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Kanchanaburi

Attractions > Center > Kanchanaburi

Attractions in Kanchanaburi province in Thailand

 
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Located 130 km. west of Bangkok, just a two-hour drive away, the small town of Kanchanaburi is the capital of Thailand's third -largest province, which covers almost 20,000 square kilometres and stretches as far west as the border with Myanmar The province boasts some of the country's most beautiful waterfalls and caves in its national parks, as well as the historic bridge over the River Kwai and exciting activities like rafting trips. Thus, it is an ideal spot to explore the Thai countryside without traveling too far from Bangkok. Kanchanaburi has lots of character, and is a great place to stay in raft houses on the river. There are many places worth visiting around town, but top of most people's list are the bridge and the war museums that chronicle the building of the infamous "Death Railway" across the River Kwai and on Myanmar during World War II. The hills and valleys are scattered with intriguing temples and historical sites, and the lush wooded landscapes are ideal for cycling, trekking, raft trips or elephant rides.


River Kwai Bridge

World War II Museum

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery

War Cemetery

Wat Wang Wiwekaram

Namtok Erawan

Namtok Erawan

Namtok Huai Mae Khamin

 Bo Phloi

Death Railway

Prasat Mueang Sing

Namtok SaiYok Noi

Namtok SaiYok Noi

Sangkhla buri

 Namtok Saiyok

 

Tham Daowadueng

 

 

City attractions in Kanchanaburi

The Bridge over the River Kwai

Situated just to the north of the town, this bridge was made famous by the 1957 film " Bridge over the River Kwai" by David Lean, though in fact the movie portrayed a wooden bridge that was constructed earlier. Both bridges were badly damaged by Allied plane attacks in 1944 and 1945, but several arches of the metal bridge stood throughout and it was repaired after the war. The bridge was the key point in the so-called "Death Railway" that connected Thailand and Myanmar, intended to provide a supply line for Japanese troops in Myanmar, though the work was completed only at the Ioss of countless lives of prisoners-of-war and local labourers supervised by Japanese troops. The railway line was only used a few times before the Japanese surrender, after which the British tore up part of the track, making it inoperative, These days it is possible to cross the bridge on foot or by train on the way to the waterfall, about 100 km. to the north west. Steam train enthusiasts will be delighted to see a few World War II era machines displayed beside the bridge. Those with a particular interest in the history of the area should time their visit to coincide with the River Kwai Bridge Festival, in late November each year.


JEATH War Museum

"JEATH" refers to the six countries involved in the building of the railway-Japan, England, America, Australia, Thailand and Holland – and this museum located to the south of the town centre next to Wat Chaichumphon gives a vivid picture of the terrible conditions in which the Allied prisoners-of-war lived. The museum building is a ropy of the long thatched bamboo huts that were used to house the prisoners during the war. On display are paintings, photographs and newspaper articles from the Period, detailing the cruel torture methods used by the Japanese . The museum is open from 8.30 a.m. - 6.00 p.m.

World War II Museum

This museum, located just south of the bridge. contains war memorabilia in the form of bomb shells, photos and sketches from the period, statues of important war leaders, and over 100 skeletons of Asian labourers found in a mass grave. In a separate building there are displays of Buddha images. Thai weaponry from the Ayutthaya period and portraits of the kings of Thailand., The museum is open from 8.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m.

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery

Perhaps even more moving than the bridge or museums are the lines of identical gravestones in the cemetery located just near the train station. The remains of almost 7,000 Allied prisoners are buried here; many of the memorial slabs are unidentified, but several give details of the soldiers, showing that the great majority were very young indeed. A memorial service is held each year on Anzac Day, 25 April.

Wat Tham Mangkon Thong

The main attraction of this temple, located about 5km. east of the town centre, is the "Floating Nun" , a Buddhist nun who regularly meditates while floating in a pond. The temple is located on a hillside, and there are caves above the temple that offer fine views of the area.

Ban Kao National Museum

8 kilometres from Prasat Mueang Sing, and 35 kilometres from town, this also overlooks the Kwai Noi River. The museum was constructed beside a Neolithic burial site discovered by an Allied prisoner-of-war during the construction of the Death Railway. Some 4,000 year ago. Neolithic man lived, roamed and hunted beside the Kwai Rivers, sheltering beneath rock overhangs or in nearby caves. The Ban Kao Museum houses skeletal remains, pots, axe heads, jewellery made from animal bones, and other artefacts dating from that era.

 

Out of city attractions in Kanchanaburi

Erawan National Park

Thailand has over 100 national parks, and the most visited of them all is Erawan, 65 km. or an hour and a half drive northwest of Kanchanaburi. Flocks of visitors come to see the seven-tiered waterfall that gives the 550-square-kilometre park its name. The top level of the falls is thought to resemble a three-headed elephant, called "Erawan" in Thai, that is ridden by Indra in Hindu mythology. With milky turquoise waters tumbling over various cascades, the falls are wonderfully photogenic and thought by many to be Thailand's most beautiful. Several of the pools below the falls are ideal for bathing in, especially level two, and they are much less crowded on weekdays. About 10 km. beyond the park headquarters is Tham Phrathat, a large cave adorned with beautiful stalactites.
Tel. 0 2562 0760

