Saleng expedition, 16!

Our crazy road trip around Thailand and Laos on a tricycle (saleng).

Kanchanaburi, King's Day & Light & Sound Festival 2015 (Bridge over the river Kwae)!

Kanchanaburi is a town with many memorials of the Second World War. A lot of streets are named of countries that were involved. The Death Railway Bridge (Bridge Over The River Kwae) is one of the highlights in Kanchanaburi. We desided to stop by for some historical sightseeing.

Street names and the Bridge Over The River Kwae. Trying to drive through the railway rocks with the saleng, not a good idea.

As soon as we came close we realised the holiday and festival had taken over the cultural sight. It was the 5th of December, King's Day. In the last couple of weeks everybody started wearing yellow (royal color), mostly the 'Bike for Dad' shirts. Little yellow flowers, flags and faberge-style silver and golden eggs were put in front of massive photo's of the King as a symbolic way of honor on the streets in front of business and governemental properties.

We had to buy a ticket to enter the market (#100 of last month I guess...) and the whole market was colored yellow. It wasn't like King's Day in the Netherlands, one big orange pumping party. Here it was more modest, no alcohol was sold and no live music. On the other hand, the same commercial money making aspects were around... To see the Light & Sound Festival you had to pay another 300 Bath per person, two shows every night.

Thai style market during King's Day at the Death Railway Bridge.

To be honest, I didn't know what to think about it. There was this historical sight were many people died during WW2 and it was turned into a big party. Not sure what to expect we bought tickets, thinking we were lost in translation. There were not many tourist anyway, maybe 1 on every 100 people. We were seated more than one hour before the show at the River Kwae Floating Restaurant and could order some food. Apperently all the Thai families had reserved a table to have dinner and watch the show during King's Day.

It was a beautiful place to see the trains driving over the bridge.
Around 19:30 the waiters start giving everybody a small yellow candle. Than (I think) the Thai anthem was played, everybody stood up with the lighted candle in hand and sang along. Hundreds of people along the riverside were singing and holding candles, goosebumps all over. This was really impressive. I'm not sure if this was a contribute/honoring of the death people of WW2 of the King for King's Day, but every single person joined.

That the formal Light & Sound Festival started, it was an all about telling the story of the Death Railway Bridge - not touristy.

Light & Sound Festival at The Bridge Over The River Kwae.

Memorial photos.

More market area, this market was so big you could walk around for hours. Every time a train wants to pass the people had to move their shops to the side...

Having a saleng doesn't get you out of traffic jams any sooner than a regular car. :(

Sabai@Kan resort is definitely the most beautiful resort from our 'on tour' trip so far. Too bad we couln'd extend our stay, the place was fully booked due to the Light & Sound festival and King's Day.

Accommodation recommendation: Sabai@Kan resort, Kanchanaburi
Book with Agoda

Baan Rim Nam Resort with lovely river views! The resort was a bit out-dated and running low profile, but the scenery is worth it! (you need your own transportation)

Accommodation recommendation: Baan Rim Nam Resort, Kanchanaburi
Book with Agoda


  • 1089 km / 677 miles done total
  • 4911 km / 3052 miles to go
  • 16 days done
  • 76 days to go
  • 8 provinces crossed
  • 37 provinces to go

Phuket - Phang Nga - Ranong - Chumphon - Prachuap Khiri Khan - Phetchaburi - Ratchaburi - Kanchanaburi - Suphanburi - Ayutthaya - Lopburi - Singburi - Chainat - Uthai Thani - Nakhon Sawan - Phichit - Phitsanulok - Sukhothai - Uttaradit - Phrae - Lampang - Lamphun - Chiang Mai - Mae Hong Son - Chiang Rai - Bokeo - Luang Namtha - Udomxai - Luang Prabang - Vientiane (khwaeng) - Vientiane (prefecture) - Kamphaeng Nakhon Wieng Chan - Bolikhamsai - Khammuan - Nakhon Phanom - Mukdahan - Kalasin - Roi Et - Maha Sarakham - Buriram - Nakhon Ratchasima - Nakhon Nayok - Pathum Thani - Nonthaburi - Bangkok

To be continued, stay tuned!

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