Although the most common practice is to cremate the deceased and then place all or some of the deceased ashes in a chedi, there are many cemeteries in Thailand. There is a very large Chinese cemetery in Salat Buri near Rangsit which is northwest of Bangkok. Also, many Chinese single and family plots are evident from Highway 4 and lesser roads near Ranong which is in the Isthmus of Kra in Southern Thailand.
Near most Christian churches are cemeteries, as well. In Bangkok, the following places of worship were located:
- Calvary Baptist Church
Soi 2, Sukhumvit Road
- Holy Redemer Church (Roman Catholic)
123/19 Soi Ruam Rudee
- The Evangelical Church
Soi 10, Sukhumvit Road
- Christ Church (Anglican/Episcopal Services)
- German Church service,
- Hindu Temple (Wat Khek)
Pan Road (Near Silom Road)
- Wat Sirikurusing Saha (Sikh)
565 Pahurat Road
- Bahai Faith
77/1 Soi Lang Suan (Near Ploenchit Road)
Chieng Mai (aka Chiang Mai, in the changwat of the same name), a city in the northwest, has an old cemetery dating back to the late 1800's.
Kanchanaburi, in the changwat of the same name, is about 120 km west of Bangkok. There are two cemeteries (one is named Allied War Cemetery) containing 6,982 remains of Australian, British, and Dutch World War Two (WW II) prisoners-of-war (POWs) that died as Japanese captives. The American POWs were reinterred at the National Cemetery in Honolulu, Hawaii.
However, many POW graves were never found!
The fictional book by Pierre Boulle and later the movie, Bridge on the River Kwai, were based on the terrible experiences of the POWs. In addition, it is estimated that 100,000 oppressed laborers (Thai, Burmese, and others) as well as 16,000 Allied POWs lost their lives building the infamous Burma-Siam Death Railway.
The factual book, 4000 Bowls of Rice, a prisoner of war comes home, tells how one POW, Staff Sergeant Cecil Dickson, prepared himself, mentally and physically, for his journey home after three and a half years of brutal captivity in Java, Burma and Thailand. He was a member of the 2/2 Australian Pioneer Battalion.
In his factual book, A Thousand Cups of Rice, Surviving the Death Railway, Kyle Thompson, decribes how a young teenage guardsman in the Texas National Guard (36th Infantry Division) and his 2nd Battalion, 131st Field Artillery unit were sent to the Pacific early in WW II and is captured. He, his guardsmen comrades and the survivors of the sunken USS Houston are forced to undergo inhuman mental and physical stress while constructing the 265-mile "Death Railway" through the jungles of Burma and Thailand.
Appendix B, pages 173 through 176, lists the Texas National Guardmen and USS Houston Crewmen who died while POWs. The appendix lists the name, unit, and cause, date and place of death.
© 2000 ThailandGenWeb Project