History of Tha Pai Memorial Bridge
In 1939 World War II : A huge conflict, opponents on every continent and almost everywhere in the world, caused the biggest loss in the entire world history.
Japan went to war against the allied countries and created an army base in Thailand in order to achieve their strategic goals.
The plan was to attack Burma. At that time, Burma was a colony of the UK, but it was a difficult route for the army to travel, the way being blocked by the Pai River.
The Japaneses army forced villagers to work on the route from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son.
Meanwhile, villagers from Mae Hong Son were forced to build the route from Mae Hong Son to Chiang Mai. The road met in the area of ” Tha – Pai ” river near Ta Pai village.
The bridge was built using elephants which dragged trees 30 inches wild from the jungle. Strong poles were set up and the bridge to connecting the road between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son.
This became the historical World War II bridgeHis1946 World War II ended. Japanese soldiers left and burnt down the bridge. This caused the villagers major inconvenience in their own ways of transportation.
Because there was no bridge they had to make log boats th cross the river ( these were logs with holes dug inside ) .
Since the villagers were used to using the bridge for their transport and deliveries, they all came together and rebuilt the wooden bridge over the Pai River.
In August, there was a huge flood that caused damage to all the paddy fields, farms and also destroyed the bridge.
Pai district office asked Chiang Mai province for permission to have the ” Nawarat Steel Bridge ” to replace the ruined bridge.
The Nawarat Bridge was transported to Pai, Mae Hong Son.
It took 1 year to complete the works. It then became known as the ” Ta -Pai Bridge ” and for the new generation it still stands as a reminder of our history.