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Things to see and do

  • Death Railway Bridge
    3.5 stars

    Even so, the history makes it special and it's the centre of tourism in Kanchanaburi -- you'll see its simple dark iron arches painted on walls, samlors and T-shirts all around town. The original iron bridge was brought from Java by Japanese armed forces during World War II and reassembled by ... read more

  • Exploring Kanchanaburi by train
    4 stars

    The daily local train from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi is certainly not the fastest way to travel but as a change from blue government coaches or cramped Khao San minibuses it’s well worth considering, and if you’re not in a hurry it can be a lot of fun. The train leaves Bangkok Noi station at ... read more

  • Death Railway Museum
    4 stars

    In terms of human lives, the laying of the Death Railway was among the most tragic events of World War II. An estimated 16,000 POWs and more than 49,000 forced labourers lost their lives during its construction, and about 12,000 people are buried around Kanchanaburi in various cemeteries. A ... read more

  • JEATH War Museum
    3.5 stars

    Brief but striking captions accompany each image and help to give a sense for what life was like for the POWs. Expect to see dramatic depictions of skin-and-bones prisoners toiling with pick axes and lying on bamboo platforms, too weak to move. The images are in fact laid out on a platform ... read more

  • Hellfire Pass
    5 stars

    The name refers to the hellish red-orange colours that emerged from inside the rocks as they were chiselled by the prisoners, although the conditions under which the work was undertaken are obviously hinted at in the name as well. For long stretches through this especially rugged section of the ... read more

  • War Museum and Art Gallery
    2.5 stars

    One building is devoted mainly to the history of the many Thai-Burmese wars that have taken place over the centuries. Here you'll find displays of ancient swords, sculptures of Thai kings and dramatic murals of warfare on elephant-back. Two huge bomb shells greet visitors to the main building, ... read more

  • Chung-Kai War Cemetery
    3 stars

    Some 1,750 POWs are buried here, most of whom died in the hospital. The cemetery is at the original site of the base camp hospital and a church that was built by the POWs. The atmosphere here is quiet and, particularly because it was an actual camp site, it's perhaps a better place to reflect than ... read more

  • Wat Tham Mongkon Thong
    4 stars

    A string of more than half a dozen floating nuns have served time here -- a few still live here and can be seen walking (not floating) around the compound. Although performed in front of Nikon-wielding devotees in a small round pool, the performance is worth seeing as the nun really does seem ... read more

  • Organised trips
    3.5 stars

    These trips, as unimaginative as they are, are often excellent value. The only disappointing fact is that in a province with such a great wealth of national parks and attractions, the choice of tours available is limited. Three general-purpose tours are pretty much on offer everywhere -- little ... read more

  • Erawan National Park
    4 stars

    The triple cascade at the top of the famous seven-tiered waterfall is said to resemble the elephant's head, and every weekend hundreds of visitors arrive to walk the trail up the waterfall and swim in the natural pools. The park covers an area of more than 500 square kilometres and although ... read more

  • Sai Yok National Park
    3.5 stars

    The main attractions are Sai Yok Yai and Sai Yok Lek waterfalls, both of which emerge as streams out of the forest before plummeting eight to 10 metres into the River Kwai. A suspension footbridge has been set up near Sai Yok Yai, which takes you across the river to a viewing point. You'll need to ... read more

  • Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
    3.5 stars

    The very well-kept cemetery has a reverential atmosphere, emphasised by the uniformed veterans who occasionally stroll among the graves. Neatly laid out in row upon row, this is the more commonly visited of Kanchanaburi's war cemeteries and is well worth the time to wander, reading the markers ... read more

  • Prasat Muang Singh
    4 stars

    Sitting on the banks of the Kwai Noi River, this complex is believed to have once been a large trading centre and probably also acted as an important garrison town protecting the western frontier of the Khmer kingdom. Though it's often overshadowed by Kanchanaburi's many World War II sites, Prasat ... read more

  • Wat Thum Khao Poon
    3.5 stars

    Various formations in the caves have been said to resemble either a crocodile, an elephant or a tooth. One section of the cave is only reached through a tunnel that you need to crawl through, so dress accordingly. Perhaps the most impressive time to visit the caves is at dusk, when thousands of ... read more

  • Sai Yok Noi Waterfall
    3 stars

    It's located immediately off Route 323 around 45 kilometres west of Kanchanaburi. It's also a short walk from Nam Tok rail station, which is the final stop on the Death Railway train ride. To be fair, the falls do cascade elegantly off a limestone head, but the concrete walls that have been added ... read more

  • Tham Krasae
    4 stars

    The train stops here to allow passengers to jump off, take a look around and buy various touristy knick-knacks. But if you visit at any other time, chances are you'll have the cave and viaduct totally to yourself. Tham Krasae and the viaduct are well off Route 323 and are marked by signs -- if ... read more

  • Chinese Cemetery
    2.5 stars

    Though it's almost always deserted, it's an interesting contrast to the immaculately kept Allied graveyard next door and makes for a photogenic 15 minute wander if you happen to be in the area. The Chinese graves are built above ground and some have ornate ceramic artwork. A large pagoda sits at ... read more

  • Cooking Classes
    3.5 stars

    Thai cooking classes have become a bit of a craze in Kanchanaburi, and now almost everyone with a kitchen has put out a sign advertising their classes. The most established course is at Apple's Retreat, where for 1,200 baht Chef Noi will teach you how to make four Thai standards. A good, ... read more

  • The Tiger Temple
    Half a star

    Perhaps in response to criticism about their living conditions, a new 'Tiger Island' enclosure has been constructed, which is meant to replicate their natural environment. To pay for this massive project, the entrance fee is a hefty 300 baht. The temple appears to have perhaps got a bit greedy ... read more

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