Photo: The lovely Huai Mae Khamin falls.

Things to see and do

Use the quick links below to jump to a particular section of our sights and activities coverage for Kanchanaburi.

Hiking, walking tours and itineraries

Roll your own Kanchanaburi

For some, Kanchanaburi makes for an emotional journey through a chapter of the Second World War. For others it’s little more than a chance to cross the bridge over the River Khwae off the old bucket list. And for many more, it’s an opportunity to hang with elephants or hike to sublime waterfalls. Given the vast scope of things to see and do in Thailand’s third largest province, it pays to ... Read more about Roll your own Kanchanaburi .

Exploring Kanchanaburi by train

The train crept over the River Khwae Yai before cruising alongside vertical cliffs and through windswept fields of tapioca and sugarcane. More of a leisure activity than transport option, a ride on the Death Railway is one of Southeast Asia’s more memorable train journeys. ... Read more about Exploring Kanchanaburi by train .

Organised tours

Not surprising given the spread-out nature of Kanchanaburi’s many outlying attractions, scores of travellers look to local tour companies or private drivers to arrange their adventures. Abundant options make it wise to look around before you throw down for the cheapest tour you can find. ... Read more about Organised tours .

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Historic attractions

Hellfire Pass
80 km west of Kanchanaburi, off Route 323

Midday heat topped 40 degrees Celsius as we sipped our last drops of water under a scorching sun. We’re not out of shape, but the extreme weather and rugged terrain left us exhausted just 45 minutes into the hike. Only then did we begin to imagine how horrific this place must have been for those who were forced to chisel through solid rock for 18 hours a days. Only then did we begin to ... Read more about Hellfire Pass .

Death Railway Bridge
North end of town off Mae Nam Khwae Road.

Allied POWs first built the Death Railway Bridge, or Saphan Mae Nam Khwae Yai, in the early 1940s as part of the Second World War, and while not all that amazing to look at, it stands as one of the most famous bridges in Thailand and an important reminder of the thousands who gave their lives. ... Read more about Death Railway Bridge .

War Museum & Art Gallery
Just south of the Death Railway Bridge on Mae Nam Khwae Rd. Kanchanacuri

Opened in 1987 within view of the Death Railway Bridge, the War Museum and Art Gallery attempts to blend Second World War history with Thai history—but doesn’t do a very good job of either—still, you’ll find plenty to gawk at for just 40 baht, including a fine river vista from the roof. ... Read more about War Museum & Art Gallery .

Thailand-Burma Railway Centre
73 Jaokunnen Rd (just north of Kanchanaburi War Cemetery)
T: (034) 512 721

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. ... Read more about Thailand-Burma Railway Centre .

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
Sangchuto Rd, Kanchanaburi

The centrally located Kanchanaburi War Cemetery contains the remains of 6,982 Allied POWs who died during the construction and maintenance of the Thai-Burma Railway from 1942 to ‘45. ... Read more about Kanchanaburi War Cemetery .

Chung Kai War Cemetery
Around 5km south of Kanchanaburi

Chung Kai War Cemetery occupies the former site of a POW camp of the same name located a few kilometres south of downtown on the west bank of the River Khwae Noi. Most of the 1,750 soldiers buried here died after other prisoners with medical skills were unable to save them. While significantly smaller than the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, the appearance is very similar and this is perhaps a ... Read more about Chung Kai War Cemetery .

JEATH War Museum
Pak Prak Road, Kanchanaburi

Pieced together in 1977 by the abbot of Wat Chaichumpon, the JEATH War Museum was among the first in Kanchanaburi to recount the atrocities of the Death Railway and honour the Allied POWs who toiled on it—four decades later, its collection of paintings and photographs is as moving as ... Read more about JEATH War Museum .

Pak Prak Heritage Street
Pak Prak Rd

Displaying and often blending elements of Chinese, European and Thai styles, more than 20 heritage buildings feature information boards detailing some of the history along Pak Prak Road in the heart of Kanchanaburi. ... Read more about Pak Prak Heritage Street .

