Friday, 29 August 2014


Pic courtesy X2 River Kwai Resort

The 1975 film, The Bridge on the River Kwai, is still one of the best, all-time favourite war movies. Ironically, the seven-Academy-Award-winning film was not actually filmed in Thailand on River Kwai, but in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). 

Now, if you felt cheated about that — like me — then here's your chance to experience the original River Kwai. Making it possible is to go see the place that inspired the film, in Western Thailand is  X2 River Kwai resort.

Located on a 3000 sqmts stretch of the beautiful Kwai Noi River is the resort with a jaw-dropping view of mountain ranges and blue-blue skies with low-hanging cottony clouds — all reflected in the waters of the river — picture perfect!

Pic courtesy: X2 River Kwai Resort
Traveling to the resort means a pleasant journey that involves passing rice paddy fields, sugar cane plantations, local temples and villages which are the signature scenery of Kanchanaburi. Kanchanaburi is the largest of the western provinces of Thailand. It is frequented by tourists who have been attracted by its long history and ancient civilizations. The province is also known for its natural attractions such as forests, mountains, caves and waterfalls. The town really gained fame after WWII when the Japanese soldiers used it as a base camp for the POWs to build the notorious Thai-Burma Railway and the well-known bridge over the River Kwai.  This was the story featured in the famous film.  Another film about this historical event is The Railway Man which was shot mainly in the actual locations in Kanchanaburi and will be screening in 2014.

Photo courtesy: X2 River Kwai resort

Coming back to the resort X2 River Kwai...the eco-friendly resort  was designed by the Thailand-based Agaligo Studio. Materials  procured locally and recycled parts were used to build this wonderful resort. The coolest thing about this resort is that each room is equipped with an electrical key that  cuts off the electricity when the guest leaves the room. 

Pic Courtesy: X2 River Kwai Resort

The resort consists of 8 rooms of different kinds — PoolXide Cabin, LuXe Cabin, PoolXide Cabin Suite and LuXe Cabin Suite- all facing the spectacular Kwai Noi River. There's also a river-facing restaurant with an outdoor deck, The Bridge Bar and Bistro, library, an infinity riverfront pool with sun lounges and sun beds, bicycles on loan, free wifi in all common areas, guarded car park and iPads on loan. For guests’ safety, CCTVs are installed in all critical areas and there are 24 hour security guards.

Pic Courtesy: X2 River Kwai Resort

Now, I cannot leave you without retelling the story of one of my favourite films: The Bridge on the River Kwai. It opens in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Burma in 1943, where a battle of wills rages between camp commander Colonel Saito (Sessue Hayakawa) and newly arrived British colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinness). Saito insists that Nicholson order his men to build a bridge over the river Kwai, which will be used to transport Japanese munitions. Nicholson refuses, despite all the various persuasive devices at Saito's disposal. Finally, Nicholson agrees, not so much to cooperate with his captor as to provide a morale-boosting project for the military engineers under his command. The colonel will prove that, by building a better bridge than Saito's men could build, the British soldier is a superior being even when under the thumb of the enemy. As the bridge goes up, Nicholson becomes obsessed with completing it to perfection, eventually losing sight of the fact that it will benefit the Japanese. Meanwhile, American POW Shears (William Holden), having escaped from the camp, agrees to save himself from a court martial by leading a group of British soldiers back to the camp to destroy Nicholson's bridge. Upon his return, Shears realizes that Nicholson's mania to complete his project has driven him mad. It won the Oscar for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Guinness and Best Screenplay for Pierre Boulle.

Now, I suggest you go get yourself a DVD of the film and watch it, even as you draw up a plan to visit X2 River Kwai Resort. 

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