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Review of River Kwai

River Kwai
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Floating Markets and Bridge on River Kwai Tour from Bangkok
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Reviewed 29 May 2014

I was here 30 years ago and they have made it much more pretty and visitor friendly. Lots of little stands to buy from and there is a small shopping mall. Restaurants and food stands all around. It was great to have watched youtube about the bridge before seeing it again and I got to do more then I did way back when.

Thank Lynda62x2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 May 2014

I'm 48, a WWII buff/history lover, and my father fought in the Pacific for the US. I take opportunities when I travel to see war related historical sites. The overall experience at the Kwai Bridge was mediocre at best. I was not on a tour but traveled on my own. This may have changed the experience slightly. I road the Thai State Railway train out of Thonburi (Bangkok Noi) to the bridge for 100Baht ($3 US) each way. This was not the tourist train and all the cars were third class. It takes 3 hours. It was fine and I had no problems.

Before arriving at the bridge itself, I had read ample amounts and knew the hostrical story from books and internet websites. This is different than what most people tend to believe because they base their information on the movie version. This said, there was little if any information, signage, or pamplets about the bridge at the location. A location that is visited by thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, each year. The bridge itself is exciting to walk across, touch, take pictures at, and imagine the supreme effort and sacrifice of those English, Canadian, Austrialian, and other servicemen. You get this experience in the 30 to 45 minutes one takes to be on and around the bridge.

Yet, after traveling and seeing such a significant historical site, I wanted more. I visitied the nearby War Museum for 40Baht ($1.30 US) and was greatly disappointed. There was no sense of what they were trying to accomplish with a scattered set of displays and artifacts. Plus there were multiple artifacts that were not from location and event, or even from WWII. There were no tour guides to help or to explain the museum. And you then had to pay to use the bathroom.

In the bridge area is a myriad of stalls selling T-shirts and tourist crap. There is also a large covered shopping area where you can buy more of the same stuff. I guess I expected more from a location that even the Thai government notes to be a major historical location.

After staying at the bridge and going through the museum, I went to the War Cemetery that is about 1.5Km from the bridge. This ended up being the most significant and profound part of the day for me. Seeing first hand the cost, and one a small portion of those souls are buried there, to build the bridge and railroad cut. The cemetery is in immaculate shape. It is a fitting tribute to those who passed. The grave markers have little words or phrases from the families honoring the lost. This makes it feel more personal to you as you read them. Being at the cemeteryt did raise the overall feeling I had about visiting the River Kwai Bridge by raising the significance of the sacrifice.

My recommedation is to visit the bridge and cememtery as part of a tour to limit your exposure to all the non-significant crap that is there. Plus a tour usually includes a guide that can point out the historical information, location, and facts that are missing in the way of signage or pamplets. You can easily see all that needs to be seen in an hour and a half to two hours.

1  Thank NW-John
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2014

Very nice views and lots around to do, interesting museums and a jewelry market across the way. Nice walks and restaurants on the water. Definitely worth a visit for the history of the place.

Thank Genma27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2014

I've now experienced two separate and different 3 day / 2 night River Kwai / Kanchanaburi stays and highly recommend it to everyone. My main motivation for visiting this Thailand area in the first place, was to visit my grandfather's grave at the War Cemetery, which I did on both occasions. However, my daughter who was with me on the last trip, said it's a trip she wished everyone could experience. The Thai people are beautiful, polite, helpful, respectful, we loved the food and our 2 night stay at River Float Hotel, was absolutely wonderful. From there so many attractions are also nearby - caves, waterfalls, rain forest, Mon Village, Tiger Temple and of course the War Museum, Hell Fire Pass and bridges over River Kwai. I have no doubts I will again visit this magical part of the world.

1  Thank Debra C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2014

Canary travel, Bangkok
;Trip to floating market and Bridge over RIver Kwai
Chan Holland of Canary Travel organisied a trip for two to the floating market and the River Kwai on Friday 22nd March
She was very professional and worked beyond the call of duty. Although we did not contact her until after office hours on the evening before our planned trip she made all of the arrangements for us and finalised payment
We had a most memorable trip and it was one of the highlights of our tour of south east asia
Trip was excellent value for money
Thanks again for making it possible for us
Would highly recommend Canary Travel

"mature Irish couple"

3  Thank bma-11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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