Giant Rain Tree
Giant Raintree, Ko Samrong, Mueang Kanchanaburi District, Kanchanaburi, Thailand
A tree might not seem a likely candidate for an interesting attraction whilst holidaying in Thailand, but rest assured, this is a tree like no other. This spectacular tree, of the genus Samanea saman, is absolutely huge, with low hanging and far reaching branches, and well worth seeking out for the photo opportunity alone. It is about twenty minutes from the centre of Kanchanaburi.
What to See and Expect
The tree itself is located in the Royal Thai Army’s Division of Veterinary and Agriculture, about 5km south of Wat Tham Mangkornthong. The tree is an incredible 20 metres high and 51.75 metres in diameter, meaning it covers an area of 2416 square metres, and is estimated to be well over a hundred years old.
It is a rain tree, which means it’s leaves fold up during rainfall, allowing grass to grow underneath the canopy itself. You can walk around underneath the tree, in fact a wooden walkway has recently been constructed around the trunk of the tree to help prevent damage to the roots from people walking on them, it’s a nice spot to sit and eat some lunch. The tree is known to Thais as “chamchuri yak”, chamchuri referring to the species of tree and yak meaning giant.
How to Get There
The tree is actually fairly difficult to find, it will be much easier for you to book a taxi or tuk-tuk from your hotel or guest house, and in most cases the driver will be happy to sit and wait for you whilst you visit the tree. It’s around 12km from the centre of Kanchanaburi on some land owned by the Royal Thai Army.
Opening Times and Admission Fee
You can come and visit the tree any day between 6am and 6pm, admission is free and there is no dress code. It would be a good idea to bring some water with you as it can get very hot during the middle of the day, however, there are a few small food and drink vendors close to the tree if you forget.
The tree is actually much bigger than it looks in the photos if that is possible. I went to a temple in the morning, came here for about 45 minutes for lunch, then went to another temple before heading back to town, was a really great day out and got loads of nice photos, well worth the trip. Make sure you take a carrier bag with you to be responsible and take your garbage away with you, I noticed some tourists dropping litter which was a shame.