Photo Gallery: Kanchanaburi & the Notorious Thailand-Burma Railway

Not far from Bangkok, but feeling like a completely different country, is a small city called Kanchanaburi. Most tourists come to gawk at (and clamor all over) the famous Bridge over the River Kwai, and maybe hike to a waterfall or two. I came to ride the remaining working remnant of the notorious Thailand-Burma Railway, built by Allied POWs and Asian forced labor under the Japanese during World War II. It’s a tragic story, one made poignant by actually visiting the sections where thousands of men died building the railroad in bare feet, with pickaxes and dynamite.

I caught the train north before the first blushes of dawn, riding to the end of the line in tiny Nam Tok. If you ride in the morning, you’ll be the only farang, surrounded by school children in crisp uniforms hopping a ride to school, locals visiting families, and farmers commuting to the day’s work. Fallow fields, sugarcane, and rice paddies stretch out to the mountains as dawn paints the day with promise and farmers wave to you as you chug past. It’s oddly cheery considering the history behind the rail line.

I also visited Hellfire Pass, the museum and memorial walk along a torn up section of the railway. Remnants of tools, metal spikes, and rail ties share the trail with scattered memorials to lost souls by families from as far away as Britain and Australia.

To view my photos of Kanchanaburi and the Thailand-Burma Railway, click on the link below:

Kanchanaburi 2015

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About chronictraveler

Chronic Traveler starts as a dream, one that I thought I had lost, but that has slowly changed into a mission to realize and live that dream every day. In December 2007 I became seriously ill and the doctors did not know what was causing my illness. I had to stop teaching as my life tumbled into a never-ending nightmare of doctors, hospitals and tests. Finally, in May 2008 I was diagnosed with a chronic condition - fibromyalgia. I was only 26 years old at the time. I have had to give up teaching, and now work part-time at a performing arts center as I learn how to manage my condition and improve my quality of life. What helped me through the months of uncertainty and sickness, and continues to inspire me, was a new focus on what truly mattered to me: family, friends, gardening, the arts, and especially travel. I have always fed my soul by traveling, ever since I first stepped off the plane at age 16 in Kathmandu, Nepal to help with an orphanage's building project. Meeting new people and experiencing how they live and how they view the world infuses my life with a richness I was so afraid I would lose when the doctor first said, "You have fibromyalgia". This blog is my story, as I begin to forge a new path. I am embracing my life as it is, with the fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, and learning to do what I love regardless. It may mean I have to go slower and take more naps or breaks! But I am determined to learn how to travel and experience the world, and hopefully what I learn will help others like me who believe their medical condition stands in the way of their travel dreams.
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