Srinagarindra National Park

Located just north of Erawan National Park, this park covers over 1,500 square kilometres. Since it is more difficult to get to than Erawan, it is less frequently visited, but nonetheless has some very special attractions, including Namtok Huai Mae Khamin, which also has seven levels and is a close contender to Namtok Erawan for sheer beauty. As at Erawan, the water is generally a lovely pale green, but here it runs over a caramel coloured rockface, and there is a superb viewing spot directly in front. The easiest way to get to the falls is by a two-hour boat journey across the Srinagarindra Dam, a unique landscape of gesturing treetops rising from mirror-like waters.
Tel. 0 2562 0760

Bo Phloi

Located 40 km. north of Kanchanaburi, the small village of Bo Phloi has a Jewellery Handicraft Centre, where blue sapphires mined locally are fashioned into beautiful rings and pendants.

Kanchanaburi Safari Park

Just near Bo Phloi village, this safari park has a diverse collection of large African and Asian mammals, such as lions, tigers, bears, giraffes and zebras. It is open from 9.00 a.m.- 6.00 p.m.
Tel . 0 3462 8270-1

Chaloem Rattanakosin National Park

This tiny national park, situated just under 100 km. north of Kanchanaburi, covers just 59 square kilometres, but has two large caves and several waterfalls connected by a trail that begins at the visitor centre. Accommodation is available.
Tel. 0 2562 0760

Boat Trips

Another relaxing way to enjoy Kanchanaburi's surroundings is to take a raft trip, which typically includes several of the nearby attractions, a leisurely lunch, and an overnight stay on the raft. For those with less time to spare, long-tail boats can be hired to visit a variety of riverside places. For more information, contact any hotel or guest house, or the TAT office in Kanchanaburi.
Tel.  0 3451 1200.

Sai Yok National Park

The caves, waterfalls and teak forests of this 500 square-kilometre park, situated just over 100 km. northwest of Kanchanaburi, make it a popular destination, and it also has comfortable accommodation in rafts on the river. One of the park's most impressive sights is Namtok Sai Yok Yai, which pours dramatically into the Kwai Noi River. The falls can be viewed from a nearby suspension bridge, or you can get right underneath them for a vigorous shower. A Iittle further upstream is Tham Daowadueng which is full of stalactites. Both the falls and cave are best approached by boat, which can be rented at the park. Though you are unlikely to catch sight of one, the park is home to the world's smallest mammal- the hog-nosed bat. which weighs less than two grammes.
Tel. 0 2562 0760

Prasat Mueang Sing Historical Park

Built around the end of  the 12th century, this place was once the westernmost outpost of the Khmer Empire, strategically located on the banks of Kwai Noi River 43 km. west of Kanchanaburi. The shrine complex at the heart of the site has been restored to give an idea of the structure's original size, and a few remnants of the original stucco ornamentation can still be seen. It is open from 9.00 am. – 4.30 p.m.

Rail Journey to the Waterfall

One of the best ways to see the countryside around town is to take the two-hour journey by train from Kanchanaburi to the waterfall which operates three times a day. The train stops regularly at attractive village stations, and the views from the left side are particularly impressive as the route passes through steep gorges and round sheer cliff faces. The most popular attraction is Namtok Sai Yok Noi, located a few kilometres north of town, but boat operators also offer trips up and down the river before the train returns.

Sangkhla Buri

This small town which lies 224 km. northwest of Kanchanaburi and near to the Myanmar border is home to an ethnic mix of Thais, Mons and Karens. It sits at the north end of the Vajiralongkorn or Khao Laem Dam, a huge expanse of water that stretches over 70 km. south. Due to its remoteness it receives few visitors, but those who make it here can enjoy relaxing boat trips around the dam, organised by the few resorts and guest houses in town.

Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum

About 80 km. northwest of Kanchanaburi, the most difficult terrain met in the construction of the Death Railway was dubbed "Hellfire Pass" by those who worked there, hacking away at solid rock with the most basic of tools. The Memorial Museum here, open from 9.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m., is perhaps the best of all those in the region, combining maps, war relics, models, photos and accounts by survivors. A four-kilometre trail from the museum leads along part of the railway's former route, where a section of the track has now been relaid.

Wat Wang Wiwekaram

This extensive temple located on the southern outskirts of Sangkhla Buri edges on Vajiralongkorn or Khao Laem Dam. The complex is constructed in an unusual mix of Thai , Indian, and Burmese Buddhist architectural styles, and the abbot "Luangpho Uttama" is highly revered among local people, including tribal folk and Burmese.

Mon Bridge

Another name is "Uttamanuson Bridge". Linking Sangkhla Buri and Mon villages, the 850-metre-long wooden bridge across the Songkaria River is a famous viewpoint overlooking the merging point of the three rivers: Songkaria, Bikhli and Ranti.

Three Pagodas Pass

This border crossing point between Thailand and Myanmar is named after three small but historically significant pagodas built in the 18th century as a gesture of peace between these frequently warring neighbours. The pass is about 1,400 metres above sea level, and is often shrouded in mist.

 

Three Pagodas Pass

 

Uttamanuson Bridge

 

Death Railway

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Thailand private tours, Bangkok private tours, Chiang Mai private tours, Ayutthaya..., ..., Thai private tour guide,
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