A Weekend in Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Last weekend, once again we tried to “play tourist” like we usually do when traveling around Thailand. This is my first post on Thailand culture travel, and recounts our most recent visit to the western province of Kanchanaburi. Although, I have been living in Thailand for over 7 years now, this is the first time that I’ll be writing about my travels and here’s hoping that our Kanchanaburi pictures will tell a lot more than words.

How to Get to Kanchanaburi

There are a number of ways to get there from Bangkok. If you are taking public transportation, Kanchanaburi is connected by road and rail services daily.

  • Bangkok Noi Railway Station (Thonburi Train Station) – trains leave a few times a day from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi. Check timetables and fares at State Railway of Thailand or Call Center 1690.
  • Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal – air-conditioned and non-air conditioned buses leave every 30 minutes. Fore more information, contact Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) 0-2435-1200, 0-2435-1199
  • Van Terminal near Century Mall in Victory Monument – vans or mini-buses leave from the terminal next to Century Mall in Victory Monument
  • Buses or Vans in Khaosarn Road – Khaosarn is a tourist haven and backpacker community so you can ask any travel agent or tour company to get tickets transportation to Kanchanaburi

What we did was purchase a tour package from a travel company in Bangkok to save us time in getting to Kanchanaburi and travel from one site to another. We would have done it another way but we only had one full day to see the sights.

This was our itinerary, included in the Kanchanaburi Full Day Tour (River Kwai Day Tour):

  1. Kanchanaburi War Cemetery (Don Rak Cemetery) – located opposite the Kanchanaburi Railway Station, this well-kept cemetery has the remains of almost 7,000 Australian, Dutch and British prisoners of war.
  2.  War Museum at the Bridge – located by the River Kwai near the River Kwai Bridge, this museum contains war instruments, photographs, old uniforms and other remnants. There is an art gallery in the building where you see paintings of Thai battles, portraits of Thai political figures, murals about Thai history and more.
  3. Bridge Over the River Kwai – only a few minutes walk from the War Museum is the famous River Kwai Bridge. This black iron bridge is still in use today with daily routes from Kanchanaburi to Nam Tok station. While the curved spans of the bridge are part of the original sections and have been preserved , this serves as a reminder of prisoner-of-war labor as part of the Death Railway linking Burma to Thailand
  4. Train on the Death Railway – The train starts at the Bridge Over the River Kwai and transports passengers on a historical route amid lush forests, rolling hills and lazy rivers.
  5. Sai Yok Noi Waterfalls – Located in beautiful and lush landscape, Sai Yok Noi falls is the best place to relax and bathe in the warm spring waters.
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery contains the remains of almost 7,000 prisoners of war.
Kanchanaburi War Museum near the Kwai Bridge
Entrance to the War Museum and Art Gallery near the Kwai Bridge
War Museum and Art Gallery near the River Kwai Bridge
War remnants at the War Museum and Art Gallery near the River Kwai Bridge
Art Gallery and Thai History Museum near River Kwai Bridge in Kanchanaburi
Paintings of Thai battles, murals about Thai history and politics, Khmer-style Buddhas, and Chinese deities.
Bridge over the River Kwai
The Bridge over the River Kwai is still in use  today with daily routes from Kanchanaburi to Nam Tok.
Train Route from River Kwai in Kanchanaburi
The sights and sounds of the daily train route from River Kwai Station to Nam Tok Station.
Sai Yok Noi Waterfalls
The cascading waters of Sai Yok Noi falls amid lush and beautiful landscapes.

After the full day tour, we spent the rest of the evening in downtown Kanchanaburi. We earlier booked a night at Kasem Island Resort, which is a hotel on small, privately-owned Kasem Island. The island, the hotel and room decor has a somewhat rustic country feeling but has a zen-ish inspiration.

Kasem Island Resort in Kanchanaburi
Kasem Island Resort is located on a small, private island on the River Kwai.
Things to do and see in Kasem Island on the River Kwai
Things to do and see in Kasem Island on the River Kwai

In my next travel, we will go to Pranburi, Thailand – a coastal town south of Bangkok.

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