Only 2 hours away from Bangkok by road or rail, Kanchanaburi is an ancient, neglected place, different from the bustling beauty of Bangkok or the romantic loveliness of Chiang Mai. It is also famous as a quiet town, with diverse habitats, beautiful natural attractions, unique architecture, and ancient temples.
Kanchanaburi History Events
As one of the most ancient towns in Thailand, Kanchanaburi possesses a deep-rooted history of existence and development in which many of its cultural and historical values took place.
- Late 18th century: The town was established by King Rama I as a defensive outpost against Burmese invaders in what is now Lat Ya Subcounty.
- The early 1800s (around the year 1833), under the reign of King Rama III, it was moved about 16 km to the Southwest along the Kwai river to the present site.
Admire the peaceful scenery in Kanchanaburi
Due to being an important place during the war, Kanchanaburi features a wide range of historical spots such as the Death Railway Bridge, the Allied War Cemetery, etc. all of which have significantly contributed to the town's tourist industry, thus making it one of the most recommended destination when coming to Thailand.
Top Kanchanaburi Attractions
- River Kwai and River Kwai Bridge
Kwai is the most famous river in Kanchanaburi, its green water and peaceful atmosphere are far from the hustle and bustle atmosphere in the capital.
The two sides of the river are rows of green trees and small houses with ancient corrugated iron roofs.
From upstream the river flows into Kanchanaburi there is a bridge, although seemingly ordinary, has become a national historical landmark.
It is famous through a film of the same name adapted from the novel by French writer Pierre Boulle, who won 7 Oscars in 1957, inspired by the war history of the bridge: "Death Railway" and its bloody past.
Burma Railway is one of the historical sites built by Japan during World War II that attracts the most tourists, it is also known as the Death Railway, connecting Thailand and Myanmar.
The railway route through the old forest and hills creates a very majestic scene.
Relive history by walking over the Death Railway Bridge...
- Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum
Besides the Death Railway Bridge, HellFire Pass Memorial Museum is also a suitable destination for those who want to learn more about history.
The museum was built by the Australian government and was dedicated to commemorating the people that died for the Burma Railway. If you visit this museum, you will have a deep insight into the past, thus having another point of view on the war.
... Or come to the Hell Fire Pass Memorial Museum
At this elephant camp, tourists not only see Thailand's mascots but also touch them with their own hands, even bathe and feed the elephants. Interestingly, you'll hear the history of the reserve from locals and professional camp staff.
The national park has 7 stunning waterfalls, but the most picturesque is still the Erawan waterfall. Here, you can enjoy swimming, relax with fresh natural air, and explore the trails and caves along the hillside.
When climbing the mountain, visitors can encounter friendly wildlife animals along the way. If you want to "naturally exfoliate", you can soak your feet in pools made of water from the waterfall because they have small fish gnawing on dead cells on visitors' feet.
Let your hair down at the spectacular Erawan Waterfall
Located in the North of Erawan National Park, Srinakarin Dam is considered an ideal place to have a chilling time with family and friends after a long day in Kanchanaburi.
In fact, there is no transportation at the Dam, so people usually miss seeing it; instead, they usually head back to the town after visiting the park. However, if you choose to have a picnic at Srinakarin Dam, it will never let you down. Here, you can immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere plus enjoy the gorgeous scenery of some picnic spots.
Chilling time at Srinakarin Dam
Transportation in Kanchanaburi
How to get to
As the town is located on the mainland, it is quite easy and cheap to get to Kanchanaburi from anywhere in Thailand. From Bangkok, you can choose a vehicle to travel but taking the bus will save nearly 1 hour.
- By bus: It takes about two hours by bus from Bangkok. If going from the south you will need to go through Ratchaburi city, if you are going from the north of Thailand you can go to Suphanburi.
Price: 40 - 100 Baht (1.26 USD - 3.15 USD)
- By train: From Bangkok, there are trains to Kanchanaburi departing at 5:30 first or 20:00 last from Thonburi Station. It takes you about 3 hours to get to the town.
Price: 130 Baht (4 USD)
- By private car: The most comfortable way to get to Kanchanaburi. You can be picked up directly at your hotel in Bangkok and dropped off anywhere you like in Kanchanaburi.
However, this choice may cost you more than the 3 transport types above.
How to get around
As with anywhere in Thailand, you can easily hire a bicycle, motorbike, or car to get around.
A bicycle is a good way to get around, it's flat and there is not much traffic on the road near the river. Bikes can be hired for around 50 Baht/ day.
For short trips around the city area, you can catch a motorbike taxi to get around. The motorbike or taxi costs around 100 Baht/ person and can carry 4 people.
Kanchanaburi Weather Overview
Unlike all the provinces of Thailand, Kanchanaburi has 4 distinct seasons.
- Dry season: From January to February
- Hot season: From March to May
- Rainy season: From June to October
- Cool season: From November to December
Although divided into 4 seasons, you can come to Kanchanaburi city at any time. That's because Kanchanaburi every season has a distinct beauty.
However, if they choose, tourists often come to conquer Kanchanaburi between November and February next year. The weather at this time is extremely suitable for you with cool air and little rain. However, because it is peak time, you will face problems such as increased costs, unstable service, and crowded tourists.
Travel Information in Kanchanaburi
Lots of the floating houses in Kanchanaburi are located on River Kwai. If you’re looking to stay close to nature, then this is a great option.
The rivers and lakes in the area are beautiful, and it’s really cool to be able to sleep right over the water. It also has the advantage that the River Kwai’s flowing water cools the temperature in the house and provides a delightful fresh breeze.
- Avoid poisonous animals and plants
Smart creatures speaking, you should keep an eye out for poisonous plants and creatures, especially near River Kwai. There are a lot of deadly snakes and spiders in the region, particularly along the River Kwai. So it’s important to be aware of your surroundings.
- Get to Kanchanaburi by train
If you are not in a hurry, the local train from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi is an excellent way to get there. The trip is quite affordable at just 100 Baht. The city of Kanchanaburi is located about 2 hours outside of Bangkok.
Travel by train helps you immerse in the romantic and antique landscape of Kanchanaburi directly.
- Try mouth-watering cuisine
Kanchanaburi is known for its delicious food. The curries are some of the best in the country, and the fruits and vegetables are always fresh
Make sure that you try local food like Khao soi and Pad thai to enjoy the endless taste of Thailand's food.