The easiest way to get from Sukkhothai to Kanchanaburi was to bus back to Bangkok and then take another bus.
We arrived at around 3am, and let me tell you, was I ever glad to have my travel buddy with me. It's a bit sketchy in the dark.
We caught the 6am bus to Kanchanaburi, found our hostel - Sam's Guesthouse - although we got totally ripped off by the taxi man (150 baht instead of 50...we were tired and hungry, so we didn't feel like bargaining at the time).
After a wee snooze, we set off towards the death railway bridge across River Kwai.
It is called thus due to the number of Japanese POW (prisoners of war) who died during its creation. There were approximately 200,000 POW from USA, Holland, UK and other South East Asian countries, and about 100,000 of them died due to harsh working conditions, poor sanitation and diseases such as malaria and cholera.
The original bridge was actually bombed by the Allies during WWII, but has been reconstructed as a heritage site.
We went to the JEATH war museum near the bridge and learned about the history of the area.
I never realized that so much happened in this area during the war, it was definitely eye opening. We also checked out the cemetery where most of the POW were buried (I believe the American POW were buried in USA).
There was an interesting story about a Japanese military man who actually came back to try and make up for some of the wrong that he committed during the war. He initiated a reunion of POW and Japanese commanders as a step towards reconciliation, and built a memorial for all those who died.
The Japanese General who made all the shots during this time was supposed to be hung, but shot himself first. American surgeons tried to save him (to then hang him) but they weren't able to.
'War is like love: easy to start, and hard to end'
We were enjoying ourselves so much that we almost got locked into the museum. We escaped ;)
As a celebration of our sneaky escape, we decided to try the fruit 'durian' for the first time.
It is banned in many places because it smells so badly. Seriously. It smells like fresh garbage.
It was supposed to taste better than it smells, but we weren't too impressed. Thankfully, we had some delicious coco yen to wash it down ;)