The Bridge Over the River Kwai is one of the most well known bridges in Asia, however it has a very sad history…
During World War II the Japanese used prisoners of war and labourers to build the Burma-Siam Railway Line, but during the construction an estimated 12,000+ Prisoners of War & over 90,000 labourers died as a result of disease, bad hygiene, lack of medical equipment and ill-treatment.
The Bridge that now exists in Kanchanaburi is a restored version, the centre of the original was destroyed in 1945.
Although only part of it is original, it is still a good experience and worth visiting.
When & How To Visit:
At certain points in the day this bridge is full of visitors, so to avoid the crowds it is best to go early in the day. It is open 24hours a day, and as it is on the River Kwai (obviously) arriving early for sunrise is a beautiful time of day to see it.
Several times a day trains use this bridge, we couldn’t work out what the exact times were, but we spent a couple of hours here and got to see one cross over.
Another good time of day to go is in the evening, watching the sunset from the bridge is very beautiful and enables you to get some great photos.
It is easy to get to the bridge from either side of the river, and there is no charge to go on it.
We arrived on the south side of the bridge, where there is less people. This enabled us to get many photos with less people in the shot, and then walked all the way across and had drinks on the other side looking back across the river and bridge.
The Bridge Over the River Kwai is in Kanchanaburi which is around 2-3 hours west of Bangkok.
There are various ways to get there:
Bus – You can take a bus from either Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) and Morchit Bus Terminal in Bangkok. There are MANY that go to Kanchanaburi each day starting around 4am and leaving every hour. Price is around 150baht.
Taxi – Taking a Private Taxi or using Grab (the Uber of Thailand) is another option, this is a lot more convenient but will cost a lot more, around 2000-3000baht.
Train – This is also an option, but not the easiest choice. You can start your journey from the west of Bangkok, Thonburi Station, but there are only 2 scheduled trains a day and getting to Thonburi Station takes a lot more effort. Price is around 100baht.