Kanchanburi is a beautiful province in Thailand. The area has many old forts and tourist attractions that introduce the visitors to the cultural heritage and the history of the country. Hellfire pass is one of the must visit attraction in Kanchanburi. The pass is a part of the Death Railway, a railway line built during the Second World War that Mconnects Bangkok to Burma. The Japanese army used prisoners of war and other labourers from Asia to build the demanding railway line. Most of the labourers lost their lives due to the pathetic working conditions, starvation and torture by the Japanese forces.
The Australian Government has built a museum at the hellfire pass memorial. The Hellfire pass museum is located right at the top of the Konyu cutting. The museum is inaugurated in 1998 and is dedicated to the nameless prisoners of war and Asian labourers, who died during the construction of the Death Railway.
The Hellfire pass museum is an interpretation centre that provides information about the history of the Thai-Burma Railway. The information includes points like the necessity for building the railway and the rationale behind it, the planning and construction of the railway and the sufferings of the prisoners and labourers during the construction of the railway. The museum houses many of the original items used by the prisoners of war, the crude tools used to make the cutting of hard rock’s for the railway line and the weapons of torture used by the Japanese forces.
Visitors to the Hellfire pass museum can also take a guided tour of the Hellfire pass and the walking trail below. The tour takes the visitors through the various cutting sites, the Hellfire Pass and a number of bridges. Visitors are also taken to the Hintok station, where the trains passed each other. Though most of the Death Railway is dismantled by the Government, some of the cuttings and original trails still exist. The guided tour provides various touching moments where the visitors can contemplate about the painful atrocities of war and the pathetic conditions of the prisoners of war.
The Hellfire pass museum also houses a memorial for the countless labourers and prisoners, who suffered and died during the construction of the railway line. Visitors can pay their respects and leave their thoughts at the memorial.