River Kwai Sai Yok Eco Camp (Kachurnaburi, Thailand)
River Kwai Sai Yok Eco Campsite is located near Sai Yok National Park Head Quarter just adjacent to Kwai Noi River. There are floating raft houses and chalets by the river as well as camping site within a teak tree plantation. Sai Yok National Park is within Kanchanaburi province, which is the third largest province in Thailand.
We organise outdoor programmes at River Kwai Sai Yok Eco Camp for campers to learn about history, National Education, and at the same time enjoy the beautiful scenery and nature around Sai Yok National Park. The Thai authority also welcomes foreign students in joint community work with the locals.
Our activities are not just confined to the campsite and floating raft houses, many activities are also outside the campsite such as trekking at Sai Yok National Park, taking the long-tailed boat for river exploration along Kwai Noi river. There is also a historical site, the Notorious Hell Fire Pass Museum that is about 10km from the campsite. Vivid accounts of the construction of the railway track and the atrocities of war are showcased and the story of Death Railway is depicted in detail. Eco exploration activities include visiting the Sai Yok Yai Waterfall, exploring the Dawadeung Cave, and trekking to Kui Dawa.
Historical Death Railway (Kanchanaburi)
The Thai authority has successfully preserved and promoted one of its recent historical sites, that is the Second World War Death Railway and the famous Bridge Over River Kwai at Kanchanaburi district. This historical site is well known throughout the world because of the significant and strategic battle fought between the Japanese Invaders and the Allied forces during the Second World War.
After the Japanese conquered South East Asia, they decided to build a railway line to link up with the Japanese forces between Burma and Thailand. This would reinforce the Japanese logistic supplies between Malaya to Burma. Many Allied Prisoners of War were concentrated at Changi Selarang barrack and sent to Thailand to build the railway. The terrains were extremely difficult to work in and generally there was also lack of equipment to carry out the project. Lives there were extremely hard and many POWs were basically worked to death. As this was a strategic link for the Japanese, the Allied forces in India and China tried all means to destroy it using air raids as well as staging sabotage missions. The River Kwai Bridge was destroyed several times during these raids. As the Japanese were running out of POWs, they forced Asians in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Burma to continue with the railway construction. More than 200,000 Asians labourers were sent there and only a few return. This is an ideal site for National Education for the younger generation about the tragedy of war and the price for peace.
While enjoying the fun stay at River Kwai Camp, we must always remember the peace and harmony we are having now does not come easily. Our older generations have gone through the hardship of war and social unrest and they truly understand the price for peace. The Death Railway and the River Kwai Bridge is a painful memory that some of our parents and grand parents do not wish to remember, but this is also a lesson that the younger generation should not forget.