Inside This Kwai-Ayutthaya Log
PRELUDE
Absolutely nothing.

No checking out of details, information or whatsoever as I embarked for this trip.

Why bother to read up and get stocked up with the details before reaching the destination when you are going to explore the virgin land?

At most, just the fact sheet details (i.e.: the climate and "do's","don't's") are deemed enough for precautionary purpose. (Which I did not read up at all! except was told to bring along my insects repellent)
LOST IN CONNECTION!
This was the first scary moment I had when we first landed.

I still cannot figure out how to set the roaming connection on my ipaq, my multi-functional kit.

All I did was played around with the settings and got itself connected by itself.

It occurred quite a few times, at the airport, on the way to Kanchanaburi, while in Ayutthaya.
THE TOUR GUIDE
The guide is the essential part of any tour.

The performance of the guide will determined whether the tour will be one to remember or to be forgotten.

I am glad to say this guide of this trip is not different from other guides of other trips - knowledgeable, witty and humorous.

While on our way to the "Floating Market", Uncle Bu, our local guide unselfishly shared with us tips, information on the local culture and etc. (included some interesting facts on medicine, remedies and etc)
 
 

WHERE IS THE FLOATING MARKET?
This was probably the only major attraction I had not been to while in the Bangkok vicinity.

 

It was quite a long boat journey from the pier (at one stage, I thought we might gonna miss the buzz as we cruised along the narrow stream flanked by residences on both sides).

 

But hey! Here we are at the renowned floating market, probably one of its kind at this part of the world.

Battle won..

I certainly hope the photographer (in the bottom left corner of the picture) don't blame me for ruing one of his shot.

All I did was to block my face from being shot thus ruined his potential customer's intention to buy one of his souvenir plate.

But fair enough as l took his too.
 
PHRA PATHOM CHEDI at NAKHON PATHOM

From the floating market, we arrived at Phra Pathom Chedi.
 

This chedi is the biggest and largest religious pagoda in the world, built in the 6th century.

 

If l remembered correctly as told by the guide, it was constructed by a king to atone his sin for killing both his natural and foster parents.

 

(MouseOver effect: the Buddha statue housed inside the temple building in front the pagoda.)

 

KANCHANABURI & RIVER KWAI

River Kwai Bridge and the "death railway"
 

This infamous railway was built to link up for the Japanese army to launch their attacks to India from South East Asia during the WW II.

 

Many POWs were being used as labourers during the construction of the railway.

 

Due to harsh working conditions, many of these captives died during the construction.

 

However, the bridge we see today at River Kwai is not the real thing - the real McCoy was destroyed during the British air strike during the war.

 

The current bridge (still in service) being built by the Thai government to lure in the tourists' revenue.

took this picture before boarding the train
Not your typical MRT train seen in Singapore, pretty bumpy ride that brought us to "Thakilen", from where we proceed to the bridge. River Kwai, as how it looks like, as the train ride cruised along the stretch. What a relief, as we finally alighted at "Thakilen" station.

 

The stone is located at one end of the River Kwai bridge that informed the visitors the length and history of the bridge.

Visitors are allowed to walk along the tracks to view the scenery.

This is the replacement bridge built by the Thai government The air strike by the British during the WW2 had virtually left nothing behind Shot this from the bridge, it's hard to imagine thousands died here during the construction.
 

Kanchanaburi
 

I must be one of the rare few to come to Kanchanaburi at this age of my.

 

Kanchanaburi - a spot where no Singapore male not aware of, after all for guys serving their NS, it's almost like making a pilgrimage to this part of Thailand to undergo military training.

 

Hehehe, but Iím here for sight-seeing not "kiong suah"!

 

But it's sleepy town at night, other there the roadside stalls that gathered

near here (which reminds me of that failed revival at the car park opposite outside Somerset MRT station.)

     

Kanchanaburi war cemetery
 

Here in this cemetery, those death POWs are buried here, whose lives were sacrificed during the "death railway" construction.

We visited the cemetery where the British Commonwealth
and the Dutch death POWs being buried.

Just besides this cemetery, is another cemetery where death Chinese soldiers are buried.

 

     

JEATH museum
 

The mood was sombre after the visit to this museum, which is maintained by the temple nearby.

 

Inside this museum building, which modelled after the actual POW camp, pictures, sketchs depicted the atrocities of the harsh working conditions during the construction of the "death railway".

 

(In first place, I pondered why "J" not "D" of the name of this museum, only to realize from the handout - "J"-Japan,"E"-England, "A"-America, "T"-Thailand, "H"-Holland)

***Pictures below were snapped secretly***
The man in the portrait is a former POW who drew all the pictures exhibit in the museum. Visitors browsed through photographs, pictures, clippings and etc in the hut alike museum. "FORGIVE BUT NOT FORGET" is the statement learnt after the visit.
 
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