Photo: Striking.

Thailand-Burma Railway Centre

Our rating:

The Thailand-Burma Railway Centre is a fascinating museum and research centre recounting the details of the Death Railway’s construction with a high level of accuracy and sensitivity.

According to the founders: “The principle on which this museum was designed and built was to provide a truthful account of the construction and use of the Thailand-Burma Railway and to honour those who suffered as a result.” They also “aimed to research the fate of every Allied POW who died as a result of being sent to work on the railway.” An attentive walk through the museum will provide a basic understanding of the Death Railway, making it easier to appreciate how thousands of POWs died before perusing some of their gravestones at the neighbouring Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.

A fascinating collection. Photo taken in or around Thailand-Burma Railway Centre, Kanchanaburi, Thailand by David Luekens.

A fascinating collection. Photo: David Luekens

Dozens of well-written English info boards join models, maps and videos to touch on the railway from a number of different angles. Moving quotes from POWs are featured close to some of their actual journals, which are joined by cutlery, Bibles and other implements used by the prisoners. At the centre, a life-size bronze statue depicts two emaciated prisoners carrying a disease-stricken compatriot.

One of the most striking exhibits shows a number of rusty railroad spikes sticking out of wooden slabs, each one representing 500 deaths from all of the major groups involved in building the railway: Tamil, Malay, Burmese, British, Javanese, Australian, Dutch, Singaporean, American, Annamese, Japanese and Korean. Other displays explain how the railway fit into the broader context of the Second World War.

Easy to find. Photo taken in or around Thailand-Burma Railway Centre, Kanchanaburi, Thailand by David Luekens.

Easy to find. Photo: David Luekens

The gift shop features dozens of books relating to the railway—Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North is well worth a read. Also check out the exceptional map of the entire railway pinpointing more than original 100 burial grounds and other points of interest. Museum staff offers half- and full-day tours that are ideal if your priority is to learn about the war history.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to support independent travel writing on Southeast Asia, please subscribe to Travelfish—it’s just A$35 per year (less than A$1 per week)!

By .

Start planning your holiday today

Sent every Monday, our newsletter is full of travel advice, news & special deals. Read past issues.


Thailand-Burma Railway Centre
73 Jaokunnen Rd (just north of Kanchanaburi War Cemetery)
Mo-Su: 09:00 to 17:00
T: (034) 512 721
Admission: 140 baht

Location map for Thailand-Burma Railway Centre

Popular attractions in Kanchanaburi

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Kanchanaburi.

Best places to stay in Kanchanaburi

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Kanchanaburi.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Kanchanaburi.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Kanchanaburi.
 Check out our listings of other things to do in and around Kanchanaburi.
 Read up on how to get to Kanchanaburi, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Kanchanaburi? Please read this.
 Browse tours in Thailand with Tourradar.

See below for more sights and activities in Kanchanaburi that are listed on

Top of page

Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Kanchanaburi? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

Top of page