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Khlong Tour > Kanchanaburi


At the Source of the Historic River


A Stroll along the Old City on the River Bank

From Wat Tai, following a visit to the Axis and POW Museum, one can take a further walk along the riverside road in front of the temple to the old city area. Fine old house can be spotted, with the city gate, forts and white city walls standing out prominently. The structures were put up at the command of King Rama III in 1831. After paying tribute to the Shrine of the City Pillar and the Memorial to King Rama III inside the city gate, a further walk takes one past the Tourist Service Centre on the riverfront, where more tourist information can be obtained, A visit to Wat Thewa Sangkharam or Wat Nuea is next, to appreciate old murals within the prayer hall.

a stroll along the old city on the river bank
a stroll along the old city on the river bank

A Walk on the Bridge over the River Khwae

Tourists can take a walk on the Bridge over the River Khwae, on the deck along the railway, to take in an overview of the bridge, the river and the surroundings. There are boxes to step into when the train comes onto the bridge. At the foot of the bridge, an old locomotive from the Second World War period is on display. Thereafter, one can visit the art gallery and war museum next to the bridge, pay respect at the shrine to the fallen prisoners of war and conscripted local workers at the war memorial built by a group of Japanese soldiers during the war. In conclusion, tourists can shop for gifts, souvenirs and mementos, gems in particular, as well as wickerwork and woodcarvings from Myanmar, from shops and stalls lining both sides of the road on the riverbank.

With its strategic location and topographical features, Kanchanaburi found itself on the war-path and even the battle scenes in the long-drawn Thai-Burmese war from Ayutthaya to early Bangkok Periods. It later served as a base for the Japanese imperial Army during the Second World War, for the construction of the historic railway through the jungle overlooking the Khwae Noi from Kanchanaburi to Burma on the other side of the mountain, with the Bridge Over the River Kwai (Khwae), known around the world for its notoriety as the death knell for prisoners of war and forced labor. Waterways in Kanchanaburi thus hold secrets of the forgotten history and personal tragedies of several human races. They also hide the secrets of nature, as forests, hills, caves, and waterfalls, serving as changing scenes that unfailingly overwhelm visitors.

touring the park
touring the park

Touring the Park, Obtaining
Views from the Hanging Bridge

After a pleasant boat tour, visitors can disembark and take a stroll within the Sai Yok National Park, starting at the Tourist Service Centre where instructions are provided on routes to take. Exhibits at the center are meant to introduce natural and historical features of the national park. One then proceeds to the hanging bridge, about 300 metres to the back of the park office. From the bridge, a spectacular view of the Sai Yok Lek, Sai Yok Yai Waterfalls, with the Khwae Noi River in the middle is afforded. A short distance further lies the Bellevue Point for the Sai Yok Lek Waterfall. The pleasant pool is inviting. After a splash there, one takes the hanging bridge back to the Tourist Service Centre, from where a short trek can be made to the place where there are remnants of field stoves used by Japanese military personnel on temporary camping during the construction of the death railway. From this point, one can take nature study trail into the forest and various caves. The feat takes quite some time to accomplish.

Going Across the Wooden Bridge to Observe Mon Lifestyle

The tour should be taken in the early morning, with a walk across the snakelike wooden bridge Small boats ply the undisturbed river, as the new sun appears as a large magenta ball over the misty Mon village in the warm embrace of the mountains. Small and simple houses line the slope from the riverfront to the foothill. In the village, one comes across the ancient lifestyle, with sarong-clad men and women, the latter wearing long-sleeve blouses, sporting yellow talc on their cheeks, flowers in the hair-buns, and food containers aloft on their heads, walking in line to the temple, an image of the long-forgotten Mon city. One can join them to the temple of the Venerable Luang Pho Uttama, or Wat Wang Wiwekaram, the spiritual centre of the Mon people who remain deeply religious, holding fast to their tradition and beliefs. After admiring unique Mon religious art in the temple, and viewing the Bodhagya Pagoda, one can shop for gifts and souvenirs from stalls near the pagoda, before visiting the Mon market, a tiny market, where local Mon dishes and food items are on offer. Costumes, Mon calendar, fresh fish from the lake, and local vegetables and edible plants can also be bought at the market.
      mon bridge

Recommended Tours

Programme 1 : Cruising the Khwae River, Retracing the Death Railway (2 day /1 night)

The first day is spent in cruising the Khwoo River, observing the riverside scenes, the rafts in the river, the moving train on the Bridge over the River Khwae overhead, and viewing the two-coloured river. Visitors then recall the human tragedies of the Second World War at the War Cemetery at Chong Kai, the Axis and Prisoners of War Museum at Wat Tai. From here a stroll can be taken along the riverside road, to view the old city area and the murals at Wat Nuea, or take a boat trip back to the Bridge over the River Khwae, to take a stroll on the bridge and around the foot of the bridge, to view the old locomotive, the war memorial built by the Japanese and shop for gifts and souvenirs.

