Thailand is a country variety of experiences and characteristics such as culture, tradition, history, and etc. Kanchanaburi contains one of the most compelling history in all of Thailand and that is the history of war.
General Information of Kanchanaburi Thailand
The province is situated near the Kwai River and Kwai Yai River. The main attraction for many visitors here would be the bridge that is famously called the World War II Death Railway or the Bridge over the Kwai River. Other than the bridge, you will see many places and attractions that are related to World War II. If you are interested in learning and experience real history, Kanchanburi is surely the best place for you. Each place also contains a story of its own. You can learn about the lives of many captives that face tremendous hardships during that time. They were tortured, and many have been killed. You will see traces of history right before your own eyes and it is both sad and amazing at the same time.
To get to Kanchanaburi, Thailand
To get here, there are many options you can choose to travel. First is by taking the public bus from Bangkok from the Southern Bus Terminal. There are different classes of bus you can choose, and it would take you roughly two to three hours on the ride here. You can also take a minivan from Southern Bus Terminal or Mo Chit which is a little faster than the bus and somewhat cheaper.
If you want to enjoy the scenery while traveling, taking a train is not a bad idea at all. The train that leaves from Thonburi Train Station in Bangkok to Kanchanaburi takes around two and a half hours in duration which is quite slow compared to other transportation. If you are interested to immediately travel to Kwai River Bridge, you can buy the ticket straight from here and it will take you there. Alternatively, you can take the limousine taxi or drive yourself there which is much faster than all of the above.
Famous attractions in Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Let us start with some famous attractions here in Kanchanaburi in which all of the places are in some degrees related to World War II. The war has left marks and traces of history all over the province. Any little details you will see has its own story and valuable history to be learned.
ทางรถไฟมรณะ (Death Railway)
The most famous attractions here in Kanchanaburi would be the Thai-Burma Railway which also known as the Death Railway. This bridge was built in the period of World War II by the prisoners of war. Those prisoners are treated very harshly with tremendous hardship on their shoulders. They cannot escape and some even died while building the bridge itself. It is the place of horror filled with malice. Nowadays, the bridge is operational for crossing the Kwai River and you can also take a trip along the river. Additionally, you can take the train at the Death Railway to Krasae Cave which is also one of the historical marks from World War II that you can come and explore. In the past, this cave is the place where prisoners of war rest and stay when they are building the Death Railway.
Next stop is Chong Khao Khad or Hellfire Pass which is also one of the places like the Death Railway for you to explore. This is one the passage way of the Death Railway that many prisoners of war had made a tunnel for the train to get through. However, the most significant place of the entire Death Railway is the bridge over the Kwai River. This is the place where it contains the most historical marks and records. There are trams you can take here to see the entire place every day. You can also take the train at all the places near the Death Railway. If you are done exploring the past, why not enjoy the present as well?
น้ำตกเอราวัณ (Erawan Waterfall)
Kanchanaburi contains one of the most beautiful waterfalls here in Thailand. It is called Erawan Waterfall in which the water is crystal clear, and you can also jump in and enjoy! In fact, the waterfall contains seven levels. The amazing characteristic of this place is when the sun shines on the water. A green emerald-like color will appear on the surface of the water which is really rare and fascinating.
Huai Khamin Waterfall
Another waterfall that is worth mentioning is called Huai Khamin Waterfall which also contains seven levels and it is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand as well as the Erawan Waterfall. If you love waterfalls, you surely need to come!
In addition, Sangkhla Buri district of Kanchanaburi is the place with mixed inhabitants of three nationals: Thai, Mon, and Karen or Kariang. You can see the Mon Bridge that covers more than 850 meters in distance which is the longest wooden bridge in Thailand. It connects Thailand to the Three Pagodas Pass of Myanmar.
Wat Wang Wiwekaram (โบสถ์วัดวังก์วิเวการาม)
There is one place nearby that is quite amazing which is Wat Wang Wiwekaram or Underwater Temple. You can only see the temple once a year when the water is reduced to a certain level. If you come here when the water is not reduced yet, you will see nothing except the roof of the temple as other structures are still underwater. The best time to see this temple is around March to April. You might also be able to catch the Songkran Festival of Mon people which is unique and different from Thailand’s Songkran.
If you want to enjoy some exotic places that are not really tourist attractions, then congratulations for being an adventurous person!
ต้นจามจุรียักษ์ (Chamchuri Tree)
The first place on the list is called the Giant Chamchuri Tree which is more than a hundred years old. The tree is so big that 10 people could hold hands to fully hug the tree. It has a height of more than 20 meters and about 25 meters in width. The place is very iconic, and you can take beautiful pictures from here.
Wat Tham Suea/the Tiger Cave Temple (วัดถ้ำเสือ)
If you talk about temple in Kanchanaburi, the Tiger Cave Temple should ring a bell to many locals here. This temple is famous for its big Buddha statue which is decorated with golden mosaic tiles that shine when hit with sunlight. You can even see it from a far, including the orange Chedi with a height of 69 meters. The Chedi itself consists of nine levels with amazing arts inside it.
The Milky Way Hill/ Khao Chang Puak (เขาช้างเผือก)
This is another mountain that is the best suitable for real adventurer! This hill has a height of about 1,249 meters and it looks like a handle of a blade with only one meter in width. The route here is very dangerous to walk on as both sides are cliffs which is where the name of this place came from. You need to spend four to five hours to get to the resting spot where you can set up a tent. However, the limitation for this hill is that only 60 people can walk up the path each day. Once you are up top, you will be able to see the amazing views which is considered to be one of the ten dream destinations ranked by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. This is the place that you definitely need to visit once!
มัลลิกา (Mallika City)
Next place is MallikaR.E.124 or Mallika City which is a retro-style city on 60 acres that reflects the image of old Siamese City in the reign of King Rama V. Everything in the city is consistently in concept, even the people there are dressed in Thai silk. You can rent a dress or suit there yourself and experience the traditional culture of Thailand back in the old days with Thai vintage style money, eat local food and more. Be sure to take a lot of pictures!
Other Interesting Information of Kanchanaburi, Thailand
The motto for Kanchanaburi is “A Province of Ancient Community, Three Pagodas Pass, Precious Stones, Kwai River Bridge, and Minerals and Waterfall Resources”.
To get around the province
You can use the minibus, motorcycle taxis, and tricycle. Make sure you and your driver agree on the price beforehand. You can also rent a pickup truck or the minibus to take you around.
There are various of hotels around Kanchanaburi from budget hotels to luxury high-class hotels such as resorts and boutique hotels. However, the price is quite cheap from as low as 400 baht to 2500 baht a night. Enjoy your time here at Kanchanaburi!