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Sound & light show at the Bridge on the River Kwai

Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Nov. 29, 2008

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This is clearly not the big bamboo structure that Alec Guiness blows up at the end of The Bridge on the River Kwai. I have heard that several bridges were built and blown-up during the war, and this one is the last survivor. We were lucky enough to be in town for the annual celebration of the bridge, and Aunt Judi pointed us towards this restaurant where we could eat a set menu of seafood and spicy noodle dishes while watching a narrated sound-and-light show telling (I presume) the story of the bridge. At one point, planes flew low over the bridge, synchronized with explosions in the water. But the highlight for me was the conclusion, when they launched a few dozen small, unmanned hot-air balloons, each one lifted by a fire burning and hanging below it. It was a beautiful and serene sight to see them lifting into the sky, glowing, as they soared off -- something that could only be allowed in a wet jungle land, and never in California. Only one caught fire and fell into the river.