the bridge on the river kuai


The Bridge on the River Kwai

is a 1957 British World War II film by David Lean

based on the novel

The Bridge over the River Kwai

by French writer Pierre Boulle.

The film is a work of fiction but borrows the construction of the

Burma Railway in 1942–43 for its historical setting.

The largely fictitious film plot is loosely based on the building in 1943

of one of the railway bridges over the Mae Klong, at a place called Tha Ma Kham,

five kilometres from the Thai town of Kanchanaburi.

The Burma Railway, also known as the Death Railway,

the Thailand-Burma Railway and similar names,

is a 415 km (258 mile) railway between

Bangkok, Thailand and Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar),

built by the Empire of Japan during World War II,

to support its forces in the Burma campaign.

Forced labour was used in its construction.

About 180,000 Asian labourers and 60,000 Allied prisoners of war (POWs)

worked on the railway.

Of these, around 90,000 Asian labourers and 16,000 Allied POWs died

as a direct result of the project.

The dead POWs included:

6,318 British personnel,

2,815 Australians,

2,490 Dutch,

about 356 Americans

and a smaller number of Canadians. (Wikipedia)


The black iron bridge was brought from Java.

Still in use today, the bridge was the target of frequent Allied bombing raids during World War II and was rebuild after war ended. The curved spans of the bridge are the original sections. A daily train is still following the historical route from Kanchanaburi to Nam Tok Railway Station.



myself       scenic spots      birding


railway of death