The Bridge on the River Mae Klong

The Death Railway. It is the so-called track between Thailand and Myanmar, which was built during the World War II by civilians and war prisoners from Britain, Australia and the Netherlands. The name of the railroad has earned its name by the number of men who died during its construction. Over 13,000 prisoners and more than 80,000 civilians found death in the jungle connecting Burma with the rest of southeast Asia.

The railroad was brought to wider awareness by the film Bridge on the River Kwai. A movie that unfortunately does not fully describe the terrors that the workers daily went through. Sixteen hours of hard work on the glowing Sun, while having only a single bowl of rice. They were exposed to tropical diseases, poisonous snakes, and Japanese officers in particular, who used the worst forms of torture when the prisoner didn’t work efficiently enough.

Moreover, the movie caused one funny situation. The writer Pierre Boulle, based on whose novel was the movie shot, never visited the bridge personally. He only knew that the railway was copying the Kwai River for a long time. But the bridge was in fact built over another river, Mae Klong. With the arrival of tourists into the area of this famous river, a problem arose as they asked where to find the bridge. So the Thais found a remarkable solution for this misunderstanding. They simply renamed the Mae Klong River to River Kwai.

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