14th – Kanchanaburi and the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II
Kanchanaburi lies 123 km west of Bangkok and is widely know for its bridge on river Kwai (part of Death railway built during WWII).
Why was Kanchanaburi a destination for us? Me and my boyfriend, we love nature and animals so it was a dream for us to see a Chang (means an elephant – one of few words I know in Thai). I’ve been wondering if riding is good for elephants and I found out that the answer is NO. So we decided to find a place where these magnificent animals are treated with all respect they deserve. The best what we could find outside of Chang Mai was Elephant Nature Park next to Kanchanaburi.
The plan was to fly from Phuket to Bangkok and from there take a train (for absolute Thai experience) sleep over in Kanchanaburi, spend next day with elephants and then come back to Bangkok for our last 2 nights.
The way from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi:
From Bankok to Kanchanaburi you can take minibus and train, I love trains so we immediately decided to take it. Unfortunately, the drawback of this mean of transport was that it’s only twice a day and departs from a small train station. From the airport, we took 3 different taxis (if they don’t know where to take you still they may to take you and leave you somewhere…) We were taken by our first taxi to a different station (from where no train departs to Kanchanaburi) From information desk of this station, we received a piece of paper where was written name/address of our small station (find a photo in gallery). The second taxi driver after seeing this card perfectly took us to the station. Although trains of Thailand may be very delayed we were even more delayed and we missed the train. The only option left was taking the mini bus. So another taxi to the bus station and a then quite comfortable trip to Kanchanaburi for 100 Baht p.p. in a minibus.
After 2 hour journey, we reached bus station in Kanchanaburi, than we took tuk-tuk to the hotel. You can not be in Kanchanaburi and not see the bridge, so there wasn’t time for leisure and after quick showers, we went to see the bridge. We were very surprised and curious when we saw that actually is something happening, without any second thoughts, we bought some shish from a food stall and took place in the audience. After 1,5 h of waiting the show begun and it was the show from the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
The show was stunning, well organized with colors, fires and nicely presenting all the sites of the war and the history of the Bridge on River Kwai. Although show was narrated in Thai; light, special effects (fire, bombs), sound, music and actors could keep it entertaining for non-thai speaking spectators. I didn’t come to Kanchanaburi by train but I had my train dream fulfilled with the star of the show, old steam locomotive which crossed the river on the bridge.