tiger temple at kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi is a small town in the western part of Thailand where river Kwai Yai and Kwai Noi merges. This town becomes a part of history during world war II when Japanese soldiers decided to make a strategic railway link between Burma and Thailand to shorten the lines of supply by the help of POW.

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World War II POWs cemetry Kanchanaburi in a former POW camp site

Initially it was estimated that the railway link will take five years to finish but the Japanese army forced the prisoners to complete it in only sixteen months. In the process, 16,000 POW and 100,000 imprisoned labourers died of many diseases, starvation, poor health, lack of medical facilities and ill-treatment. Henceforth it is known as “Death Railway” and this event immortalized in the 1957 British film “The Bridge On The River Kwai”.

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the infamous bridge in the river Kwai

An open air museum was established in 1977 which houses the military artifacts used during World War II, articles and letters written by POW and exhibit many photographs depicting the life and conditions in POW camps. It is now known as JEATH museum because POW are mainly from the following countries: Japan, England, America, Australia, Thailand, Holland.

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hell fire pass was the most difficult section of the link

This sleepy town again comes in the limelight in early 90’s when a temple was established here for the wild and unwanted animals and where the mystic monks can even tame the beastly souls.. Since its inception in 1994, it became the house of many jungle fowls, peacocks, wild boars, buffalos, cows, deers and the first tiger cub arrived here in 1997. These tigers are all hand-raised and not captive, so they become desensitized to human touch.

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the tiger (just awake from deep sleep) at the tiger temple

To visit this exciting place, we booked a day trip from Bangkok which cost us 1900 thb per person and it includes lunch, pick-up and drop, some refreshments along with the tickets for visiting the tiger temple and world war memorials.

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the tattoed monk, the wide awake tiger and an exciting visitor

There are primarily two types of tours available for Kanchanaburi, one with visit to tiger temple and other one is a visit to Erawan waterfalls, we selected the former one.

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bend in the river Kwai

It took more than an hour to reach Kanchanaburi from downtown Bangkok and from tiger temple to Bangkok return in 3 hours.