Saturday, April 17, 2010
Bridge on the River Kwai
I have been so excited to see this rail bridge for a while, though I knew nothing about it. Our last day on the Orient Express, we got to get off of the train and watch it cross the Bridge on the River Kwai. It was beautiful. We then boarded a boat a rode down the river while a local historian told us about the bridge. It is part of a railway that connected Thailand to Burma (officially called the Union of Myanmar) that was built by the Japanese in World War 2. Japan had control of both of these countries at the time and needed to be able to get goods and weapons back and forth so they built the railway. They used prisoners of war to build it and many of them died due to horrible working conditions during the process. The original bridge was wooden and was bombed by the U.S. during the war. The Japanese then rebuilt a steel bridge that was also bombed. The steel bridge was reconstructed after the bombing and that is what we see today. We also visited the cemetary where all of the men were buried who worked on building the railway.