Up early, bright eyed and bushy tailed after a better and dryer nights sleep, less thunder no flood water, we headed to grab a quick brekkie (did the mum thing and stuck some croissants and Viennese whirls in the bag for the day, making the most of the inclusive breakfast haha) Our pick up arrived promptly at 6am, Boy.....COWBOY..... as he liked to be known as (apparently he's the southernmost Cowboy, whatever that means, minus the hat, holster, Spurs, and the oss that is) We had an hours drive to pick Peter and Charlotte up, quieter roads meant a slighter better driving experience today.
First stop was the Damnoen Saduak Floating Markets, which firstly consisted of the locals trying to con us into getting us to pay 2000 baht (£40ish) for a boat to see the floating markets, as they told us we were unable to walk along to the stalls but with a lot of broken English, which was utter nonsense, we managed to explain to cowboy that we just wanted to walk, he then took us five minutes up the road to a place where we could access the markets on foot either side of the river and the stalls behind those on the waterfront, thankfully avoiding the tourist trap of the boat trip and probably seeing more wondering around at our own pace. Plenty of decent stalls selling local food, herbs and spices, clothing etc along with a handful of generic tat too. Good experience overall.
Second stop was the Kanchanaburi World War II Cemetery, very emotional and thought provoking place to visit, the grounds of which have been beautifully well kept and maintained, we showed our respects, wondered around and headed on our way.
Third stop was the Bridge over the river Kwai. We were able to walk all the way across the bridge and even experienced a scene similar to a zombie apocalypse from The Walking Dead (see video). We then had a 40baht weird experience in the World War II Museum, bit of an odd place with animal heads, wooden boats and manikins, some how all linked to the Second World War, but we are starting to learn to not expect 'the norm'. We grabbed some good street food, most dishes just 50baht, noodles with nondescript meat, before heading back to our ride. Yee-haa.
Our final destination of the day was a few hours out, Hellfire Pass (konyu Cutting as the Japanese call it) we knew very little about it beforehand, it was Petes choice of destination that we were happy to go along to and so glad we did as it turned it to be the best place of the day. It started with a lovely walk down to the start of the pass and after just a short walk we encountered the Memorial site, truly beautiful place and very emotional, nearly 50,000 POW's and Asian labourers lost there lives from 1942 to 1945, due to mistreatment by the Japanese, malnutrition and lack of medical care building this section of the Death Railway, which incidentally was never finished before the war ended. Unfortunately though we hadn't worn the correct footwear to do the full 8km walk so headed back up to the onsite museum. A very well presented museum with lots of information and friendly staff, display work and cinema screen playing informative short videos. Highly recommended!
We then began our long journey back to Bangkok, which ended the day with driving up and down the same street for over an hour trying to locate our hotel, we were all pretty much done by this point so after an unsuccessful search for street food, we said our goodbyes for now to Pete and char and hit the sack.