ANZAC DAY ride to Kanchanaburi

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by Tom Forde, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. Tom Forde

    Tom Forde Ol'Timer

    Any Aussies and Kiwi's, Brits and Dutch interested in a ride down to Kanchanaburi to give their respects to the fallen in the 2nd WW and all the prisoners who lost their lives on the Hell Fire pass?
    I will be leaving around the 21st or so, riding my old 30 year old CB Honda, a crusey ride around 120km/hr.
    Who is interested?
    This is really a ride to show or respect to the young people who fought against the Japanese in WWII.
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  3. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Anzac Day is actually on 25th of April so You must be Planning a Really Long way to get there Tom? We normally go on the 24th direct to Kanchanaburi. Up at 3:30 to get to the Dawn Ceremony on time in Hell Fire Pass which is quite a Drive from Town and starts about 6am. Then back for the Midday Ceremony held at the Cemetery in the middle of Town. Every Year this event is getting Larger and I couldn't even get Close to the Dawn Ceremony last Year because of all the People We were actually stuck in the Pass itself!!! I have been half a dozen times already so I may give the early Part a Miss this Year and get some Sleep, then just do the Midday part! Afterwards they have Free Beer and Snacks from New Zealand and Australia but due to the ever increasing Numbers I only got 1 Beer last Year!!! Still a Very Moving event not to be missed and a Couple of Good Nights out!!!
  4. Tom Forde

    Tom Forde Ol'Timer

    Hi Ron and all,
    Good historic information too.
    A lot of Europeans and Americans weren't aware of the sacrifices during these conflicts.
    I am easy on the dates and times, I met up with Ian, Richard and Ken plus a few other Aussies and Kiwis at the X centre on Sunday and they all expressed interest in riding down.
    Maybe as the date gets closer we can get together and organise something, like route, accommodation etc.

  5. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    My wife, Stu Lloyd (war historian) & I will ride down on 23/4. We'll ride up to the 3 Pagaodas area on 24/4 before attending various ceremonies on Anzac Day itself.
    Looking forward to it.
  6. Rustic Charm

    Rustic Charm Ol'Timer

    I have a tentative ride planned for Anzac Day (25th April).
    Leaving Bkk Saturday 23rd or Sunday 24th and staying 2 or 3 nights in Kanchanaburi town. There is a dawn ceremony at Hellfire Pass the morning of the 25th, wreath laying at the War Cemetery in town at about 10am and then lunch.
    This is also an opportunity to visit (former Ducati Thailand GM) Chum's resting place to pay respects, either on the way there or when returning.
  7. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    I am Planning to Ride down Sunday 24th. I will skip the Dawn Ceremony in Hellfire Pass Service as I have been there 5 or so Times already and the Crowd has increased every Year to the Point Last Year I couldn't even get near the Actual Ceremony I was back at the beginning of the pass. Due to the Large Numbers and Diplomatic Groups from Various Countries Security is Tight but not Overwhelming? A Very Moving Ceremony and if You have never been to one well worth going? The War Cemetery Ceremony is also a Must See! Up until last Year it was a Mid Day Service but it was brought forward to 10 am because of the Heat! It gets Extremely Hot and Humid in Kanchanaburi and I saw one of the Reverends holding the Service Pass out a few Years back!!! If I don't See You Guys at the Service I will be having a few Beers around the bars at Night on 24 & 25 so keep an eye Out!!!
  8. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    I managed to align a work trip with ANZAC Day a few years ago, and met with Ian and the crew in KAN.

    As an Aussie, for who the war never really came to Australia, but who was taught in school a lot about the ANZAC tradition, it had always been a bit removed from me personally (even though my grandfathers and all my great uncles etc were involved).

    The Noon Service in the KAN war cemetary was really very moving.

    It was a good weekend to get together, have a few beers, and talk about something pretty important to Aussies and Kiwis, as well as quite a few laughs.

    Unfortunately there is no chance for me to get across this year, but it is something I hope to do again.

  9. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Hi Daewoo,
    I think the Year You joined Us was one of the Best! More People every Year since, Which Means Less Beer for Us after the Service, Terrible!!! All the Best Mate and Hope to catch up again one day!
  10. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

    Good suggestion Colin's, followed Collin's route back from Kanchanaburi to Tak, posted here, back from Kanchanaburi last month and enjoyed the route. Sure beats slab slogging it 2 up on a D-Tracker, for 500 plus km's, on the #1. Only leaves the stretch from Tak to the 106 turn off, on the #1 hwy, and those welcoming North Thai corners. :D

    Since a child we learned Anzac day, in our small Canadian town, and all thought it was a special remembrance day; remembering those lost and - importantly - the battle were the Aussies and Kiwis fought together (that was the important part we're told). A retired Aussies veteran of two wars spoke at a very small school, in Canada, every Anzac day for 20 years plus; he would also add that without it the Aussies and Kiwis might not always be as neighborly.
  11. Tom Forde

    Tom Forde Ol'Timer

    Just had a coffee with Ron and reckon Ian's idea of missing the dawn service and attending the 10am service is a good idea.
    I believe Ron is leaving tomorrow and taking his time through the back roads, similar to Captain Slash's suggestion.
    I will be leaving on saturday morning so I will see all of you there.

