The River Kwai Bridge Week and Kanchanaburi Red Cross Fair 2018 is on from now until 9 December in Kanchanaburi, about two hours’ drive west of Bangkok.
The annual Bridge Week aims to create greater awareness of Thailand’s westernmost province as a tourist destination among both domestic and foreign tourists. It also commemorates the area’s World War II history and honours the thousands upon thousands of Allied prisoners of war and Asian conscript labourers who died constructing the Japanese army’s infamous Death Railway or the Thai-Burma railway.
Held in conjunction with the Red Cross Fair, there are light and sound displays, exhibitions, cultural performances, food stalls and local product sales.
Along with the iconic River Kwai bridge, other attractions in and around the town of Kanchanaburi relating to World War II include museums that tell the story of the Death Railway and those who died under the Japanese forces while building it, and the cemeteries containing the graves of thousands of PoWs and conscript labourers.
Hellfire Pass, the deepest and longest hill cutting along the Death Railway, is around 80 km from Kanchanaburi town. This is where the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum is located and also where an ANZAC Day dawn service is held each year.