A Trip to Kanchanaburi

by Ken

So I’ve been to Kanchanaburi, the famous city by the River Kwai, for 2 days last week.

Bridge across the River Kwai

I felt that Kanchanaburi was a rather small city with a sad atmosphere. For a name that pops up so often in Thai tourism you’d expect a more developed place than that. I don’t know about why it was small and sad too. I think it’s because it’s near the border with Burma and I can’t really think of a Thai city near the border that’s all too developed. The city also seemed to be unable to come past its “wartime” memories. I mean like seriously. There are wartime memorials everywhere. You see the infamous River Kwai bridge. You see the burial place of the Allied soldiers. Then there’s the war museum. All the streets are named after the countries in WW2. Even before WW2 the Burmese and Thai armies trampled over the city countless times. I wouldn’t have enjoyed living in Kanchanaburi during those Ayutthaya times, considering how close to Burma it was. The path from the Three Pagodas Pass, which nearly all Burmese armies use to invade, also leads directly to Kanchanaburi, and because it was a major city in those days no Burmese army was going to leave it unconquered. I wonder how much stress the governor of Kanchanaburi would have had in ancient times.

Before reaching Kanchanaburi, I’d stopped at Nakhon Pathom to visit the Pathom Chedi, which is the tallest and largest pagoda in Thailand. I’d never knew it even existed…xD. Honestly, talk about gigantic..

At Kanchanaburi, the River Kwai bridge was the main spotlight (obviously), but I didn’t really understand why it was such a tourist attraction. I mean, it’s a NEW bridge (the old one from WW2 was blown up during the war) and it just isn’t that special. I did like the view from the bridge though.

 What was the most disappointing of all was the War museum. It was old and disorganized (although what’d you expect remembering that 20 baht entrance fee), and I’m not sure about the validity of the labels of each of the artifacts. I mean, they had “Hitler’s helmet” and “Mussolini’s helmet” right together, along with old typewriters and such. Would the two dictator’s helmets have actually ended up there in the little museum? I doubt it.

Overall, it was an OK trip, and although I wasn’t really impressed with Kanchanaburi, I do like one part of the trip: those people at Nakhon Pathom really know how to cook shrimp. 😀

Lol I really need to work on my blogging style. This post is simply paragraphs of complaint.