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  • Writer's pictureBarrett B.

Kanchanaburi's Dragon Cave & Death Railway: Destinations worth visiting

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

"Estimates suggest that at least 90,000 civilian laborers and 12,000 prisoners of war (primarily British, Australian, and Dutch) died "

If you're looking for something unexpected and completely different than try Kanchanaburi's dragon cave and hike up to the summit one of the most prominent mountains. This amazing World War II city got its claim to fame from the movie the Bridge on the river Kwai and not far away is the World War II remnants of the Burma - Thai Railway that the Japanese built from thousands of POWs and local indigenous people that worked as slave labor during the Japanese occupation in Thailand and Myanmar (Burma).

Kanchanaburi is about 3 hours west of Bangkok and is easily accessible by bus or car. If you feel like taking the historic train, its well worth it although it will take around 5 hours from Bangkok. This city is well known for it's super affordable riverside hotels and long tail boat rides up the river.

Why go to the Dragon Temple & Cave?

▪️Exercise, get a nice hike in to the top with a breathtaking view of the nearby river.

▪️Not far from downtown Kanchanburi

▪️Something completely different compare to other temples - cave - view

▪️Tiger Temple is literally 5 mins by taxi

Next up, The Death Railway. Here's more detailed information on what happened at this place:

In 1943, the Japanese began construction of the Burma-Siam railway, also known as the Death Railway, intending to link Bangkok, Thailand with Rangoon, Burma. The railway was built by Allied prisoners of war (POWs) and Asian civilian labourers and was completed in 1945.

It was a key supply route for the Japanese military during the Burma Campaign in World War II.The railway was built through some of the most mountainous and jungles terrain in the world. The conditions were brutal, and thousands of prisoners and laborers died from disease, malnutrition, and exposure.

The Japanese military guards were known for their brutality, and many prisoners were tortured or executed. The POW camp in Kanchanaburi, Thailand was one of the largest camps along the railway. It was estimated that over 100,000 prisoners were held in the camp at various times during the war. At the height of construction, there were over 60,000 prisoners working on the railway.

The Death Railway was finally completed in 1945, but the war ended before it could be used to transport troops or supplies. The railway was dismantled after the war, but parts of it remain in use today.

Facts not many people know about the Death Railway:

  1. Despite the high death toll, the construction of the Death Railway was completed in just over a year. The railway was used by the Japanese military until the end of the war, but was largely destroyed by Allied bombing raids.

  2. After the war, the railway was partially rebuilt by the British and Thai governments, and is still in use today. The historic section of the railway is a popular tourist attraction, and visitors can take a train ride along the route and visit several historic sites, including the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum and the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.

  3. Estimates suggest that at least 90,000 civilian laborers and 12,000 prisoners of war (primarily British, Australian, and Dutch) died

I have a youtube channel where I focus on adventure and storytelling - Traveling on the Go



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