: Thailand

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Pannyi is a Muslim fishing village built on stilts just off of limestone rock on the island. For tourists they offer restaurants and shopping in a variety of shops. A unique experience for sure. Many people make it a point of going there any time they are in the area.

The Phi Phi Islands are located in Thailand, between the large island of Phuket and the western Andaman Sea coast of the mainland.
Ko Phi Phi Leh was the backdrop for the 2000 movie The Beach. Phi Phi Leh also houses the ‘Viking Cave’, from which there is a thriving bird’s nest soup industry. There was criticism during filming of ‘The Beach’ that the permission granted to the film company to physically alter the environment inside Phi Phi Islands National Park was illegal. Following the release of The Beach, tourism on Phi Phi Don increased dramatically, and with it the population of the island. Many buildings were constructed without planning permission. On 26 December 2004, much of the inhabited part of Phi Phi Don was devastated by theindian Ocean Tsunami. The island’s main village, Ton Sai Banyan Tree, is mainly built on a sandyisthmus between the island’s two long, tall limestone ridges. On both sides of Ton Sai are semicircular bays lined with beaches. The isthmus rises to less than two metres above sea level.

If you have time during a visit to the Bridge over the River Kwai, take the train from the bridge to the last station to get to the Sai Yok Noi waterfall. Nam Tok station is the end of the infamous ”Death Railway” that linked Thailand and Burma in World War II. The station offers easy access to Sai Yok Noi waterfall, which is only 2 km away. On the way you’ll experience travel by train through Thailand’s countryside. You can stop at other well-known sightseeing locations that are easily accessible via rail as well. At one point the train goes along a mountain and curves sharply so that people at the front of the train can see those in the back of the train. The train travels slowly but it’s a change of pace from the normal taxi transportation. An other option is to pay for a private taxi in Kanchanaburi, you will no doubt be approched by numerous local taxi drivers offering a bespoke tour of the area and its up to you to negotiate a daily rate.

Rai Leh is perhaps the best winter sport rock climbing area in the world, with over a thousand bolted routes up limestone faces with breathtaking views over the ocean. If you are an avid rock climber, chances are you already know about this place and the spectacular cliffs are the reason you are here.
Climbing is graded on the French scale, most is steep and challenging with only limited possibilities for beginners. Due to the corrosive nature of the seaside location, the steel bolts may be of questionable integrity, bolt failure is not uncommon here, and threads (rope tied through holes in the rock) may be of questionable integrity as well. Overall the rock quality is superb; however, like everywhere else, you will find the occasional loose section including the famed Rai Leh stalactites.

In 1943 thousands of Allied Prisoners of War (PoW) and Asian labourers worked on the Death Railway under the imperial Japanese army in order to construct part of the 415 km long Burma-Thailand railway. Most of these men were Australians, Dutch and British and they had been working steadily southwards from Thanbyuzayat (Burma) to link with other PoW on the Thai side of the railway. This railway was intended to move men and supplies to the Burmese front where the Japanese were fighting the British. Japanese army engineers selected the route which traversed deep valleys and hills. All the heavy work was done manually either by hand or by elephant as earth moving equipment was not available.
The railway line originally ran within 50 meters of theThree Pagodas Pass which marks nowadays the border to Burma. However after the war the entire railway was removed and sold as it was deemed unsafe and politically undesirable. The prisoners lived in squalor with a near starvation diet. They were subjected to captor brutality and thus thousands perished.

The Death Railway was a strategic railway built between Thailand and Burma. It was 415 kilometres long (about 303 kms in Thailand and about 112 kms in Burma) and passed through the Three Pagoda Pass in Sangkhlaburi District, the most northern part of Kanchanaburi province.
Construction was began on September 16, 1942 at Nong Pladuk, Thailand by approximately 30,000 prisoners of war from England, Australia, Holland and America and more than 200,000 impressed labourers from India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Burma and Thailand. Of these, more than 16,000 PoW’s and 100,000 impressed labourers died of many diseases, due to starvation and lack of medical equipment.
It is said that the first survey by the Japanese engineers predicted that it would take at least five years to finish this railway line, but the Japanese army forced the prisoners to complete it in only sixteen months. Thus it was completed on 25 December 1943.

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