Saturday, January 25, 2014

Bridge on the River Kwai

After a leisurely lunch on a patio next to the River Kwai we visited a military cemetery, Kachanaburi, where over 9000 allied troops from World War 2 are buried and memorialized. We've all seen the movie. Here's how OAT describes it: in the summer of 1942 the Allies were rapidly capturing the sea routes to Burma, forcing the Japanese to develop an overland supply route from the East to support their troops. The Japanese decided that the most viable option was a railway that followed the River Kwai through the dense jungle in either side. About 200,000 Asian laborer sand 61,000 Allied prisoners of war built this 260 mile stretch of rail in abominable conditions. For every half mike of track laid, 38 POWs perished.

We rode a funky little tram across this bridge and out into the jungle beyond.

I didn't take photos out here, we were moving too fast, but it was a birders paradise. Huge flocks of white egrets waded in rice paddies. Large cranes waded nearby. There were big red-headed woodpeckers and many other tropical birds I couldn't identify. Beautiful!

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