Travelling is a journey of discovery with new experiences and new cultures.
But sometimes something very special happens that stays with you for the rest of your life.
Hellfire Pass on the Death Railway in Kwai Valley
Visiting the cutting in this massive rock by Australian and British POW’s is like moving into a sacred place. You feel the presence of those that died and those that have returned to honour their comrades at the ANZAC memorial plaque. Walking through the deep cutting you’ll see a tree growing proudly there, its leaves scattered on the rocks.
It was only after walking through that I climbed above to take photographs.
I smelt a vanilla scent and it seemed like all the noises of the forest froze: the monkeys no long screeched, nor did the birds sing. I felt a sense of inner peace while I stood ther. Perhaps I had slipped back in time or perhaps there were still spirits lingering along the pass. I will never know. But if you are travelling to Kanchanaburi in Thailand, be sure to visit Hellfire Pass for one of those unforgettable travel experiences.
More About Hellfire Pass
Hellfire Pass was named for the prisoners of war who were forced by the Japanese to work 18 hours a day to complete the cutting of a large rock to put down the railroad. The prisoners included allied forces of Australian, British, Dutch and others. Others who worked the railway Chinese, Malaysians, and Malaysian Tamils who were enticed to come help build the railway line with the promises of a good job.
It took six weeks to complete the cutting of a passage through the large rock. Approximately 68 men were beaten to death within those six weeks but many more died from cholera, dysentery, starvation, and exhaustion. It was named Hellfire Pass because the labourers would work into the night and the passage would be lit by torches.