After the waterfall with no water, the last highlight on day trip on the the Thai Kanchanaburi tourist train was the visit to the War Cemetery in Kanchaburi, home to the tombs of 6,982 POW that died while building the Thailand-Burma railway for the Japanese Empire to support its Burma Campaign in the Second World War.
Again, as in Sai Yok, the railway officials had arranged for the passengers to transfer to a fleet of songthaews – the ever-present pick-up trucks that serve as mini-buses in Thailand. This process took a while, as their drivers did everything they could to ensure that their respective vehicles didn’t leave until they were filled to capacity. So more and more passengers were ushered in, and so Ek and I ended up squished together with a dozen other passengers – all Thais except for one big blond farang in his fifties.
“Where are you from? he asked me with a big smile. “I’m from Sweden”
“That makes two of us farang on the train today“, I joked. Nice to meet you!
Finally, songthaew was put into gear and we started rolling. The Thais smiled and broke into animated chatting, and the two of us farang cheered, happy to be on the move and to have the slightest breeze cooling us off.
About a minute later we stopped in front of what looked like the entrance to a park.
“Another photo stop?” asked the Swede, sardonically.
Ek kindly checked with the driver. “No photo stop. This is cemetery.”
“What?” said the Swede with a quizzical look on his face. “We could have walked! I mean, that was like…500 meters?
“Of course”, I interrupted, with a broad smile on my face. “But this is Thailand and nobody walks. Well – only farang, and only sometimes!