Kanchanaburi Travel Guide
Kanchanaburi’s primary attraction is the infamous Bridge Over the River Kwai, which was immortalized in the 1957 film of the same name. But the province of Kanchanaburi, and the town of the same name, also has spectacular natural wonders, such as the Erawan National Park, which is home to one of Asia’s most beautiful waterfalls.
The Bridge Over the River Kwai is part of the “Death Railway,” so called due to the number of Thai laborers and Allied prisoners of war who died during its construction from 1942 to 1943. The World War II railroad was engineered by Japan in order to create a military link between Thailand and Burma. To learn more about the railway, visit the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre located in Kanchanaburi city. Or, walk the trail through Hellfire Pass, a narrow gorge cut through solid rock as part of the Death Railway. The pass is now a memorial to those who lost their lives in the construction of the railway.
Go even further back into the history of the province at the Mueang Sing Historical Park, located about 24 miles (38 kilometers) from Kanchanaburi city. Here, you can see remains of Khmer temples that date back to the 13th and 14th centuries.
Kanchanaburi province is an area endowed with forests, hills, caves and waterfalls. Spend a day exploring the Erawan National Park. Its main feature is Erawan Falls, a seven-tier waterfall. Reserve a day to take the round-trip hike to the top of the falls. At some of the tiers, you can reward yourself with a swim in one of the cool, clear pools. Then take a free tour of the Phra That Cave to see the giant stalactites and stalagmites in this hillside cave complex.
You can reach Kanchanaburi city by bus or train from Bangkok, which is about 81 miles (130 kilometers) east. Once in the city, get around via local songthaews (converted pickups), or private or shared taxis. Visit the area between November and April to avoid the wet season. However, if you do visit during the rainy season, be sure to visit the many waterfalls, since they will be at their most beautiful.