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“A MUST SEE, it took around 2.5hrs to get to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok. I stayed at Sams River Raft House on The River eo”

Thai-Burma Railway (Death Railway)
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Private Tour: Thai Burma Death Railway Bridge on the River Kwai Tour from...
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Private Tour: Floating Markets and Bridge on River Kwai Day Trip from Bangkok
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Bridge on the River Kwai and Thailand-Burma Railway Tour
Reviewed May 13, 2013

This is a must see for any visitor to Thailand. The centre provides headphones for you to experience the Hell Fire Pass with talks from ex prisoners of war who were here working on the railway. It is a very emotional & moving place. I had to take some time away from my partner as I was so moved & upset by the experience. I had an uncle who was here during the war & he didn't speak about his experiences here but to see what the Japanese soldiers did to these prisoners really moved me. The walk along the railway is quite haunting & it is difficult to believe men worked this way with few tools.
This was a second visit for me, it takes around 2.5 hours to get to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok. I stayed in a floating house on The River Kwai ( Sams River Raft House ) in Kanchanaburi, I rented a motorbike to do the trip to Hell Fire Pass from Kanchanaburi which is around 90km each way. The motorbike is by far the best / cheapest option as otherwise you are visiting with everyone else who has arrived by bus. The motorbike allowed me to set off early & travel back late, something I couldn't do if going by bus from Kanchanaburi.
As I said earlier, this is a must see for any Thailand visitor.

1  Thank NawtyStupot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 11, 2013

The Railway known as the Death Valley Railway (because so many POW's and Asian Conscripts died building it for Japanese Forces in the Second World War), runs from Nong Pla Duck Junction (where it leaves the Bangkok to Hua Hin line) up to Namtok. After that the line ends as the remaining line of the original 600 km that went into Burma, was torn up by the British when the war ended.

The Thai Government brought the line back into service in 1957 and the line serves villages and towns for locals. Much of the track is still original although in the last couple of years a lot of the original wooden sleepers have been replaced with concrete and stations have been updated. The Bridge on the Kwai has been made safe for visitors with steel plates to walk on rather than having to hop from sleeper to sleeper as it was originally. Many parts of the track (especially around Krasae Cave) are still the original rickety wooden construction, but how long this will survive is anyone's guess.

Despite the updates, this is still an amazing piece of track to visit. There is a tourist service that runs on Saturdays, but you can do your own journey using the regular service. Catch the number 257 early train (7:50 am) to Namtock from the Thonburi Station in Bangkok (aka Bangkok Noi Station). It will cost 100 baht whether you go one station, or all of them to Namtok. The train won't stay on time (I've never known it to do so), but it should arrive at Namtok around 12:35 pm. If you have to go back to Bangkok on the same day, then you'll have to stay with the train as it leaves for Bangkok at 12:55 pm. It is still worth it, if you only have one day to have a peak at this railway.

If you have more time, then you can catch a train at about 3:00 pm (again 100 baht) which will take you into Kanchanaburi where you can find some reasonably priced accommodation and maybe plan a few days visiting the other visitor attraction around Kanchanaburi.

The ride will take you over the famous Kwai Bridge, and past Krasae Cave (where the rickety wooden viaduct is).

The cave holds a golden Buddha statue. I was very honoured a couple of years ago to be introduced by a Thai resident, to an old man in the little village here, who was a child during the war years in Krasae. She interpreted a story for me. His family excavated the cave after the war and placed the Golden Buddha into it as protection. During the construction of the railway, a Japanese Guard had been placed into the cave on overnight guard duty.(a good vantage point for shooting anyone who tried to sabotage the railway. Apparently, in the morning, the villagers found a huge snake in his place, it was very expanded having eaten the Japanese Soldier in entirety. All it left behind was his rifle. The old man chuckled at this point. While the story sounds a bit far-fetched, The largest official Reticulated Python known today is 25 feet long. Unofficial reports have been recorded as large as 44 feet long. Large Reticulated Pythons like to live in caves and this would have been virgin jungle, full of overgrown teak, vines and bamboo - the wildlife would have included elephants, tigers and many primates. While this is largely all gone now, in those days, it would have been perfect territory for large snakes.

If you manage to visit Krasae Cave and the village (there's a few touristy stalls here), have a close look at the track - the narrow ones between the one's used today. There are holes in the side of the track - left over shrapnel holes when the British bombed the track. Not many visitors know about them, but the locals do.

The ride is scenic in many places. If you get on the train, see if you can go to the end of the train (furthest from the engine) ... sometimes it is open at the back and you can get a first class view of the track for your camera shots.

There are snacks and drinks sold on the train (about double the cost of buying them off the train) by local vendors who get on and off at different stops. The food is fresh made, but won't be very hot - be selective in what you buy. Bring plenty of water with you - the train is third-class, often the seats are wooden, depending on the carriage you choose, while there are fans in the carriages, it gets very warm and can go above 40c on a hot day.

Oh, and The Kwai River was actually a much bigger river than the one that the Bridge is built upon. Hollywood got it wrong when they made the "Bridge over the River Kwai," film... the river was actually the Kwae Yai River. Since tourism is easier to promote... Thailand has renamed the river to the Kwai Noi - so people don't get confused!

2  Thank Teresa_Nottingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2013

A reminder to the atrocities by the Japanese forces on the POWs in creating the railway track during WWII, its named 'Death Railway' , since more than 1,00,000 people died from torture / malnutrition / disease in laying down the railway. We took this train journey, which passes through the famous 'Bridge on the River Kwai' across the Wang Pho Viaduct. Thrilling experience and a must for anyone interested in the WWII history.

Thank RayM1703
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2013

Full marks to the staff at Thai-Burma Railway Museum for organising a most wonderful experience.
Terry,Rod and Andrew, all Australians living in Thailand, are dedicated to preserving the memory of those involved with the railway.
Our multi family discovery tour of the railway and sites where our relatives suffered was handled with experience ,discretion and empathy of our needs.
They organised the whole tour at a very reasonable price for the personal service and wealth of experience.
If you are considering a like pilgrimage these people are fantastic.

2  Thank kenzo249
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2013

Again sad to know so many people lost lives to build but glad I went to see for myself the construction of it all the time it took .
But again it was a sad place for me but so happy I went

Thank shaz381
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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