The major landmark is the black iron bridge spanning the Khwae Yai river which was brought from Java by the Japanese army and reasssembled under Japanese supervision by Allied prisoner-of-war (POW) labour as part of the ‘Death Railway’ intended to link Thailand with Myanmar.
Still in use today, bridge was the target ol frequent Allied bombing raids during 1945, and was rebuilt after the war ended.
The bridge on the River Kwai is part of the “Death Railway,” so called due to the number of Thai labourers as well as around 7,000 British, 3,000 Australians and many other Allied prisoners of war from the Netherlands, USA, New Zealand and other nations who died during its construction from 1942 to 1943.
The World War II railroad was engineered by Japan in order to create a military link between Thailand and Burma. The brutal use of more than 60,000 Allied prisoners of war forced to work on the railway is considered to be one of the worst atrocities of the Second World War.
The Bridge is now surrounded by cafes, shops and steam locomotives on static display. To learn more about the railway many visit the Thailand-Burma Railway Museum and the JEATH War Museum. Visitors also walk the trail through Hellfire Pass, a narrow gorge cut through solid rock as part of the Death Railway.
Nightlights During the November Festival Kanchanaburi
ANZAC Day (Australian & New Zealand Army Corps) on April 25th each year is when Kanchanaburi becomes the destination of a pilgrimage by thousands of all ages paying their respects to the fallen. Attending these ceremonies is a very sobering, solemn but uplifting experience especially for Australians and New Zealanders on their most important national memorial day.