landscape, but also to appreciate its tranquility which helps to remind the real carnage of the Death Railway construction.

KHAO POON UNDERGROUND  CAVE TEMPLE

Khao Poon Temple is a unique underground cave temple, composed of easily accessible  9 successive,  peaceful grottos, all of them showing different statues of Buddha. The visit of this very original up-hill temple, with a super  view over the River Kwai valley and mountains, is a must see experience.

JEATH WORLD WAR II MUSEUM

The composed name JEATH stands for Japan, England,  America,  Australia, Thailand and Holland, representing the nationalities of the Prisoners of War (POW’s) who were forced by the Japanese Army to work on the construction of the Death Railway, including the famous Bridge over the River Kwai.

The « open-air » JEATH museum bears witness to the suffering of those who died at that time . This very thoughtfully put together « barrack-style bamboo tent museum »  looks rather authentic. It is a thatched detention hut with cramped, elevated bamboo bunks, with an overall tatty appearance which gives the atmosphere of how it was for the unfortunate POW’s.

The museum contains many pictures taken during the war, original drawings and paintings by prisoners themselves, maps, weapons, newspaper cuttings and many other authentic items given by POW’s who survived, in order to give the visitors not only  a genuine insight into the suffering the soldiers went through, but also to substantiate the museum’s credibility and authenticity.

Photographs

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