The Kanchantaburi War Cemetery is located in the heart of the town of Kanchanaburi, Thailand along Main Street. The cemetery is the final resting place for 6,982 prisoners of war that died in the construction of the Thailand-Burma Railway constructed during World War 2 in support of the Japanese War Effort in the region. The POWs are mostly Australian, British and Dutch and the Americans that were originally buried there have long since been repatriated. The cemetery stands as a memorial to those fallen in this gruesome campaign of the Second World War.
The Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum was built and is maintained by the Australian government. The Museum opened in 1998 and is located just above Hellfire Pass (Konyu Cutting) and is dedicated to the Allied prisoners of war and Asian laborers who suffered and died at Hellfire Pass and elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region during World War II.
Hellfire Pass is part of the Thailand–Burma Railway, a 415 kilometers (258 mi) railway between Ban Pong, Thailand, and Thanbyuzayat, Burma, built by the Empire of Japan in 1943, to support its forces in the Burma campaign of World War II. The conditions of the Prisoners and Asian laborers working on the railway were extreme and many died. But the conditions in the Hellfire Pass area were the harshest, with much rock to cut by hand and some explosives. It is estimated that 90,000 of the Asian workers died and 12,621 Allied POWs died during the construction of the railway. The POWs who died included 6,904 British, 2,802 Australians, 2,782 Dutch, and 133 Americans soldiers.
It is reported that as many as 700 prisoners died in the Hellfire Pass area alone. The area was not big but the work was treacherous and physically grueling. Also some 70 prisoners were reported to be beaten to death.
Ayutthaya was once a great kingdom that extended right across Northern Thailand and encompassed the whole of the land of the million elephants, which today covers Laos and part of Cambodia, Myanmar and Malaysia. The city was founded in 1351 by King Ramathibodi I (U-Tong), when he turned an existing settlement into what was to become the ancient capital of Siam. During its history, the Kingdom was ruled by 33 kings, who, unlike the kings from the neighboring Kingdom of Sukhothai, had absolute rule, were declared devaraja (god-king) and considered to be the earthly incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.
The photos and videos below are to give you a taste of the Ancient City of Ayutthaya to help you decide to visit on your trip to Thailand.
Tiger Temple, or Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, a Buddhist Temple in western Thailand, about 38 km northwest of Kanchanaburi, was established in 1994 as a forest temple and sanctuary for wild animals. There are many animals in the sanctuary but the most notable are Asian tigers. There is almost 150 tigers in the sanctuary. The tigers can also be touched by visitors if you desire. This takes place in mod day when the tigers are quite tired and want to nap. This makes it safe but always be careful and listen to the tiger handlers. There is a skywalk built above the tiger enclosures which I highly recommend you seek out for you can see that many of the tigers have quite large enclosures to live out their lives.
The animals are free roaming within the sanctuary with the exception of the tigers, which are tame enough to guided around the sanctuary on strong leashes. The other animals in the sanctuary include buffalo, deer, wild boar and others. There are no cages for these animals but they are quite tame and well cared for.
Other animals in the Sanctuary:
There are many floating markets throughout Thailand, many within a couple of hours drive of Bangkok. There are colorfully clad merchants at these lively markets paddling their goods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, along congested canals in sturdy canoes to sell to shoppers on the banks. These markets are busy with lots of chatter and activity. Bargaining is common at these markets but don’t expect to get the price down more than 10 percent. Many of the floating markets are open only weekends, so plan your trip accordingly. For a history of Floating Markets in Thailand click here...
The most famous of the floating markets is Damnoen Saduak and is located about 100 kilometers southwest of Bangkok. Damnoen Saduak is actually the name of the canal dug in the reign of King Rama IV (mid 1800’s). The canal was constructed to connect the Taachin River in Samutsakorn Province and Maeklong River in Samutsongkram Province together and allow for easier transport of goods along the waterways .
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market has been developed primarily for foreign tourists to get a taste of the floating market culture in a short period of time. The market is open 7 days a week, making it more convenient for the tourist who are not on a normal work week. In this market the roles of sellers and buyers have been reversed where the tourists are giving a boat tour and most of the vendors are along the edge of the canals of the city. This buzzing market is best ti visit in the early morning before the crowds arrive and the heat of the day builds up.
I only recently realized that I had not posted my photos from my trip this year to Khao Kitchakut and the Buddha Footprint. I understand that three visits gives you good luck but I think the real luck comes from three consecutive years. But maybe I will get partial luck.
The summit of Khao Kitchakut is visited by thousands of Thais and a few foreigners to pay respect to Buddha. The area of the footprint is within a National park and is only open for this retreat 3 months out of the year. The people on the trail are friendly and it is always a nice experience. It is fun to take photos as well... :)
I decided to show you photos from all my trips in this posting. Kind of a payment for forgetting to post earlier, hope you enjoy.
View Trip to the Buddha Footprint at Khao Kitchakud in a larger map
Many of the destinations in Central Thailand is dense green jungle with spots of civilization here and there to make things interesting. Click here to view a list of Articles about Destinations in Central Thailand.
Bangkok's 9 Royal Temples
Bangkok Must Sees
Exploring Thailand's Nature
Islands of the Thai Gulf
Thailand's Royal Palaces
Thailand and World War 2
Explore Chiang Rai
Explore Chiang Mai