journal indo-china 2008

Indo-China 2008 Travel Journal

Kanchanaburi to Bangkok

Oct 24, 2008 Fri
03:00Kanchanaburi to Bangkok
09:35minibus to Bangkok
09:36Do Money Exchange
10:30Jeath war museum
It's a little museum with an access to the bank of Kwai River
10:57 jeath war museum
11:17 tear of statue
11:20 memorial bike
Cost 600b, kind of expensive. It's 1.5 hour and go to 3 places (Khao Poon Cave, Cemetry and the River Kwai Bridge). It's cheaper if you rent your own motorbike and do it yourself.
11:36Khao Poon cave
11:42 demon guards
11:44 khoa poon cave
11:45 demon guardian
11:46 buddha guard
11:48 happy buddha
11:48 offering in khoa poon cave
11:49 buddha and zebras
11:49 sleeph buddha and sleeping nun
11:51 little hermit statue
11:51 green monster
11:53ya cave
11:58kaew room
12:00thape-prasitisopol room
12:01cave exit
12:15 floating party house on river kwai
12:20 memorial grave
12:22 war memorial cemetry
12:27 war cemetery
12:59 floating party house
13:03 kwai floating house
13:04 chinese temple along river kwai
13:09 kwai river bridge
13:11 birdge over river kwai
Like a classic B-movie, it is so bad that it is good.
You see all kinds of curiosities from World War II relics (which you expect) to Miss Thailand wardrobes (which is completely baffling).
13:17Japanese train
13:21 world war ii museum
13:22 antique car
13:23 thai hero
on May 11th, 1987
They were a Chinese family. That explains the curious chaos of the museum.
13:32 elephant battles
13:33 gallery of thai kings
13:45king mangra, namiew sihabooi, king thibo
14:00 king cheung memorial
14:01 china vase
14:03 china buddha
14:09 whater tower
14:16 roof top view of river kwai
14:21 human evolution gallery
14:24 figures of pow
14:24 pow railway builders
not torture equipment
14:32 bombing of river kwai
14:34 bloodbath of river kwai
14:38 japanese imperial army jeep
14:41 museum puppy
14:42 museum lotus
14:46 proverb gallery
14:56 green dragon
15:01 fish eat ants
15:05 stamp museum
15:10 adolf hitler wax statue
15:10 general moyuki yamasmita
15:11 joseph stalin
15:11 royal command of his imperial majesty
15:17miss Thailand gallery
15:18miss Thailand and topaz
What is the relation between Miss Thailand and minerals? I don't know. But I'm sure Miss Thailand is more related to the topic of minerals than World War II.
15:48railway museum
It is the only proper museum in Kanachaburi. It's fair and balanced. It explains the view from both sides. Not only has it described the inhuman treatment of the Allie POWs, it also explained from the point of view of the Japanese.

The POWS in Singapore were moved to the Thailand jungle and were told the condition there would be better. At the very beginning, it was promised as advertised. The POWS were allowed to move freely and they were able to trade freely with the natives. The trains that shipped them there were a bit packed but otherwise everything was fine? until the Japanese guards arrive and rounded them up.

You see, most countries don't put their brightest soldiers into guarding POW camps. So the soldiers guarding Kanachaburi were from the bottom of the barrel. There were hierarchies among the soldiers. The one on top always treated the one on bottom cruelly. And the bottom ranks (i.e. the Korean auxiliary) had to took their frustration on the POWs. That's how the cruelty happened on the first place.

The POWS were divided into different camps and not all the camps were as bad as the other. The survival rate of a camp depends on effectiveness of leadership, water supply, location and type of works.

At the beginning, workload at normal rate, at dry season, not too bad, a couple people died but most survived.

Even during the speedo period, death rate increased a bit but still OK, most POWS survived. But when the wet season came, shit happened....

At the beginning, the treatment of the POWS was not particularly brutal (only individual case). But later on, when pressure mounted on the Japanese officers, brutality multiplied.

Some POWS were killed by the Allied bombs because the Japanese army wouldn't identity where they put the POWS camps.
16:56 thailand burma railway center
16:57 death railway museum
17:10waiting for bus to Bangkok
Goodtime travel
Mini bus from Kanchanaburi to Bangkok Khao San rd.
Every hour from 7:30am to 7:30pm
20:38dinner at black canyon coffee
inside the India Imporium complex (with a big MK restaurant sign)
the staff doesn't speak any English but the menu has enough English and picture
23:59Grande Ville Hotel
In Bangkok, cost 1500B when booked from the Internet (breakfast not included).
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