Thailand 2020 – Week 1

Bangkok

After a 14.5 hour flight (& 2hr stopover in Doha, Qatar), we arrived in Bangkok late on Tuesday afternoon. There was just enough time for a quick rest & then some street food before bed.Bangkok seems much quieter than our previous visits. There is less traffic (definitely less scooters driving over the pavements) and less visible pollution in general (although there was an obvious smog on our last day, at sunrise).Reading local news, it appears Thailand has implemented several policies to reduce pollution in its cities including the reduction of vehicles with high emissions & the number of vehicles entering the city.Bangkok also looked a lot greener, with planting covering the concrete SkyTrain structures,  walks, roundabouts & generally everywhere.
We spent a total of 3 nights in Bangkok, to recover from the flights & to visit some of the places we missed on our previous trips here, such as Wat Arun (The Dawn Temple).

Caturday – Cat Cafe

We also popped into the cat cafe which was 5 mins away.

Wat Arun Ratchawararam

Kanchanaburi – River Kwai

Our next stop was Kanchanaburi. We travelled from Bangkok by train on the 3.5hr trip. That doesn’t sound long, but the train was busy and extremely hot even with all the windows fully open & ceiling fans clattering.

Bridge on the River Kwai, Death Railway Museum and POW Cemetery

The Burma Railway, also known as the Death Railway, was a 415-kilometre (258 mi) railway between Thailand, and Burma, built by Japanese Engineers using more than 12,000 Allied POWs & 10s of thousands of forced labourers from other Asian countries. Living and working conditions on the Burma Railway were described as “horrific”, with maltreatment, sickness, and starvation. The museum represents the numbers lost by metal nails hammered into railway line (one nail for every 500 lost).The bridge itself was partly bombed by the Allied forces towards the end of the war & has been rebuilt. The Cemetery is a sobering place & only a few of those who lost their lives are buried here.