Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Backpacker's Note : Jeath and War museum & Japanese War Memorial

On my first day at Kanchanaburi, I also went to Jeath and War museum or War Museum located near the bridge. It was 3-5 minutes walk. The entrance fee is 40 Baht. JEATH means Japan, England, Australia, Thailand, Holland.
This museum has a lot of items related to the war and the construction of the bridge.There are 3 sections of the museum, so to see everything it would take you about an hour or more. The museum is closed at 5 pm, so be sure to get there early.
The train used by Japs on WWII (Photo Credit : Pingkan C)

The first section is the PoW's part. We can see the real map of the railway, the railway is 417 km long from Thailand to Burma. The first part I saw are the articles, pictures and drawings of PoWs. Some of the drawings were made by former PoWs. They also have flags from each country who was forced to do the railway labor.

The Railway Map (Photo Credit : Pingkan C)
The original Articles (Photo Credit : Pingkan C)

Flags and Drawings (Photo Credit : Pingkan C)

As you can see, there's also Indonesian Flag right there. Yes, Indonesian was also a part of the hard labour, people from Indonesia transported by train through Singapore to build the railway. Many Indonesia wouldn't know about this, since it's not on the history book. And there's only a few Indonesian who came to the museum.

Next, there are also the Japanese jeep and the prisoners inside the punishment camp and Prisoners building the railway.

Japanese Jeep  (Photo Credit : Pingkan C)
Prisoner of Wars wearing what they called Jap Happy  (Photo Credit : Pingkan C)
PoWs building the railway (Photo Credit : Pingkan C)

Second section is the burma and Thailand war.

The museum contained all things left from Burma and Thailand war at the border.

Thailand and Burma War Museum (Photo Credit : Pingkan C)
War Museum (Photo Credit : Pingkan C)
One of the sections that caught my attention was the plane and helicopter used on WWII. It was in the middle of the museums and you can see the River Kwai bridge from there.

Plane used on WWII (Photo Credit : Pingkan C)
Helicopter used on WWII (Photo Credit : Pingkan C)
There are a lot of things to see and learn inside the museum. Please do visit the museum if you're crazy about history. It's worth your time and you can see most things used by Japanese and PoWs on World War II.

Japanese War Memorial

The Japanese War Memorial located near the museum. It was about 5 minutes walk. The Japanese War Memorial was built by Japanese to remember the victims of War and PoWs and also the other workers in building the railway. 

Japanese War Memorial (Photo Credit : Pingkan C)

The guards watched us constantly. If we weren’t ‘speedo’ enough, they’d slap us around the face: three, four, five times. Show defiance and the slaps become punches, a little yellow bastard snarling gibberish  in your face. Then the boots go in. You curl up on the ground. The rifle butts slam into your head and if you’re lucky, you’ll pass out. If not, it’s back to work. 

- Reg Twigg

click this link to find out more about Reg Twigg.. Reg Twigg - PoW on River Kwai

Note : To get to the river kwai bridge and Jeath Museum, you can rent a motorbike, or take a taxi (an open Taxi like tuk tuk) because there's no bus or other public transportation to the area. 

My next update will be Hellfire Pass! Au Revoir :) 

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