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Thailand forum

Kachanaburi and surrounding area

Posted by vmegirl on 28/11/2011 at 12:55

I am planning a 20 day trip in thailand. The first week will be in Central Thailand, starting in Bangkok and heading out towards Kachanaburi. The issues is I have exactly 5 days of travel before I need to be in Koh Samui. I was planning on heading to Kachanaburi, but I'm wondering if 5 days is too long to spend there. I welcome any recommendations on how to split up those 5 days between Kachanburi and Bangkok. I was thinking maybe 3 days in Kachanaburi and 2 elsewhere?

#1 vmegirl has been a member since 2/8/2011. Posts: 1

Posted by Nixxypie on 28/11/2011 at 15:46

I spent 2 days/1 night in Kanchanaburi and could have stayed an extra day just to explore but after that I'd say it's enough if you have other things to do.

I booked a trip in Bangkok which included a bus to Kanchanaburi, war cemetry, jeath war museum, walk on the bridge over the river kwai, amazing train ride along the bridge and death railway, lunch (some of the best food we had in Thailand), short elephant ride, bamboo rafting, overnight stay in a hotel with dinner and breakfast the following day, Erwan national park for half a day, dinner, then the bus home. I think we paid 900b each plus about 700b for extras while we were there but it was worth every penny and was the nicest place I went in Thailand.

As for Bangkok I wasn't a huge fan of it, it's a big city like you could get anywhere else in the world (still worth having a look around and having some pad thai etc but I think there's better places to go). There's the grand palace as well, river cruises, markets, shopping etc depending on what you're interested in. I ended up spending about a week there in between trips and travelling, but 2 days would have been more than enough.

I can't recommend anywhere else to go around Bangkok as I went to Chiang Mai next which is too far for 2 days, then Cambodia and Vietnam before travelling to the islands.


#2 Nixxypie has been a member since 27/4/2011. Posts: 55

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Posted by Tilapia on 28/11/2011 at 18:33

Hi vmegirl,

You could easily spend all that time in both Bangkok and Kanchanaburi. I love Bangkok, its markets, the main temples, the food, riverside life, etc., but if that's not your thing, then you could spend a couple of nights in K-buri, and spend another couple of nights further west in Sangkhlaburi, near the Burmese border. It's a gorgeous area and well-worth visiting as long as you don't do it during a Thai holiday.

From there you could backtrack to K-buri and then go to Nakhon Pathom where you could hop on the train south to Surat Thani, and then head to Koh Samui.

There are also some great little towns not far outside of Bangkok to the southwest. Amphawa, Samut Songkhram, and Mahachai. Incredible seafood markets, as well as floating markets, and some very nice homestays. All of these places are on the way south.

You could also make a couple of stops on the way south to Koh Samui. Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ban Saphan Yai, the beach areas north of Chumphon are some examples of spots.

#3 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,521
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Posted by exacto on 28/11/2011 at 20:49

Hey vmegirl,

Five days may seem like a lot but it won't be once you arrive. As Tilapia says, you can spend a few days in Bangkok just having a look around (plus getting over jet lag if you are arriving from far away), then in Kanchanaburi. That could easily eat up five days.

I'm not sure you'll have the time, but the suggestion to head up to Sangkhlaburi near the Burma border is a good one. You might also consider taking an extra day or two heading south, stopping off in Prachuap Khiri Khan or Chumphon. Cheers.

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Posted by Sparts on 29/11/2011 at 13:29

I visited Kanchanaburi a couple of months ago. We only stayed a coulple of nights. I have to say that perhaps 5 days/nights would be stretching it - but that's me. There is a lot to do in the surrounding area - Erawan Falls can be a full day out in itself, then there is HellFire Pass in the other direction, include a couple of side excursions and that's another day spent.

If you've not visited Bangkok before then you should always give it a chance, although I really have no idea what state it's in right now. I like the city, it's amazing and there is of course loads to keep you busy, but a few days are enough at the start and end of your trip.
You've probably got it about right, 2 days/nights in Bangkok and the other 3 in Kanchanaburi.

#5 Sparts has been a member since 5/6/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 169
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Posted by whardy on 29/11/2011 at 21:36

I agree with exacto, perhaps a trip to Sangkhlaburi would be a good option for you. It is about 4 hours past Kanchanaburi , and more of the "real, authentic" Thailand that people are looking for (save the cowboy themed guesthouse??). Kanchanaburi is very relaxing and I'd be content if I could hang there for a few weeks, but on a 20 day tour, I'd recommend splitting those 5 days up between a couple places. After the waterfalls, bridge, and caves around Kanchanaburi, you've pretty much got it covered and all there is to do is swing in a hammock, read a book, and take in the scenery.

If you'd like to do Bangkok, make sure you've got a great plan or else you'll find yourself stuck on Khao San Rd., wishing you were in a postcard instead of living in a tourist ghetto. Mmm Burger King, McDonald's, Irish pubs, lots of foreigners, exactly why I came to Thailand! :)

#6 whardy has been a member since 14/11/2011. Posts: 66

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