Where on Earth? Week 24: The Bridge on the River Kwai, Thailand!

Congrats go out to Stacy (and then Beanie) for correctly identifying the above bridge as the legendary one which stretches over the River Kwai in Thailand.

The 1957 World War II film, Bridge on the River Kwai was one of my favorites growing up. It told the (nearly) true story of a group of British POWs forced by the Japanese to build an important railway bridge in western Thailand.

I had the opportunity to visit the historic site a number of years ago while trekking through Thailand. Located just a few miles from Kanchanaburi, the bridge is a popular tourist destination and easily reached by a variety of bus services. A small museum is dedicated to the brutal history surrounding the area, paying tribute to the 12,000 POWs who died while constructing the bridge. And of course, the museum clears up the historical inaccuracies portrayed in the film –- such as the fact that the bridge operated for two years before allied troops blew it up (as opposed to just mere seconds before the first train passed over it as depicted in the film).

There’s not much else here, but in my opinion it is still very much worth a break from Thailand’s hedonistic pleasures to step back in time for a moment and observe some history. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to whistle the Colonel Bogey March to your heart’s content.