Owning a charming natural beauty, Kanchanaburi becomes a great tourist attraction in Thailand with many attractions and interesting experiences.
Where is Kanchanaburi?
Kanchanaburi is about 100 km from Bangkok and is the metropolis of this province. Many travelers often choose to depart towards the north of Bangkok to enjoy the beautiful natural scenery and join the tour with adventurous activities.
In particular, Chiang Mai is a popular stopover in northern Thailand. However, if you are not convenient to visit Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi is not a bad alternative. This is a quiet town with a diverse living environment. At Kanchanaburi, you will find an outstanding building that is the bridge over the Kwai river.
Attractions of Kanchanaburi
Kwai river bridge
Kwai river bridge
The bridge itself is nothing special, neither is the River Kwai. The unique thing is the historical story behind the construction of the bridge. During World War II, Japan controlled much of Asia, including Thailand and Burma (now Myanmar).
By creating a road through the forest in Thailand, Japanese people want to connect this place with Burma to transfer troops. Prisoners were used to build this railway. Later, it was renamed the Death Railway because nearly 10,000 people were dead when constructing this railway.
In particular, this story became famous worldwide after the book "The Bridge Over the River Kwai" published and a movie of the same name won seven Oscars. This bridge is undoubtedly a historic attraction.
From Kanchanaburi, you can walk to the bridge and some museums in the area. If you want to explore more, we recommend renting a bicycle to be able to go to every corner of the city.
Another highlight in this area is Erawan National Park. In here, you will find seven beautiful waterfalls that the most impressive is the Erawan waterfall. At these waterfalls, you can swim, relax, and enjoy the wonderful scenery.
Hellfire Pass Memorial
One of the most famous areas of the "Death Railway" is the Hellfire Pass, which passes through a 1,200-meter mountain.
The "Death Railway"
During the Second World War, the Japanese brought 250,000 Asian laborers here and more than 60,000 war prisoners from Australia, Britain, the United States, and the Netherlands, forcing to build railroads across the mountain under terrible conditions. Many Allied prisoners and Asian workers died here, so the memorial of Hellfire Pass was built to remember that dark age.
In here, you can imagine the horrific life of those who worked along a four-kilometer road. In addition to the memorial, there is also a small memorial museum that you can visit to learn more about the area's history.
How to go to Kanchanaburi
From Bangkok, you can choose the train or bus to travel here, but going by bus will save nearly 1 hour. However, since this is a historical path, we recommend trying a train to experience the feeling of walking on the famous building of the Death Railway.
The bus from Bangkok takes about two hours. If traveling from the south, you will need to go through the city of Ratchaburi. Also, if you travel from northern Thailand, you can go to Suphanburi. From both cities, you can take the bus to Kanchanaburi for about two hours.
Accommodation in Kanchanaburi
Staying in a bungalow on the Kwai river
Staying overnight in Kanchanaburi, you can choose the simplest motels or bungalows right on the river. It costs about USD 25 for a large bungalow with a terrace or balcony.
Tip: You should spend a night to stay in floating hotels on the Kwai river. In here at night, although there is no electricity, everything is lit with hundreds of shimmering oil lamps.
Activities in Kanchanaburi
The rugged terrain in Kanchanaburi will be ideal for outdoor leisure activities. If you don't like sitting in one place, you can choose to go hiking or sailing on the Kwai river. You can rent a kayak and sail from Kanchanaburi on the river.
No need to rush, you can leisurely like to see everything and enjoy the natural landscape here. If you are not passionate about kayaking, you can also choose a long-tail boat.
Kayaking in Kanchanaburi
If you want to make a trip through the forest, it will take a day or more. Forget the comfort if you join this trip. And don't hesitate to ask an experienced guide to help you explore the journey.
Note: This trip has only simple meals and you will even have to sleep on a local tribe along the way.