Saturday, December 3, 2011

Kwai-t a nice bridge

After the unpleasantness of the floating market, I needed to lift my spirits somehow - which meant a trip to Kanchanaburi to see the iconic landmark Bridge 277 of the Burma Railway, constructed by slave labour, POWs and Alec Guinness under the occupying Japanese during the Second World War.

Or the Death Railway, as the more sensationalist history books like to call it. Or the Bridge on the River Kwai, as tour companies are only too happy to inaccurately call it.

River Kwai Bridge,

Technically, it's about 0.2 kilometres from this viewpoint.
This kind of sloppiness would never have been tolerated under the Japanese

A slightly too jolly choo-choo train spoils the sombre atmosphere.
It probably has a face and everything

I wonder if those forced Siamese labourers knew their efforts were helping the future of their country's tourism industry? Perhaps it would have been some small comfort

Not as stormy as I would have liked for dramatic photo purposes (where are you when I need you, typhoons?) but at least there were a few clouds

I didn't get any kind of bad vibes from this place at all, it was extremely pleasant.
I'd be a rubbish medium

I'm not totally sure how appropriate it is to display Japanese and other Axis flags here.

I know it's not exactly like hoisting one at Pearl Harbour, or building an animatronic Adolf Hitler outside the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum that samples the the Ten Thirteen Productions 'I made this' jingle from the end of The X-Files, but it's still a bit weird

A shrewd businessman with an irrelevant leopard cub charged people to feed milk to the over-fed creature. This seemed to go on much longer than the animal's bladder could realistically handle, before he preumably took it into the back room to make it throw up and come back for more (or is that too cynical?)

I wasn't going to pay 100 baht to this shady guy.
I'd be crawling all over massive tigers in about an hour's time anyway...

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