This museum is located in Kanchanaburi and just a short walk away from the River Kwai bridge. The Museum is about the Death Railway as well as other interesting pieces to do with the War. The word "Jeath" comes from the six main Nationalities that worked on the line. They were Japan, England, Australia, America, Thailand, Holland. The Museum is located on the banks of the River Kwai inside the Temple "Wat Chai Chumphon" The Bamboo Hut that you see in the Museum is an exact replica of the one the men were forced to live in. There are old Cars & Motorbikes, Photos, and written accounts of what their life was like. I found it an interesting Museum.
In the yard, I was lucky enough to come across a big Iguana. I was told he was 15 years old.
Open daily 8.30 -4.30 pm
Admission 2013 ... 30tb
While in Kanchanaburi take a train and bus to Sangkhlaburi, stay the night and visit Three Pagodas Pass which is the boundary between Thailand and Myanmar. You will see the three pagodas and immigration control, but i am sure that foreigners cannot cross over the border at the moment.
If you rent a motorbike you can visit many different places in the area around Kanchanaburi town. Bikes are readily available to rent on the main backpacker strip ( Thanon Mae Nam Khwae ) for around 200B per day.
I would recommend visiting Wat Tham Suea ( Tiger Cave Temple ) it's about 25 km from town ( all directions below ) . On your way back from Wat Tham Suea there is a loop you can take to drive through the wonderful countryside and visit other large Buddha images and Khao Poon Cave.
Directions- Take the main road ( 323 ) heading out of town towards Bangkok. After about 5km you will see a Tesco superstore on the right hand side, take the next right turning at the traffic lights. You travel past some government buildings and cross over the River Khwae. Take the first turning on the left . This road follows the river. Drive maybe 20km and you will see the Tiger Cave Temple on your right, very difficult to miss.
Return to town on the same road but this time take a left away from the bridge to the government buildings. Drive for about another 20km look for the right turning to Kanchanaburi. Follow this road- look for the Buddha on the left above the treeline. Follow the road to the end and turn right again towards Kanchanaburi. Fantastic gardens behind the temple on the left on this road. Stay on this road to get to Khao Poon Cave on the right.
At Khao Poon visit the view point and the large Buddha image a further 1km up the hill in the temple grounds.
Leave Khao Poon Temple and turn left and follow the signposts back into town.
Visit the cemetery between the railway station and the town and spend some minutes considering the way these men died. The cemetery was actually started after the war by the Army Graves Service who visited the camp sites along the railway and transferred the remains here. Over 7000 dead are remembered here.
Take a ride on the train to the end of the line, Namtok (means waterfall in Thai). Trains leave 5.57 and 10.45 and you can return on 12.50 or 15.50, taking around 2 hours for the journey. This wil take you through Hellfire Pass, and along side the river where so many died constructing the railway under the Japanese. There is not much to do at Namtok except walk the 2 kms to the waterfall or visit Tham Wang Badan, a nearby cave. Bring your own flashlight or rent one when you are there. It is spectacular if you can get the warden to turn on the cave lights.
When you are setting out for the day make sure that you have plenty of fresh cold bottled water with you. Here the temperatures can be so hot with such high levels of humidity you must keep up your fluid losses. Of course if you need more water there are usually places where you can purchase more but sometimes not. Be aware of the affects of the heat as it affects different people different ways. Another handy item to carry is a pack of wet ones ...so great in the heat..
My main reason for visiting Kancahanaburi was two fold. Firstly I wanted to see the Bridge , and walk across it. to visit the war graves Cemetery and the Museum. One is really impressed by the way in which these war graves are tended to and kept in such a beautiful state with each grave having beside it a lovely tropical plant along with pristinely clipped grass lawns. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission must be commended for taking such care and thought in this process. They are the same in every War Cemetery that I have visited ..absolutely wonderful.
While here at the Bridge I just wanted to take in the ambience and reflect on the unbeleivable hardships that fellow Australians suffered here at the hands of the extremely brutal behaviour of the Japanese The bridge was a surprise I expected something bigger nevertheless to be walking across this structure was to be inundated with thoughts of the poor devils from so many places labouring beyond their endurances to build such a structure. Apparently the train still runs across the bridge to places north. I only came up here for the day and was dissapointed that i had not organised to stay longer here and go on the train north.
Secondly I wanted to travel a little further north and visit the Tiger temple. This I found to be really an amazing experience interacting with Tigers.(see my tip on this)
THE TIGER TEMPLE MONASTERY.
.When visiting here I was fortunate in that I arrived before anyone and I had a good chance to talk with a keeper (who was English)and got to be with him while he was doing his chores..was great without the crowd that came later...This is a fine programme of conservation and there is a lot of new building being constructed here and appears that many improvements are under way....but like most programmes of this kind is so much under funded. and needs assistance..anything that conserves the worlds wildlife has to be a good project.
