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Kanchanaburi

Welcome to Thailand Travel Hub here in Kanchanaburi, an excellent way to discover the truly amazing, historical city of Kanchanaburi, located a few hours west of Bangkok. Here you can checkout the best places to visit, top things to do, best accommodation options and a whole lot more.

An Introduction To Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi is an easy day trip from the capital – but its wealth of historic sites, museums, temples and its lively city centre are worthy of a few days at least. Combine that with the absolutely stunning surrounding countryside filled as it is with mountains and lush forestry, as well as the fantastic range of hotels and guesthouses with direct views of the serene River kwai, and there’s more than enough here to tide you over for as long as you’ll ever want.

Kanchanaburi is filled with history. It’s lively, growing, and ready to be explored.

Kanchanaburi is the capital of the region of the same name and sits just two hours from Bangkok along the banks of the Mae Klong River – formed by the confluence of the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai Rivers in the west of Thailand. Thanks to the surrounding mountain ranges in the region, Kanchanaburi enjoys a much cooler climate than the other provinces of central Thailand and because of its location so close to the capital, it’s slowly rising on the backpacker radar as a place to explore beyond a day tour of the Bridge.

Of course it’s the infamous Bridge over the River Kwai that most visit Kanchanaburi for. Every day legions of tour groups and day-trippers visit the Bridge, a symbol of Japanese atrocities in the region, to snap photos and view what is, besides it all, an incredible feat of engineering. To better understand the history, and to learn exactly what happened here during WWII, take a trip to the Thailand–Burma Railway Centre, which explains the history of the bridge in full, and at times, quite disturbing detail, and then board the Death Railway to Nam Tok. The ride takes you through the Kwai Noi valley, along the notorious Wang Po viaduct, and through various caves and hills cut directly from the rock. Sit on the left side when travelling towards Nam Tok – if you want the best views.

Most of the tourist sites in Kanchanaburi are related to WWII – and aside from those mentioned above, there’s the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery – which is the final resting place of more than 6000 (British, Dutch and Australian) POW’s who gave their lives for the construction of the Kanchanaburi – Burma railway – and the World War II Museum and Art Gallery – which is a tad odd with its Burmese shrine at the entrance, pre-WW2 Thai history hall, rusty pistols, old stamp collections and a gallery of Miss Thailand winners – but worth a visit nonetheless.

The temples here are perhaps less ornate than some that you may have seen in Bangkok or Chiang Mai, but the Wat Tham Sua and Wat Tham Khao Noi temples are both worth a visit. We suggest taking the rickety funicular (unless you can stand the brash colours of the red, green, yellow, blue and gold staircase) to the summit of the hill where they’re both located and then simply spend your time wandering from gilded stupa to ornate temple. There’s a viewing platform at the back of the complex with views of the rice fields below and the stark outlines of mountains in the distance.

If you’re spending more than a day in Kanchanaburi then you should head out into the surrounding countryside. Point your compass northwest to the stunning River Kwai Valleys where you’ll find a glistening collection of waterfalls - Erawan Falls and Sai Yok Noi Falls are both worth a visit, various caves and idyllic lakes surrounded by thick forest. You’ll also find the notorious Hellfire Pass here and can walk through the pass itself whilst listening to moving audio accounts from surviving POW’s.

Keep reading to explore some of the top places to go, things to do and some of the top accommodation options that Kanchanaburi has to offer.