Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ta Pai World war Memorial bridge, Thailand

Thai people are very good at preserving every bit of history. The Bridge across River Pai being one of them. Though not as popular as the one across River Kwai, Pai River's memorial bridge also has its own history.

On our Day of Ride Thailand bike trip, on way to Mae Hong Son from Chiang Mai (highway 1095), we passed by the Pai district and stopped at the memorial bridge.
The original bridge was built in 1941 by the Japanese, using villagers as labor, to aid in their conquer of Burma. But post war, Japs destroyed the bridge during their retreat to prevent allied forces entering Thailand and this caused huge inconvenience to locals as their mode of transportation was now gone. So locals rebuilt the bridge. Unlike River Kwai, Pai river bridge seem to have more peaceful construction- not much POWs or death toll involved in the construction of this bridge.

However, in 1973 the bridge was damaged heavily during a flood. Local administration rebuilt the bridge, now using steel, to retain memories of the past. The renovated bridge, what exists today as a tourist attraction was commissioned in 1976. A  more practical and wider bridge was built next to it for regular usage. Below image shares additional photos. Few original photos of the bridge can also be seen near the entrance.
History of memorial Bridge
Couple of tourist attractions at the memorial bridge: London telephone booth, a post box, captain Jack Sparrow, provision to take photo sitting on an old scooter and so on.

There are a few cafes with free wi-fi. Lots of shops selling all kind of stuff are available on both side of the river.

A ride in the river, on bamboo made boats is organized by the locals on request.

 Safety tip: Watch out for open holes in flooring. Don't let the kids loose or walk looking at the sky.

We also spotted few bikers camping in the vicinity of Pai River. Took some photos with Jack Sparrow.

Memorial bridge is open to tourists all days and all times and there's no entry fee. 


magiceye said...

Interesting. Lovely captures!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Deepak

R Niranjan Das said...

Nice images, Shrinidhi.

Athenas Take said...

The telephone booths and the mailboxes were so prominent in India but then I hardly see them any more. Nice pictures and looks like a must visit place.

Rajesh said...

Great shots of the bridge.