** Information on this page has been expanded and updated in a more recent post. You can find it here**
Located around two and a half hours away from Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok, Kanchanaburi is an absolute must visit for any adventurous traveler exploring Thailand!
How to get there?
Getting to Kanchanaburi is one of the easier destinations to get to in Northern/Central Thailand. From Bangkok head to the southern Bus Terminal Sai Tai Mai. At the Southern Bus Terminal there are multiple buses and mini buses that leave every 30 minutes.
From Bangkok you can also take a train, this journey is longer and more unpredictable but also will be a prettier journey. Trains leave Bangkok from Thonburi also known as Bangkok Noi Station at 07:05 and 13:55.
What to do?
Explore and learn about the Death Railway
During WWII POW’s working for the Japanese were forced to build a railway which was supposed to go through Thailand to Myanmar. It was an impossible mission and thousands of people died while building it. The railway is still there, now called the “Death Railway,” in the city there is a great museum dedicated to it where you can learn all about the building of the rail road.
Visit Hellfire Pass
This is a stretch of the railroad which was not completed but shows the conditions in which prisoners were forced to work in. No trains run through this pass and it serves as an educational site as well as a memorial to those who died in the making of the railroad.
Swim in the Erawan Falls
A much less depressing attraction in Kanchanaburi are it’s beautiful Erawan Waterfalls. These majestic tiered falls are located in the Erawan National Park and are an absolute must see while traveling through. These naturally occurring tiered oasis’s are deep within the Thai jungle. Surrounded by greenery you can easily spend a day exploring, swimming and hiking in the national park!
*Pro Tip* Climb up to the 7th and final waterfall FIRST as they will also close it first around 4:30. The 7th is definitely the most beautiful and it would be such a shame to miss it!
Visit Wat Tham Sua
This temples name is translated to Tiger Cave Temple and is something you 100% don’t want to miss! It’s views of the surrounding Kanchanaburi area are breathtaking along with the Chinese and Thai styled temples themselves which are gorgeous.
Some other things to do are:
Visit Sak Yok Noi Waterfall
Visit Huai Mae Khamin Waterfall
Take a cooking class
Walk around the POW Cemetery
Learn about Khmer History at the Prasat Muang Singh Ancient Temple
How long should I stay?
My two weekend trips to Kanchanaburi seemed always far too short! I would recommend three days at the least to really be able to see everything you can! The waterfalls and Hellfire pass are located a bit away from the city making them more like day trips, not small outings.
Have you ever been to Kanchanaburi? Is there anything you would add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!
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