River Kwai Bridge Week

River Kwai Bridge Week

Last week in November
River Kwai Bridge Week in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, commemorates World War II's infamous Death Railway and the River Kwai (Khwae Noi) Bridge. Between 1942 and 1945, more than 16,000 Allied prisoners of war and 49,000 impressed Asian laborers were forced by the Japanese to build a railway through the jungle from Bangkok, Thailand, into Burma (now Myanmar), and it is said that one person died for every railway tie on the track. At the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, commemorative services are held every April 25 for the 6,982 American, Australian, British, and Dutch prisoners of war buried there.
The bridge became known as a symbol of the horrors and futilities of war through the novel, The Bridge Over the River Kwai, by Pierre Boulle and the 1957 movie based on it, The Bridge on the River Kwai . During the week-long events, the reconstructed bridge (it was bombed during the war) is the setting for sound-and-light presentations, and there are also historical exhibitions and rides on World War II-era trains.
CONTACTS:
Tourism Authority of Thailand
611 N. Larchmont Blvd., 1st Fl.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
800-842-4526 or 323-461-9814; fax: 323-461-9834
www.tourismthailand.org