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Khmer ruins

Prasat Mueang Singh
35km west of Kanchanaburi

The westernmost site of the ancient Khmer empire so far discovered, the reconstructed laterite sanctuary of Prasat Mueang Singh provides history enthusiasts with a more distant layer of the past to explore and it’s well worth a detour while daytripping to other outlying attractions such as Hellfire Pass. ... Read more about Prasat Mueang Singh .

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Wat Ban Tham
10km south of Kanchanaburi

A passage through the dragon’s mouth takes you to two impressive caves and a mountaintop chedi affording tremendous river views at Wat Ban Tham, and if you don’t mind the steep climb, this is the mountain-cave temple that we suggest above all others in Kanchanaburi. ... Read more about Wat Ban Tham .

Wat Tham Sua & Wat Tham Khao Noi
16km south of Kanchanburi

The pagodas of Wat Tham Sua and Wat Tham Khao Noi can be seen from miles away towering side by side atop a limestone hill near the Mae Khlong River and each is distinctive and well worth a climb to see Thai- and Chinese-style art in symmetrical spaces opening to good views from all sides. ... Read more about Wat Tham Sua & Wat Tham Khao Noi .

Wat Tham Khao Poon
About 5 km southwest of town

Well-lit natural halls lead to nine caverns full of Hindu/Buddhist shrines in the cave system at Wat Tham Khao Poon, the easiest to reach of Kanchanaburi’s many cave temples. ... Read more about Wat Tham Khao Poon .

The Tiger Temple
38 km west of Kanchanaburi off route 323

Better known as the Tiger Temple, Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua Yanasampanno should absolutely not be visited—read on to find out why. Opened in 1994, the site quickly exploded into a major attraction where tourists paid serious cash to cuddle and pet adult tigers and cubs. In 2016, the Thai Department of National Parks (DNP) raided the temple, discovering pelts and other illegal wildlife products ... Read more about The Tiger Temple .

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National parks

Erawan National Park
65km from Kanchanaburi

The very popular Erawan National Park sprawls over 550 square kilometres of the Salop mountains in rural Kanchanaburi province. While cave enthusiasts, bird watchers and orchid hunters could keep busy here for weeks, most come specifically for Erawan Waterfall, a wondrous multi-tiered set of falls named after a divine three-headed ... Read more about Erawan National Park .

Huai Mae Khamin Waterfall

He hiked through thick bamboo forest to majestic falls cascading into pools painted emerald by the calcite deposits. After a long swim with no one else around, he returned to a tent and gazed at a mountain lake before dozing off to the sound of falling water. We heard this story several years ago when a friend from Kanchanaburi first told us about the remote Huai Mae Khamin Waterfall. Thanks to a ... Read more about Huai Mae Khamin Waterfall .

Sai Yok National Park
95 km northwest of Kanchanaburi

Sai Yok National Park covers 958 square kilometres of wilderness stretching all the way to the Burma border. While most of it is inaccessible, you will find some waterfalls cascading into the River Khwae Noi near a campground and bungalows that make for a relaxing stop on the way up to Thong Pha Phum and Sangkhlaburi. The main attractions are Sai Yok Yai (aka Khao Chon) and Sai Yok Lek ... Read more about Sai Yok National Park .

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Day trips

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Cooking classes

Cooking classes in Kanchanaburi
Various outlets throughout town

Want to try your hand at Thai cuisine? Kanchanaburi has a few cooking schools including two owned by teachers who have been at it for years. Apple & Noi Cooking A native of Kanchanaburi, Chef Noi is a dynamo who speaks clear English and taught us several interesting facts about Thai dishes—and we were just stopping by for lunch. After a trip to a local fresh market, students settle into a ... Read more about Cooking classes in Kanchanaburi .

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Festivals and events

River Kwai Bridge Festival

In typical Thai style, the River Khwae Bridge Festival serves up a sombre slice of history alongside a large dose of sanuk (fun). ... Read more about River Kwai Bridge Festival .

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Giving back

Helping the Karen of Burma

It was a frigid winter day in the US state of Vermont when I first met with a recently resettled refugee family back in 2008. The resettlement program had told me they were Burmese, so I was confused when only one 17-year old family member could understand what was written in an English-Burmese phrasebook. I soon learned how they were part of the ethnic Karen minority, displaced by the world's ... Read more about Helping the Karen of Burma .

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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.

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