Nowhere is more emblematic of the sufferings endured by the Allied PoWs and other Asian labour slaves co-opted by the Japanese into constructing the Siam–Burma Railroad than the bridge over the Kwai Yai River, just north of Kanchanaburi town. Built of timber and bamboo, the original structure (the subject of David Lean’s 1957 epic, The Bridge on the River Kwai) was destroyed and replaced with a steel and concrete one after the war. But the ordeal of those who erected it is vividly preserved in the nearby Thailand– Burma Railway Centre. We also recommend TransIndus travellers catch a train across the bridge to visit the poignant Hell Fire Pass Museum, on the site of an infamous cutting in the jungle where 69 men were beaten to death and hundreds more died of disease and starvation.

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