In the spirit of Throwback Thursday and also of my procrastination, here is a picture of me at the storied Bridge over the River Kwai. It may sound familiar because there is a famous WWII film about it. The film was actually filmed in Sri Lanka, but maybe that’s just because the one in Thailand is actually rather beautiful, which is aesthetically counter to it’s violent past.
During WWII, the Japanese who controlled the area used the railway to bring in prisoners of many different ethnic groups and nationalities all to work together on construction of this bridge. There were British prisoners working alongside Burmese and other laborers from all over Asia. The construction is notorious because while it took only a year, the difficult terrain and disease-laden swampy landscape led it to claim thousands of worker lives.
I found that, like many things in Thailand, it is today surrounded by food carts, restaurants, and several small resorts and hotels. The bridge itself has rail tracks that are maintained, but when I was there the bridge was full of pedestrians and could also be walked across. The river was beautiful and serene. There was a large Chinese temple off to one side of the bridge on the bank too.