, SSB Vicepresident

River Kwai Cruise

4 Days Cruise on the River Kwai on a colonial style river cruiser with cultural excursions in the Kanchanaburi region

18 guests, members of the SSB with their spouses went on this wonderful 4 day trip to Kanchanaburi. We travelled up the River Kwai on a cruise ship, a newly built colonial-style river cruise ship modelled on the original Irrawaddy flotilla from Burma, which also served as a floating hotel. On the way we visited many interesting sights. We spent the evenings on the boat with good food, wine, impressive sunsets, dancing and lively discussions.

Phra Pathom Chedi 
The Phra Pathom Chedi, which means “Holy chedi of the beginning” is regarded the oldest Buddhist structure in Thailand. The very impressive chedi (stupa) with its orange roof visible from far away is with its 120 meters height the largest Buddhist chedi in the world. The history of the chedi goes back all the way to around the 3rd century BC, when Buddhism was introduced to Thailand. The Indian emperor Ashoka decided then to send out monks over many parts of Asia, including Thailand, to spread Buddhism.    
Wat Tham Khao Noi 
Wat Tham Koi Noi is one of the Mahayana Buddhism temples with Chinese style, established in 1883. The first Chinese monk is Venerable Grandfather Haeng (Kang Ngeng) later Master Monk Tep Tho restores and takes care of the temple to be as beautiful as it is today  
Hellfire Pass 
Hellfire Pass is the name of a railway cutting on the former Burma Railway in Thailand which was built with forced labour during the Second World War, in part by Allied prisoners of war. The pass is noted for the harsh conditions and heavy loss of life suffered by its labourers during construction 
Prasta Muang Sing 
Prasat Muang Sing is one of the most important historical sites found by the Kwai Noi River. It marks the westernmost border outpost of the ancient Khmer Empire so far discovered in Thailand. The history of the site goes back to the period between 857 and 1157, a period when the Khmer Kingdom was flourishing. Besides being a temple dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, it served as a military stronghold. Built to defend the empire from western invasions, it was as well a relay point for trade along the river.  
Wat Tham Khaopoon 
Wat Tham Khaopoon is a cave system full of natural halls. All the passages are well lit and conceal several caverns filled with Buddhist and Hindu shrines. It is the easiest of the many cave temples that can be found in and around Kanchanaburi province to reach.   
Thai-Burma Railway Centre Museum 
The WOII was a horrifying happing all over the world. While Germany was concurring Europe, Japan invaded many Asian countries. Many prisoners of war were forced to work for the Japanese army to construct a railway connecting Thailand with Myanmar (Burma) to supply the Japanese army forces in Myanmar. The railway meant death to many people and is therefore also called: the Death railway. Labor forces were volunteers or POWs (prisoners of war) from Japan and surrounding countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and more. Lastly also many western POWs suffered of the Japanese regime amongst others originated from Australia, England, America and Holland. The railway was completed in October 1943. The Japanese were able to use it to supply their troops in Burma despite the repeated destruction of bridges by Allied bombing. More than 90,000 Asian civilians died on the railway, as well as 16,000 POWs, of whom about 2800 were Australian