On the second day, a trip by train from the city of Kanchanaburi to the Bridge over the River Khwae is provided, taking passengers on the historic route, to the Sai Yok Noi Waterfall Station. A welcome rest at the waterfall is allowed, before a boat or raft trip on the Khwae Noi River is taken, for the spectacles along both banks, and returning to the waterfall, enjoying the cool and clear pool, or taking a walk in the national park and getting a breath taking view of the two waterfalls on the hanging bridge.

Programme 2 : Cruising the Sam Prasop Confluence, Viewing the Underwater Town, and Experiencing the Old Mon Lifestyle in Sangkhla Buri District (2 day / 1 night)

On the first day, the tour heads for Sangkhla Buri District, with a stop at the Sai Yok Waterfall. One can take a rest and shop for fruits and local products at the roadside stalls before continuing to the Khao Laem Dam to have lunch at a lakeside restaurant there. Fresh water fish are normally featured on the menu. Getting close to Sangkhla Burl, one can take some time to visit the Three-Pagoda Pass, and the border market, before proceeding to Sangkhla Buri, observing the beautiful sunset on the river, from the Mon Bridge.

The second day starts early, with the observation of the new sun rising over the misty village, breathing in clean air, before crossing the wooden bridge to the Mon side, taking a stroll in the village, and buying interesting items in the Mon market for people back home. Tourists then pay respect to the Venerable Luang Pho Uttama at Wat Wang Wiwekaram, view the Bodhagya Pagoda, and take a cruise over the Sam Prasop - Three - River Confluence, to marvel at the underwater town.

Gifts and Souvenirs

Famous goods of Kanchanaburi include food items such as Tha Ruea vermicelli, jelly in young coconuts, preserved tamarind and Nam Phrik, spicy dipping, which are available at tourist sites and shops on Saeng-Chuto Road, fresh products as vegetables, mushrooms, Karen chilli, young plants and flowers from shops along Kanchanaburi - Sai Yok Road, and gems as sapphire, blue and black, from the area around the Bridge over the River Khwae, where souvenirs from Myanmar are also available, including jewellery, decors, gems, toys, wooden furniture, woodcarvings, and hand-woven textiles. If possible, one can visit markets at Thong Pha Phum, Wat Wang Wiwekaram, and Three-Pagoda Pass, where more diverse items are available, and offered at very reasonable price.

  mon bridge

Suggestions for River Cruises

Dry season, summer or winter, is recommended, as rains could disrupt the journey or wreak havoc. Cruising in winter time is especially pleasant. Cool breeze also prevails in summer. For Route 2, in the dry season, the Khwae Noi River is shallow, with river bed, cliff, and beaches appearing clear to the eyes. The Sai Yok Yai and Sai Yok Lek Waterfalls are also of greater height. Route 3 is special in winter, with mist over the river and softened lines of the surrounding hills and mountains. During March and April, the water level in the reservoir is low, and the underwater town can be clearly seen.


Check weather conditions before taking a trip. On certain routes, it is necessary to check the ebb and high tide beforehand for safety and convenience.
See to it that the boat is the right size for the trip and not overloaded.
Wear lightweight, tumble - dry clothes and open shoes. Prepare hats, sun shades, and windbreaker jackets (for cool days).
Get watertight plastic bags for cameras and other equipment
Wear a life vest or get hold of a lifesaver in case of accidents.
Food items for the trip should be easy to take along. Garbage must be disposed of on shore, not thrown into the waterways.
In case of falling overboard, swim back towards the boat or the shore.
Do not travel during the rain or storms.
Avoid moving or running aroundon the boat while it is traveling.
Boat tours Should not be conducted at night.


Travel Tips

Route 1 Cruising the Khwae River, Retracing the Death Railway

From Bangkok, one can travel by road to Kanchanaburi, via Phetkasem Road (Highway No.4) or use the Pinklao-Nakhon Chai Si Road, passing Nakhon Pathom, Amphoe Ban Pong, Ratchaburi Province, tuming into Kanchanaburi. Moreover, a train service is in operation from Bangkok Noi or Thon Buri Station to Sai Yok Noi Waterfall Station, boat the regular and special trains for tourists on weekends as a day-tour and with an overnight in Kanchanaburi. Details are available at the central train station at Hua Lamphong, Tel. 0-2225-6964. To take a cruise, there are long-tailed boats at the pier to the foot of the Bridge over the River Khwae. One boat can be hired at 400 baht, accommodating 6 to 8 persons. The cruise takes one to one and a half hours. One can also opt for a raft, towed by a motor - boat along the river, with accommodation facilities. Information can be obtained from tourist resorts and at rafts seen along the river.

