Published on : Thursday, February 9, 2017
Grasshopper Adventures has announced a four-day bicycle trip April 23-26 to the River Kwai in central-west Thailand. The trip includes attendance at the special ANZAC Day dawn service in Hell Fire Pass and mid-morning wreath laying ceremonies in the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery on April 25 to commemorate those who served during war, including World Wars I & II.
“The bike riders join in honouring those who gave their lives in the service of their country and who suffered the hardships of Japanese prisoner of war camps to build the Death Railway,” said Adam Platt-Hepworth, CEO of Grasshopper Adventures.
Apart from the 5am dawn service in Hellfire Pass and attending the Memorial Wreath Laying Service, other experiences on the trip include walking across the bridge on the River Kwai, visiting an additional war cemetery, touring the Hellfire Pass museum, taking a traditional Gunfire Breakfast of tea and ANZAC biscuits, riding the train over the magnificent Krasae Cave trestle bridge, and visiting the Muang Singh Khmer temple remains.
There is plenty of cycling too: 37km on the 23rd, 29 km on the 24th, and 43 km on the 26th. Much of the riding is on scenic back roads in one of the most spectacular provinces of Thailand. Kanchanaburi is known for its tall jungle-clad hills, Buddhist caves and emerald water falls. High quality, immaculately maintained Merida mountain bikes are used.
Apart from cycling, there are sections in a minivan and on the public train between Nam Tok (“Waterfall”) station and over the trestle bridge.
The journey weaves through a historical landscape that was ruled by Khmer kings a thousand years ago and invaded by the Imperial Japanese Army in 1941. While cycling, there is plenty of time to reflect on the past and interact with villagers in small villages surrounded by fields of corn, rice, sugar cane, asparagus, pineapple and chilli.
“The River Kwai area encapsulates much of what is attractive in rural Thailand,” said Platt-Hepworth. “And at the heart of it is the remarkable story of prisoner of war bravery and sacrifice, which all our cyclists are privileged to honour on ANZAC Day.”