See Traces of Burma’s Death Railway
Many people have visited the Death Railway in Thailand and know the history of the construction of the railway by prisoners of war and Asian slave laborers. The Bridge Over the River Kwai is a famous movie telling the story from the Thai side. Few people know that on the Myanmar side there were many prisoners of war involved in the construction of the railway too. No less than five stone bridges and numerous wooden bridges were built during WWII.
People who died during the construction on the Myanmar side are buried and remembered at three war cemeteries throughout the country: Yangon, Taukkyan and Thanbyuzayat. These are well maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Recently its regional manager, Mr. Thet Mon, was awarded by the Dutch Government for his work for maintaining the graves of Dutch prisoners of war buried in Myanmar.
Khiri Travel Myanmar regularly organizes private trips to Thanbyuzayat for families who want to visit the graves of their ancestors. Khiri also organizes trips for film crews that come to make documentaries about the history of the railway. Unfortunately it is not (yet) possible to cross the border at Three Pagoda Pass from Thailand into Myanmar. But a new road is currently under construction to connect this part of Mon State with Thailand in the future.
Guests who currently want to visit Thanbyuzayat can reach the site by car from Yangon (about six hours’ drive – for example in the program to Mon and Kayin states), or they can fly from Mae Sot to Mawlamyine (daily flights), or take the newly opened border crossing in Mae Sot / Myawaddy and drive there over a scenic mountain road to Hpa An and further to Mawlamyine.
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