Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Bridge Over the River Kwai

We're currently staying in Karanchaburi, spending a few days at the Sugar Cane 2 Guest House right on the banks of the River Kwai. Yes that river, that bridge, that defiantly whisteld World War 2, that classic British film of British stiff-upper-lipness starring Alec Guinness.

The area is very beautiful which belies the terrible past it bore witness too as the Japanese forced thousands of POWs and tens of thousands of South Asian labourers to hand-build a railway line from Thailand to Burma - the infamous Death Railway. Visiting the huge POW cemeteries, of those died building the line through malaria-infested mountain jungle using picks, shovels, dynamite and wheelbarrows is very moving. Even more so, if knowing that many thousands more forced labourers from South East Asia were buried in unmarked graves, any fixed place for the memories of them being lost forever.

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