Tha Pai Memorial Bridge or Tha Pai World War II Memorial Bridge is a bridge made of steel and wood built during World War II and is now a mandatory stop for tourists. It is a historic place and an architectural curiosity because it is built in wood.
Where is Pai Memorial Bridge located?
This famous bridge is situated in Mae Hi in the Pai district of Mae Hong Son region of Thailand. In fact, it is in the northeast of Thailand near the Myanmar border.
You can situate this bridge on the map below:
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Facts about the Pai Memorial Bridge
This road is a bridge made of wood with a steel structure. Today, it’s a pedestrian way. Indeed, an automobile bridge was built next to. The bridge is approximately 200 meters (650 ft) long.
History of the road:
During World War II, the Japanese military used prisoners of war and forced labor to build many of the roads between Thailand and Burma. For example, the road between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son was strategically important. At the time, there was a road connecting Chiang Mai and Pai and the Japanese wanted to improve the roads and make them suitable for the troops and heavy vehicles that would be needed for the planned attacks on Burma, which was then a British colony. In Pai village, a wooden bridge was built during this period with the help of elephants to bring trees from the jungle.
In 1944, the Allied troops had the upper hand over the Japanese who decided to set the bridge on fire during their retreat. After the war, the inhabitants rebuilt the bridge.
In 1973, heavy flooding hit Pai district and the bridge was destroyed. However, it was again rebuilt as a tourist attraction afterward alongside the metal bridge.
How to get to the Pai Bridge?
Pai Memorial Bridge is approximately 9 kilometers south of Pai at kilometer marker 88 on Highway 1095. In fact, it is situated in Mae Hi in the Pai district of Mae Hong Son region of Thailand.
Is the Pai Memorial Bridge Open?
The road is always open and the entrance is free.
Be careful when you walk on that bridge, not to put your foot in a hole.
A preview of this legendary road:
You can obviously have a preview of that road by watching some videos.
Here is a YouTube video that shows this bridge:
If you have the opportunity to be in the North-East of Thailand, it can be definitely a great idea to cross the Pai Memorial Bridge as it is one of the most scenic bridges in the region.
Pictures sources: shankar s. on flickr.
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