Thailand’s Kanchanaburi province is home to the famous Bridge on the River Kwai and the beginning of the Thai-Burma Death Railway, both poignant reminders of the thousands of POWs and forced laborers who lost their lives during World War II.
Made famous by the 1957 David Lean movie of the same name, the building of the bridge in 1943 was one part of a huge Japanese wartime project to link Thai and Burmese railway lines and create a direct route from Bangkok.
Due to illness, starvation and neglect, thousands of people lost their lives building the bridge and railway – you can visit the graves of nearly 7,000 POWs at the nearby Kanchanaburi War Cemetery. Parts of the original bridge are now displayed in the War Museum here. You can walk along the restored railway bridge on foot or take a train specifically for tourists.
The Bridge on the River Kwai is in Kanchanaburi about 80 miles (130 km) west of Bangkok. Tours often depart directly from Kanchanaburi or from Bangkok Noi Railway Station.