While waiting for my Vietnam and Cambodian visas to come thru, I decided to take a quick trip to the town of Kanchanburi to see the famous bridge over the river Kwai that inspired the movie of the same name. Of course it’s not the actual bridge of the movie…first, the movie was shot in Sri Lanka, and second, the original one was destroyed during the course of WWII. Still, it was something to do to kill a few days. I booked the trip thru one of the Khao San Road guest houses, and got exactly what I paid for. 🙂

The first day we were picked up from our guest houses at about 7:00 am and drove for three hours or so. We stopped at an allied war cemetery to pay our respects to the dead who fought in this area during WWII. I was surprised to see how well it had been kept up by the locals. It was just as well manicured as Arlington in Washington DC. After the cemetery we boarded bamboo rafts for a leisurely cruise down the river to see the bridge from underneath. After lunch (cheap pad Thai) we went on a cheesy elephant ride, and then got dropped off at a local waterfall to go swimming for an hour or so. Before heading to our guest house for the evening we stopped by “Tiger Cave” which was a dead cave filled with Buddhist relics and statues. The guest house was actually the highlight of the evening…we had our choice of staying in tree houses, or floating rooms on barges. It was a really nice area and they had kayaks, and a flying fox for us to play on. The food was pretty decent, and the cheap beer made it easy to get to know everyone else staying there.

The 2nd day was a great day of hiking and swimming in and around the Erawan waterfall. This is one of the most spectacular waterfalls I’ve seen on this trip so far. All together it’s made up of 7 tiers, with a trail going up beside them to the top. A guy on the trip and I decided that it would be more fun if we actually climbed up the waterfalls instead of using the trail, so we climbed in and started heading up. It was a blast, and we even got used to the cold water after a few minutes…we never did get used to the fish that kept nibbling at any bit of exposed skin though.

Our final day was dedicated to seeing the remnants of the old death railway cutouts that the allied POWs had to carve out. We took the local train over the Kwai river bridge to Kanchanburi where we boarded the bus to head back to Bangkok. I had dinner with Megan that night, and we figured we’d run into each other again in Cambodia in a day or so.


About The Author

Henry has spent three winters living in Antarctica which funded his early explorations and adventures around the world. Now he holds down a full time job in Denver, CO and continues to make travel a priority in his life, both internationally, and on weekend warrior type trips.

One Response

  1. Ron McLendon

    I remember the movie well. It was one of the first movies my dad and I went to see together. This being the 50th anniversary of the movie, I’d love to go to Kanchanburi and actually see the bridge.


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