Friday 6 March 2015

for Hellfire Pass,Thai-Burma Railway Museum & War Cemetery & the Bridge over River Kwai

An emotional day as we headed off to visit Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum and the site of Hellfire Pass. 

The museum was built and is maintained by the Australian Government and opened in 1998 and is dedicated to the Allied Prisoners of War and Asian Labourers who suffered and died at Hellfire Pass and other parts of the region during WWII. For more information on how the museum came about click here.

We listened to some audio as we wandered towards the site.

Once we spent some time wandering around the site, which I found quite emotional, I decided to take a different track back to the museum. One that the POWs would have taken back to their campsites, although I am pretty sure they didn't have stairs, to try and get a feel for the gruelling conditions that would have been faced with. 

We then spent time in the museum, reading timelines and seeing artefacts from the times. To be honest my knowledge of the events that unfolded in the area was somewhat limited, so I found a lot of the pictures and information quite confronting. 

From there we drove to Nam Tok train station to catch the train from there to Tha Kilane station. Raht had warned us that although the train was meant to leave at 1pm, it was often delayed....and that it was. 

We killed some time by checking out some nearby waterfalls and markets

It was 2:45pm before the train left, which put us way behind schedule and meant our time at the next few stops was limited. 

View from the train of the River Kwai

We only had about 45 minutes to look through the Thai-Burma Railway Museum and again it was an emotional and overwhelming walk through, reading the facts, stories and recounts from the soldiers that had been there during the war.

I wanted to go over to the War Cemetery to pay my respects to the 2802 Australian Soldiers that are buried there. I walked down as many rows as I could in the time I had allocated and whispered each one of their names as I went. 

From there we took ricksaws to the Bridge over River Kwai and I seemed to chose the most unfit driver of all! 

We had a little time to watch the sunset and enjoy the atmosphere, including the cutest little group of kids who were busking, before it started raining. We then caught a minivan to a restaurant near our motel.

Today was definitely an exhaustive day both emotionally and mentally but definitely another highlight of the trip.

Linking up with Grace from With Some Grace for FYBF and A Brit and a Southerner for Weekend Wanderlust.

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