The Tha Kilen Train Station holds significant relevance in Thai history, more specifically with the construction of the Death Railway, as Ban Tha Kilen was a work camp for prisoners of war used during WWII.
One of the inland outings of the cruise along the River Kwai will be the boarding of a train that runs to Saphan Tham Krasae, between Tha Kilen and Nam Tok. The train will then take you across the setting where so many POW’s and forced laborers lost their lives during WWII.
As you chug along the Kwai Noi Valley seventy-seven kilometers short stretch, you will come across a former POW camp, although now it has been turned into a peaceful resort, that was known as the “cutting” camp, where countless allied lives were also brutally lost.
The next daunting part of the experience will be the crossing over a wooden viaduct, the Tham Krasae Bridge, also known as the Wampo Viaduct. This 300-meter long trestle bridge precariously clings to the cave-ridden cliff and threatens to give way to the devastating drop below.
After a short stop at Wang Po Station, the train will continue its journey to Nam Tok Station alongside a particularly lovely stretch of the Kwai Noi, as you gaze out over the river at the temples and the scene below. You will be awed by its beautiful banks thick with luscious jungle, not a raft house in sight, and the whole vista framed by distant tree-clad peaks.
The station at the northern end of the trestle bridge is called Tham Krasae, named after the cave indented in the rock face beside the bridge. The Krasae Cave is just a few minutes walk away from the station. You can also see the cave’s resident Buddha image from the train.