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Kanchanaburi

Things to see and do

  • Death Railway Bridge
    3.5 stars

    Kanchanaburi's signature landmark gets a lot of hype thanks to the 1957 film, Bridge Over the River Kwai, but many are a tad disappointed as it's not really that spectacular to look at. Even so, the history makes it special and it's the centre of tourism in Kanchanaburi -- you'll see its simple ... 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

    The JEATH (Japan, England, Australia, America, Thailand and Holland) museum contains a moving photo and art collection displaying the atrocious conditions under which the POWs existed during the building of the Death Railway. Brief but striking captions accompany each image and help to give a sense ... read more

  • Hellfire Pass
    4.5 stars

    This outstanding museum and memorial hiking trail allows visitors the chance to get up close and personal with the rugged terrain that POWs and forced labourers were forced to turn into flat, solid ground suitable for a railway. The name refers to the hellish red-orange colours that emerged from ... read more

  • War Museum and Art Gallery
    2.5 stars

    Navigating the museums in Kanchanburi can be a little confusing -- a sign for this quirky museum located near the bridge says that it's the JEATH museum, but the real JEATH museum is found across town. One building is devoted mainly to the history of the many Thai-Burmese wars that have taken place ... read more

  • Chung-Kai War Cemetery
    3 stars

    Around five kilometres to the south of town on the far bank of the River Kwai at the point where it divides in separate directions, this cemetery occupies the former site of Chung-Kai POW camp. Some 1,750 POWs are buried here, most of whom died in the hospital. The cemetery is at the original site ... read more

  • Wat Tham Mongkon Thong
    4 stars

    The Cave Temple of the Floating Dragon has no floating dragon, but does have a resident floating nun. 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 ... read more

  • Organised trips
    3.5 stars

    Every woman and her dog runs a tour company, or at least acts as a middleman for one in Kanchanaburi, and while zipping around in a songthaew with a dozen others may not be the most exciting way to explore the province, it is the cheapest. These trips, as unimaginative as they are, are often ... read more

  • Erawan National Park
    4 stars

    One of the most famous national parks in Thailand takes its name from the Thai word for the mythological Hindu three-headed elephant Airavata. 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 ... read more

  • Sai Yok National Park
    3.5 stars

    This lush national park covers 958 square kilometres stretching all the way to the Burma border, though most is unreachable unless you're up for back-country trekking with a park ranger. The main attractions are Sai Yok Yai and Sai Yok Lek waterfalls, both of which emerge as streams out of the ... read more

  • Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
    3.5 stars

    On Sangchuto Road, nearly opposite the train station and right next to the Death Railway Museum, you can visit the remains of 6,982 Allied POWs who died during the construction of the railway. The very well-kept cemetery has a reverential atmosphere, emphasised by the uniformed veterans who ... read more

  • Prasat Muang Singh
    4 stars

    Prasat Muang Singh, or Sanctuary of the City of the Lion, is the westernmost Khmer site so far unearthed and has been dated to the 12th or 13th century. 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 ... read more

  • Wat Thum Khao Poon
    3.5 stars

    This wat is built near eight caves that you can wander through when the monks are not using them as meditation rooms. They feature both stalactites and stalagmites but many have been broken so tourists won't hurt themselves. Various formations in the caves have been said to resemble either a ... read more

  • Sai Yok Noi Waterfall
    3 stars

    Not as impressive as Sai Yok Yai waterfall further north and nowhere near as spectacular as Erawan waterfall, Sai Yok Noi is a tourist trap that's so regularly visited only due to its convenience. It's located immediately off Route 323 around 45 kilometres west of Kanchanaburi. It's also a short ... read more

  • Tham Krasae
    4 stars

    While the cave here is nothing amazing, the access along a viaduct of the Death Railway provides spectacular views over the surrounds, with a river sliding by well below you. The train stops here to allow passengers to jump off, take a look around and buy various touristy knick-knacks. But if you ... read more

  • Chinese Cemetery
    2.5 stars

    Located beside the war cemetery is a large Chinese cemetery. 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 ... read more

  • Cooking Classes
    3.5 stars

    One of the best ways to gain an understanding of Thai culture is through learning about its cuisine, and Kanchanaburi provides a wonderful environment for taking a Thai cooking course. Thai cooking classes have become a bit of a craze in Kanchanaburi, and now almost everyone with a kitchen has put ... read more

  • The Tiger Temple
    Half a star

    Regardless of the many rumours circulating about this place, in our opinion, a dozen or so tigers belong in the care of trained personnel in a natural environment -- not in a quarry under the care of a monk, regardless of how good his intentions may be. Perhaps in response to criticism about their ... read more


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