When visiting the Bridge on the River Kwai..make sure you visit the JEATH WWII WAR MUSEUM..The museum contains the history of the occupation of the Japanese here and the construction of the bridge with many items of militaria and information regarding the brutal incarceration and the horrific ill treatment inflicted on the allied and local prisoners of war that were interned in the notorious prison here.
This for me was a really interesting place to visit as I have a big interest in military History and the History here involved a lot of Australian POW's. While in the cemetery I met an interesting dutch traveller who was looking in the cemetery for a relative. A really soft spoken elderly man and we spoke in length of a very prominent Australian "surgeon" whom became quite famous in the prison camp attending to the many hundreds of victims of the Japanese brutality while building the bridge. He was regarded with such high regard by the prisoners of all nationalities and known by all for his relentlessly dedicated work..
This surgeon , a huge man, not only in stature but in character was known as "Weary" Dunlop..his "nick name" of "weary" was apparent. he treated hundreds of prisoners for their tropical disease and the ones who often suffered brutal beatings by the japanese and performed many amputations from the result of tropical ulcers etc. This must have been miracle surgery as they had little if any medical supplies.There is a wonderful memorial for him in his hometown of Benalla New South Wales...it is located in the most wonderful rose garden...I don't think a more deservingly quiet and colourful place could be found for such a wonderful man.
I have been here twice , and yes ,it is touristy , the second time i wanted to see if the money they raise is being spent on upgrading the tigers home and compared to when i went in 2008 it looks like a lot had been done .
I reserve judgement on whether the tigers are drugged , they do sleep really soundly , but back in bangkok there were dogs sleeping on the streets inches from the rush hour traffic that looked the same , maybe its the heat in the day and the tigers are more active at night .
I love getting up close and actually touching the tigers , the young girls that are there lead you to each tiger and take your photo with each one ( you get a lot of pictures ) and they tell you how to sit and where its safe to touch the tiger , so they seem to be quite safety minded
Since my first visit there is now an area where the young tigers could play , it had like a moat in it so they could swim , i think you can pay extra to go and play with them
i am going back later this year so i will see how the work is progressing , go and check it out and judge for yourselves
there are also other animals wandering freely round the temple grounds such as deer , wild pigs , birds , buffalo
SORRY, I don't suggest you guys to go to this temple any more. I disagree to use the word of 'temple' to make a business. It's all for business and they use a monk and tiger for a good presentation. It's a bad karma.
A facility where Buddhist monks look after orphaned tigers, and other wildlife. But, you get to be hands-on with the tigers. No chains, no fences, just you and a real-life Tigger.
I'll let the picture do the talking. (picture coming soon)
It's a bit out of the way but all the guest houses in the area run tours (you don't have to stay there to join a tour), many of which take in the temple or give you the option. When we did ours, we were the only ones on the minibus who decided to do the temple visit, all the others took the "train across the bridge" option, silly fools! They regretted it afterwards when they found out what we'd done.
The monastery's main objectives are to propagate Buddhism and to provide a sanctuary for wildlife. Its very first animal was a local bird species found in the surrounding mountain ranges, which the monks adopted. Soon other endangered and injured animals were brought to the monks, including everything from peacocks, horses, deer, and even tigers.
The first cub arrived at the monastery in 1995 after its mother was killed by poachers, leaving it helpless to fend for itself. The monks rescued the cub, and while it didn't survive for long there were many more cubs and tigers to follow. The monastery now looks after a total of eight adults and three cubs, and the tigers have become a huge attraction
During your visit you'll see the tiger's everyday life, from feeding to bathing or simply playing. Bathing happens at 2pm every day. The monks have a few tips before you visit the monastery and for when you are in close proximity with the tigers. Do not make loud noises, do not wear bright colours or perfume and most importantly, never turn your back on a tiger!
You will be walking around with the tigers and you can pat them if you are game enough!
Donation for entry of 100baht but pls give more if you can.
For anyone interested in 20th century history, a visit to Kanchanaburi on the infamous Burma-Siam 'death railway', is a must. You can even walk over the bridge, even though it is still used by 3 trains each way each day. The short train ride for about 10 minutes is 15 Baht.
The entrance fee for the tiger temple is 500 Baht (around 16USD). The best time to visit this temple is from 1.30pm till 4.30pm as the tigers are fully feed and most of them are not so active at this hour and it is time for their `siesta'. Children are not allow to go near the tigers. Please dress respectfully in the temple, DO NOT wear bright, red, pink, orange and green shirt. For ladies, you must cover from shoulder to knee. You have to line up to take pictures with the tigers and there are 2 girls, 1 will take your hand and lead you all the way to the tiger canyon and the other girl will take pictures for you (your own camera). Please do not make any noise while taking the pictures. Those who wishes to take pictures with the tigers on thier lap have to pay extra.