KANCHANABURI 1 – Death Railway – Thailand

This programme looks almost entirely at the appalling World War II history of this area where the Japanese worked well over 100,000 men to death building their military railway towards Burma. The Oscar-winning film Bridge on the River Kwai was about the building of the bridge at Kanchanaburi. The War Cemetery – two excellent but deeply moving museums in the area – a journey on the route of the Death Railway northwards towards Hellfire Pass is unforgettable. Hellfire Pass itself was dug by hand by Allied soldiers – mainly Australian and British driving the railway through rock 75 metres long, 25 metres high and fifteen metres wide. The collection of memorials in this area mean those atrocities are the equivalent of an “Auschwitz of the Far East War”. This guide runs to 20 minutes. If you haven’t already read the Booked Prize winner this year – the Narrow Road to the Deep North – about the Japanese inhumanity building the Burma Railway then it would be a deeply saddening addition to your trip.