02 Dic Kanchanaburi
When I first decided to go to Kanchanaburi, I did it because I wanted to see the Bridge on the river Kwai. By that moment I was in Chiang Rai, so I had to take a couple of buses to get there.
First, I was taking the greenbus back to Chiang Mai, it took around 3h and a half. And after that, from the same train station, I was taking a night bus to Kanchanaburi, it left from Chiang Mai at 8h and we arrived in Kanchanburi next day around 7h.
So I decided to go to visit the Erawan falls in the morning, as there was a bus going there and leaving at 8:50h. It takes 1 hour to arrive to the Erawan national park by bus, but they drive you till the beginning of the trail to the waterfalls.
Once you arrive into the park, you have to pay 300B for entering the National Park. It is open from 7 to 16:30h, and the last bus to go back to Kanchanaburi is at 16h. It is better to go early, as there are quite a lot of tourists, and preferably go during the week days.
There are some places where to get some food and drinks, as food is strictly forbidden beyond the 2nd tier. Visitors must pay a 20 THB fee per bottle of any drinks which is refunded when the bottles are returned.
The waterfall has 7 levels, with nice natural pools where it is allowed to swim. It is really easy to go until level 3, just remember that you have to leave a deposit of 20B per bottle on the second level if you want to keep going up. They will just write down how many bottles you have with you, and when you come back, you have to show them that you still have the same bottles, and they will give you back the money. In level one and two, you can find some picnic areas.
As I arrived early in the morning, I took the bus back at 14h, and I had a late lunch in one of the restaurants over the river. The same bus, can stop a 10 minuts walk from the Bridge on the river Kwai if you ask.
Once in the bridge, you will see that there’s a lot of people, this is the most touristic place on Kanchanaburi. You can walk over the train rails to cross the bridge, and then enjoy some food or a drink in one of the restaurants facing the river.
Brief history of the Death Railway
In 1942 the Japanese, who had invaded Thailand and Myanmar (Burma), were building a railway line that would link the two countries to carry weapons and vehicles from Bangkok to Yangon so they can stay strong in Burma. To build the 415 km of this difficult railway line, that should go through the middle of a jungle unexplored, the Japanese used allied prisoners of war (known as POWs, its acronym in English).
An estimated 180,000 Asian laborers and 60,000 allied prisoners worked on the construction of the railway line in a terrible and inhuman conditions. There were two groups, one working from Burma and another that made it from Thailand. The main camp the group of workers was in Kanchanaburi in Thailand. 90,000 Asian laborers and 16,000 allied prisoners died during the year and a half that lasted the construction. Therefore, the rest of the train line is known as the Death Railway.
You can visit the Don – Rak War Cemetery, where the allied prisoners are buried, I didn’t have time to do it, but I still could see the place from the bus.
This day I had some diner in the guesthouse and went early to bed, as I had an early bus to catch the next day, to Sangkhlaburi.
But I will tell you about in the next post!! You can read about the guesthouse I stayed in Canaan Guesthouse.
Have a lovely day!! 🙂