  12. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Sorry to Say I can't make it this Year after All! So You Guys have a Beer for Me and All the Best!
  13. Rustic Charm

    Rustic Charm Ol'Timer

    We're at the River Kwai hotel and it's rather wet here at the moment. Hope it clears for tomorrow.
  14. Tom Forde

    Tom Forde Ol'Timer

    Sorry we missed you, caught up with Ron and went to the 10 am service at the cemetery.
  15. Rustic Charm

    Rustic Charm Ol'Timer

    Last Sunday, ex-RAF pal, Dave and myself rode our Ducati 848's from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi for the Anzac Day memorial services on the Monday.

    Unusually wet for this time of year.

    The main War Cemetery in Kanchanaburi Town. There are almost 7000 graves here. The mostly Australian, British and Dutch POW's died building the Burma Railway.

    Bagpipes started the proceedings.
    They also closed the ceremony with a moving rendition of Auld Lang Syne.

    An honor guard from the various Anzac forces.

    Actual survivors of the Burma Railway were in attendance and laid a wreath.

    After the ceremony, we rode the bikes on some amazing curvy roads to Hellfire Pass.

    The entrance located in a deep ravine. walking down (and up especially) was a bit of a trial in full riding gear and I could feel the humidity taking it's toll.

    A memorial plaque along the cliff face.

    The inscription.

    Another plaque.

    The main Hellfire Pass Memorial.
  16. Tom Forde

    Tom Forde Ol'Timer

    Fantastic report,
    I have added my 2 bobs worth below and I believe Ron will add his words and pics.

    ANZAC DAY 25th April 2011-04-25This time around I gave my respects in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.
    For the past 10 years I have visited many dawn services in some obscure parts of Asia where Australians have served. It is not what it seems from a personal point of view, I had no previous interest in Australian history or relatives and friends that had served, until the Vietnam War.

    In fact I come from a totally different background, but tied through history because of the old British Empire.
    My family and I were 10 pound Poms, immigrating to Oz in 1956. For reasons unknown to me we ended up in Oz.
    As a 6 year old, the adventure was just beginning, clear skies, beautiful beaches and a great climate. My brother and I excelled in sport, school and the world was grand until 1968 when I had to put my name down for conscription, at 19 the lottery determined the rest of my life.
    If your birthday date came up in the monthly lottery you were off to Vietnam. I was a fanatical surfer at the time and when the surf was up, you expected to see the usual hotdoggers on the line up.
    All of a sudden Jacko was missing, then Johno, they had been called up and gone to Vietnam.



    This period in history changed my perspective on ANZAC Day; it is to give respect to mates who didn’t have the opportunities that I had, and the protection of my kids and grandkids.




    That is why I go to the ANZAC services, so my kids and grandkids do not have to go to war.
    They live in one of the most free, unpolluted and easy going countries in the world. They can leave their back doors open, their cars open and the kids can play in the parks without supervision.
    Lest we forget.The ride down to Kanchanaburi 23rd April 2011
    I just had old Doris (my 10year old BMW Dakar) serviced 80,000km and her 2nd trip to Asia.
    New tyres, brakes, wheel bearings and the BMW service, it was raining at 6.30AM so it was a late start at 8.30AM. I set the GPS on the shortest route, just to see where it would take me.
    I have done this before so I was aware of the crazy reconfigurations that the GPS computer can do.
    It will recompute the smallest and craziest detour to cut corners on the highway that you can ride 120km/hr and send you down dirt roads at 20km/hr just to save on distance. I went through rice paddies, sugar cane paddocks and through small villages as the GPS constantly recomputed the route. Great fun, until the rain started, luckily old Doris had dirt tyres on. Just over 8 hours and 730km later I arrived in Kanchanaburi and a bit wet.
    As I had a day to recuperate, I contacted Ron two wheels and we explored the town. I had been to Kanchanaburi on numerous occasions, this time was different, and Ron was interested in the total story of the Australian prisoners of war and the hardships under their Japanese captors. It opened up a totally different side of human brutality that only a close analysis of the building of the railroad can give.
    Patriotism is one thing, when you get a couple of hundred Aussies in a small town on the piss, the whole place is given a different perspective, backpackers and tourists couldn’t understand the hundreds of Aussie and boxing Kangaroo flags adorning bars, motorbikes and cars.
    I needed a day to get the old body in order and check old Doris out, other than a chain adjustment and some chain oil; she was as good as gold, it took me a little longer.
    I left my guest house at 7.00am on the 27th April and set my GPS to the fastest route to Chiang Mai.
    An uneventful ride up the main highway seen me arrive home in 7 and half hours and 710km.
    Another well celebrated ANZAC DAY was held, unfortunately no two up.
    Remember we were only 19.
  17. ronwebb

    ronwebb Ol'Timer

    Thanks Tom and Rustic Charm for the reports and your thoughts on the ANZAC day service. The area is one of those places in the world that, no matter who you are or where you come from, it WILL leave an impression on you.
    Must get there again next year as this year was not possible for me.
    Some friends of mine from CNX went down, Rod on his D-tracker and his wife Myriama on a Sonic! You've gotta be kidding - over 700kms in a day on a Sonic? Rod, tell the story, there must be a good one there.

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