June 1942, the occupying Empire of Japan instigated the project to build a 258 mile railroad between Bangkok and Rangoon, Burma to support its forces in the Burma campaign. 180,000 Asian and 60,000 Allied prisoners of war were used as forced labourers to construct the rail line. Thousands of people lost their lives during the remaining years of the war. It is estimated that over 100,000 people died in the course of constructing the railway due to appalling working and living conditions, malnutrition and torture.
|Death Railway Memorial|
|Beautiful road through the jungle|
|Quiet streets of Phetchaburi|
There was no time to waste now as I made a promise to myself that I wasn’t going to loiter in any one place for a while, so I got on a bus that afternoon to Hua Hin which I thought would be a nice experience as I hadn’t been by the sea since Sihanoukville, Cambodia. I was, however, thoroughly disappointed and to put it candidly, disgusted. The city was the first time I had witnessed the onslaught of sleaze that has unfortunately overshadowed a certain part of Thailand. Old western men paying for their Thai brides and walking around like they are a big deal. No, I’m sorry this is disgusting and I am appalled that people can use money to pay for love. Here’s a fact for those men…. They don’t care for you, they care for your money so their families can get food and education. I couldn’t bear this place for any more than one night as every corner I turned I would see this exploitation and sex trade slapped in your face. I swiftly booked my onward bus ticket to Ranong on the western Thai coast where I would briefly pop over the border to Myanmar to attain another two week Thai visa.