“Pursuit of the Golden Lily” is a new novel by R. Emery, inspired by her father's WWII POW diary. Initially documenting the author's journey to return the diary to Thailand where it was written, the Blog now follows her experiences as she self-publishes, launches the novel and reflects on topics woven into the narrative.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Kanchanaburi & Surroundings

The town of Kanchanaburi is located where the Kwhae Noi and Khwae Yai Rivers merge into the Mae Klong River. It is the birthplace of the Buddhist monk Phrabhavanavirikakhum, who was born here in 1941. Known to his congregation as 'Luang Phaw Dattajeevo', his work in Buddhist teaching were recognized by the Royal Order but he is perhaps best known for his dedication to the outreach of meditation and Buddhism for world peace.
Kanchanburi was made famous by Pierre Boulle's novel and film of the same name, 'Bridge Over The River Kwai'. In reality there never really was a bridge over the River Khwae Noi, as depicted in the film. That bridge, which was wooden, was built further up river, and destroyed after the war. The bridge you see today in Kanchanaburi, was built during the war, when steel became available. The Allies bombed it during WWII, but the center span was reconstructed post war.
As a POW of the Japanese, my father spent time in Tarsao hospital located near Kanchanaburi. In my novel, "Pursuit of the Golden Lily" Rose begins her journey by lending her father's diary to the Thailand-Burma-Railway Museum...where she meets Jack MacLean! Well, I didn't meet Jack, but we did meet Rod Beattie and his staff. There'll be more about that later when my brother Chris arrives for the official 'handover' of the diary!
One of the highlights of being in Kanchanaburi was getting to meet some wonderful characters... like our driver Cheech'nChong!

He took us on a wild ride through the region that we will never forget! This beautiful gold Buddha overlooked the Mae Klong River, near Kanchanaburi.

We stopped at a small temple and were invited in to meet the head honcho monk, recently arrived from Myanmar. We did try chanting Rama Bolo, but he wasn't impressed LOL!

                      Finally, after all that walking and looking and and appreciating... we flopped down for one of Thailand's most amazing services... a Thai Massage.  Awesome!!!

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