Death Railway Bridge

Top choice historic site

in Kanchanaburi
Image by Chris Parker / Design Pics / Getty Images
Image by Chris Parker / Design Pics / Getty Images

Constructed by POW labour, this 300m-long bridge is heavy with the history of the Thailand–Burma Railway. Its centre was destroyed by Allied bombs in 1945, so only the curved spans are original. You're free to roam over the bridge; stand in a safety point if a train appears. Food and souvenir hawkers surround the bridge, so the site can have a jarring, funfair-like atmosphere; come early or late to avoid the scrum.

The three old trains in the park near the station were used during WWII. Across the river, pop in to the colourful Kuan-Im Shrine on the right and view the bridge from its tranquil garden. On the south side of the shrine is the unique Chinese Soldier Tomb, with sad eyes peering out from under a giant helmet. Nothing remains of a second (wooden) bridge the Japanese built 100m downstream.

During late November or early December, a sound-and-light show tells the history of the Death Railway.