Sai Yok, Kanchanaburi 71150.
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Guided tours:||self guided|
|Address:||Tham Krasae, Sai Yok, 71150 Kanchanaburi, Tel: +66-, Fax: +66-,|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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ถ้ำกระแซ (Tham Krasae, Krasae Cave) is a temple cave with a huge golden Buddha statue. All around the cave numerous sacred Buddha images can be seen. The cave overlooks Khwae Noi River near Wang Pho Railway Station. The best way to visit the cave is by train, which stops at the railway station and then follow the tracks of the Death Railway. The stop is long enough to see the cave and admire the view. There is a wooden plank in the middle of the railroad tracks intended for walking.
The Tham Krasae is actually not an extraordinary cave, it has a nice view and is an average cave temple. Its importance is the location at the famous River Kwai Bridge, which was brought from Java by the Japanese Army and reassembled by Allied prisoners of war during World War II. The black iron bridge is linking Thailand with Myanmar and is today named Tham Krasae Bridge. This episode of World War II became world-famous with the british movie The Bridge on the River Kwai from 1957, with Alec Guiness and William Holden. During the construction of the bridge, this cave was used as an air-raid shelter and a store by the Japanese soldiers. Some say it was used to lock in POWs, because it is only accessible by walking from the Death Railway tracks.
The cave temple has a large golden Buddha statue which is surrounded by numerous smaller ones on a sort of altar. It offers a great view on the bend of the Khwae Noi River, which is abbreviated River Kwai in the movie. Traversing along the Khwae Noi River, along the cliff above the river for 400 m the section is called the โค้งมรณะ (Curve of Death) or officially Wampo viaduct. The railroad line is hence dubbed the รถไฟช่วงโค้งมรณะ (Death Railway).