Route 2 Cruising the Resplendent Khwae Noi River

From Kanchanaburi, one takes Highway No.323 (Kanchanaburi-Thong Pha Phum), about 96 kilometres in distance. The entrance to Sai Yok National Park is on the left, with the park office located about 3 kilometres ahead. Boats and rafts can be hired from shops around the parking lot. Long-tailed boats are available at 300 baht for a one hour cruise, accommodating 10 to 12 persons. Touring and accommodating rafts cost 1,200 to 2,000 baht each, for 15 to 20 persons.

Route 3 Cruising along the Sam Prasop - Three River Confluence - Visiting the Legendary Underwater Town of Sangkhla Buri

From Kanchanaburi, one takes highway No.323 (Kanchanaburi Sangkhla Buri), for about 220 kilometres, to the Three - Pagoda Pass junction. The Sangkhla Buri District lies about 6 kilometres ahead. The road from Amphoe Thong Pha Phum to Amphoe Sangkhla Ruri passes through steep mountain slopes. Driving must be made with caution. At the foot of the Mon Bridge, there are motored boats on hire at 300 baht per trip, accommodating 4 to 5 persons.


Accommodations, Restaurants

Route 1 Cruising the Khwae River, Retracing the Death Railway

Accommodations :

Numerous hotels are available on the Soong Chuto Road in the city, such as Prasopsuk, Tel. 0-3451-1777, 0-3451-1411, Mit Mueang Kan, Tel. 0-3462-5137-8, Ratchasuphantit, Tel. 0-3462-5128-31, River Khwae, Tel. 0-3451-3348-9, River Ion, Tel. 0-3462-1056, M.K. Hotel, Tel. 0-3462-1143-4, 0-3462-1083-4. Moreover, there are rafts and guesthouses lining the riverside road, such as Sudchai House, Tel. 0-3451-3779, 0-3451-4150, Bamboo House, Tel. 0-3462-4470


Delectable dishes are offered along the Saeng Chuto Road, at Uncle Chuan's House, Auntie Tio's Plantation, Soon Heng Phat Thai, 19 Khao Kaeng - Rice and Curry, Ko Kat Khao Kaeng, Si Thai Phat Thai, Ko U's boat noodle, and at the all - night market in front of the transport station. There are also several restaurants on the riverside road, and on rafts, such as Sai Yok at the Bridge Over the River Khwae, Chuk Don Kitchen, Siang Phai Kitchen, Auntie Tio's Noodle, Rabiang Fa Raft, Bua Rim Khwae Raft, River Khwae Floating, etc.


Route 2 Cruising the Resplendent Khwae Noi River


There are goest-houses within the Sai Yok National Park, Tel. 0-2562-0760 rafts along the Khwae Noi River, with the contact point at the parking lot in front of the park office. Ban Rim Khwae, Phoo Rim Nam, Tel. 0-3456-1052, 0-3456-1429, Phueng Wan Resort Raft, Tel. 0-22780878, 0-3463-4295-300, Phong Suda Chalet, Tel. 0-2539-3531, 0-3459-1024, Si Kanokphon Garden, Tel. 0-2880-7350-2, 0-3459-1062, Home Phutoei, Tel. 0-2955-1425, 0-2621-1510-3, Risotel Kaeng Lawa, Tel. 0-2247-5373, 0-2642-5497


There are several eateries along the Kanchanaburi-Sai Yok Road, such as Ban Khun Ya - Grandma's Home (kilometre 45), Na Chon - Aunt Chon's duck-noodle (kilometre 48), Khum Thongkham, one kilometre to Sai Yok Lek Waterfall, Northeastern - style grilled chicken and young papaya spicy salad-Som Tam, in the vicinity of the waterfall, and food stalls in the national park around the parking lot, selling noodle, rice dishes a la carte, Som Tam and grilled chicken, and coffee.

Route 3 Cruising along the Sam Prasop - Three - River ConOuence - Visiting the Legendary Underwater Town of Sangkhla Buri


There are bungalows, and resorts at the foot of the Mon Bridge, such as Songkaria Resort, Tel. 0-3459-5023-4, Sam Prasop Resort, Tel. 0-3459-5050, Songkaria Noi Raft, Tel. 0-3459-5396. and several in Sangkhla Buri Town, such as Phonphailin (Si Daeng), Tel. 0-3459-5088, 0-3459-5039, Burmese Inn, Tel. 0-3459-5146, 0-3459-5556, P. Guesthouse, Tel. 0-3459-5061, Aramkit Photha Raft, Tel. 0-3459-5144, Sangkhla Garden Home, Tel. 0-3459-5007, Forget-Me-Not House, Tel. 0-3459-5015-6 for instance.


There are usually Thai food on offer at resorts, hotels and guesthouses, some with Thai, Chinese and Western dishes. For genuine local food, one can always visit the morning market, and all-night food market within Sangkhla Buri District, as well as the morning market at Mon Wanga Village.



Source :

Thailand private tours, Bangkok private tours, Chiang Mai private tours, Ayutthaya..., ..., Thai private tour guide,
van rental with free private English speaking tour guide driver, for the details and prices click Terms and Conditions