If you are a culture vulture and want to know about the WWII History of Thailand, then make sure to head out to the Kanchanaburi region and visit historical sites from World War II. One of these historical sites is the famous Hellfire Pass.
Hellfire Pass is part of the Death Railway constructed by Japanese forces using Allied POWs during WWII. This infamous 500-meter pass was the most daunting task as the railway had to cut through the mountain at Chong Kao or Hellfire. The work was carried out in harsh conditions, many POWs were beaten to death, and others died due to disease. The WWII history of the Death Railway is preserved at the Hellfire Pass memorial museum close to River Kwai and Hintok River campsite.
So get ready, as this tour of Hellfire Pass will immerse you in the WWII History of Thailand.
The Hellfire Pass is a 500-meter railway cutting that took six months to complete in 1943.
Hintok River Camp GPS: 14.353566, 98.928622
The Hintok Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum is home to much information about Hellfire. It showcases some of the tools used by the POWs and information regarding the hellish conditions at the time. If you are a history buff and are in the region to learn more about World War II, you cannot afford to miss the Hellfire Pass Museum. Whether you are coming to Thailand to explore the region or are already in Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok) or Pattaya and want to get away for a couple of days to experience a slice of real Thailand and its history, the Hintok River Camp is a perfect choice.
Hellfire Pass is an area in Kanchanaburi Province that is a 500-meter long railway cutting for the Burma Railway known by the Japanese as Konyu Cutting. This part of the railway path was known for its harsh conditions and was an area where many POWs lost their lives when constructing the railway.
Because the Japanese forces wanted the railway to be built in a super-quick time, they worked the laborers through the night. To be able to see in the darkness, oil lamps and bamboo fires lit up the way, dubbing the Hellfire Pass region. Some believe it resembled a scene directly from hell.
During the cutting in one of the biggest rocks of the route, sixty-nine men were beaten to death by the Japanese and Korean guards. It took six weeks to make the cutting in some of the harshest conditions known to man.
The Hellfire Pass was constructed by Allied prisoners of war in WWII. Due to harsh conditions, hundreds of POWs and other laborers died. Japanese forces forced POWs and laborers to work 18 hours a day. And it was called Hellfire Pass due to the sight of laborers working under torchlight, resembling a scene from hell.
Hellfire Pass is nearly 80 km from Kanchanaburi, and visitors can reach it there by road or train. The train journey takes 2 hours and costs THB 100. Although the Hellfire Pass is no longer in use, the nearest train stop is Nam Tok Sai Yok Noi. From Namtok station, visitors can take a tuk-tuk or Songthaew to Hellfire Pass, and fare prices vary from THB 300-500. Visitors can also take a bus from Kanchanaburi to the Hellfire Pass gate, which takes about 1.5 hours, while the fare is THB 50 per person.
The Hellfire Pass is open for visitors every day from 9 am - 4 pm with free entry. However, you should note that the museum and walking trail are closed for visitors on major public holidays.
Visiting Hellfire Pass is a once in a lifetime experience to witness the WWII history of Thailand. Following are some reasons you must visit the historical Hellfire Pass.
The Hellfire Pass walking trails and memorial provides an insight into its history. In addition, visitors can take a train ride over River Kwai, camp at the Hintok River Campsite, and witness other tourist attractions nearby.
Hellfire Pass in Kanchanaburi is the section of the Death Railway constructed by Allied POWs in WWII to link Burma and Thailand. It was built with significant loss of life, and its history is preserved at the Hellfire Pass memorial museum. Visitors can witness other historical and camping sites here as well.
9:00 am - 4:00 pm | Monday – Sunday
Moo 11 Hat Tha Sao Sai Yok Kanchanaburi 17000
08 1733 0328, 0 3491 9605
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