Kanchanaburi, Whisper of the War


1957, David Lean directed a movie that won 7 Oscars. “The Bridge on the River Kwai” – The real suffocation and sorrow is further beyond the movie. Back in WW II, when The Indian Ocean was too dangerous for Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) to transfer their war supplies, making the railway through Thai-Burmese Jungle was the only option left.

“The Bridge Over Kwai River” seems to be the most well-known part of the over 400 Km. railway. The bridge was build 11parts with the curve bars beside the railway. But the 4th., 5th. and 6th. parts were bombed and be replaced by 2 new parts with the square bars beside the railway.

Actually The Thai-Burmese railway needs 5 years of construction but at that moment IJA planned to finish it in 16 months with was finally reduced to 12 months. So they had to make the railway as straight as possible! Even though they had to cut the mountain. ..(mostly) BY HANDS!

Cutting through the mountain was a 24/7 job. At night the place were lighten up with torches and lamps which made the atmosphere look like the gate to hell.
And that came the name “Hell Fire Pass”

Just right in the middle of Hell Fire Pass standing a tree. The tree that disable the pass for being a railway forever. With the open heart, you may hear the tree and every grains of earth below whisper ..
..the pass is not for mankind..

Making the cliff side railway was another hell mission.

Making the Thai-Burmese railway sacrificed almost 100,000 lives from England, Holland, Australia, Malaysia, India, New Zealand, Canada, Burma, Singapore, Tamil, Korea, Japan and Thailand. Someone said the number of the dead is as much as the sleepers from Thailand to Burma

Every November, there’s a peace festival in Kanchanaburi. Be there to hear the whisper of the war by yourself.

This is my first time writing in English, I’m so sorry that I can’t explain how I suffered while I took these pictures.


written by nicknopporn on 2010-09-23 #places #historical #landmark #location #thailand #kanchanaburi #world-war-ii


  1. nicknopporn
    nicknopporn ·

    Thank you for your time, for more pictures and story of Kanchanaburi; please visit my lomohome or my facebook. www.facebook.com/nicknopporn ^_^

  2. nicknopporn
    nicknopporn ·

    *Correction* USA, Laos and Vietnam also lost their people in Thai-Burma railway construction too.
    Sorry for incomplete information -_-'

  3. kokakoo
    kokakoo ·


  4. plump_bisquit
    plump_bisquit ·

    it's an amazing article with great pictures and a very interesting historical background!

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