Waterfalls and war history
Set astride the calming River Khwae, Kanchanaburi is best known for the “Death Railway” built by Allied prisoners of war and Asian conscripted labourers under Japanese command during the Second World War. Wade deeper into this enormous province to hit waterfalls, caves, ruins, temples, lakes and jungle. For history and natural beauty, Kanchanaburi packs a punch.
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Inspired by the 1950s novel-turned-film, The Bridge Over the River Kwai, Western travellers began flocking here decades ago to pay respects to the thousands of Australian, British, Dutch and other Allied POWs, and many more Asian labourers, who died while being forced to work on the Thai-Burma military supply railway from 1942-45. You can still ride part of the scenic railway and learn about the horrors of its construction at a raft of museums and memorials.
Centuries before the Japanese Imperial Army occupied the area, the laterite sanctuary of Prasat Mueang Singh was built along the western rim of the Khmer empire and can still be hit as a day trip. King Rama I later founded Kanchanaburi as a front line of defence against potential Burmese invaders. Many residents trace their roots to Chinese immigrants who built attractive Sino-European houses that have been preserved and featured along the Pak Prak heritage ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 1,200 words.)