The Thai province of Kanchanaburi is a medley of past and present. It houses some of the horrifying yet awe-inspiring remnants of the Second World War, which are some of the top places to visit in Kanchanaburi. One can travel through time by visiting some of the war memorials and museums. In fact, you can retrace history by going back as far as the Neolithic civilization and witness the artifacts recovered from the excavation sites. Apart from the dark yet rich history, it is the scenic beauty of the majestic landscapes that make the province visit-worthy. The thundering natural waterfalls and the soothing hot springs attract tourists from near and far.
The town of Kanchanaburi is located 130 kilometers away from Bangkok and is a popular escape for those hoping to lose the crowd. The thriving tropical wilderness in the protected areas is a literal breath of fresh air. It offers the tourists to weave through the complex network of caves, witness the diverse wildlife, and revisit history. The Kanchanaburi province offers varied sights, numerous activities, and memorable experiences. Nature lovers would be as excited as history buffs and Kanchanaburi embraces them all.
Places To Visit In Kanchanaburi
Amongst the many places to visit in Kanchanaburi, the following are some of the popular destinations that one must put on their list if they are visiting the province:
1. Death Railway Bridge
The Death Railway Bridge or Bridge on the River Kwai is one of the most famous places to visit in Kanchanaburi. It has often been referenced in films and literature. The landmark was constructed by the Dutch, American, and British prisoners of war captured during WWII. It is named so since numerous men died while the bridge was being constructed. The Japanese supervised this project with the hope that the rail connection could aid their soldiers fighting in Burma. Tourists can cover sections of the bridge on foot or by rail and collect trinkets from the local markets around the area.
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2. Hellfire Pass and Memorial Museum
The Hellfire Pass constitutes a stretch of the 500-meter long path carved through rock. Nearly 1000 POWs dug their way by hand to lay Hellfire Pass. During the 12-week digging period, 70% of the POWs died in deplorable conditions. Grab an audio headset narrating the history of the Hellfire Pass and relive the angst of the forced laborers. The Memorial Museum retells their story through the medium of tools, photographs, and artifacts. The Hellfire Pass and Memorial Museum are maintained by the Australian Government.
3. Erawan National Park
The Erawan National Park is a soothing contrast to the jarring remnants of the war. The majestic seven-tiered Erawan Falls reward the visitors with a treat to the eyes. The lush greens against the aqua-hued waters make the Erawan National Park a beauty to cherish. As you trudge through the National Park, you will see king cobras, gibbons, and elephants in their natural habitat. For the more adventurous kind, the Tham Phra That Caves is a must-visit.
4. Elephant’s World
The elephants at the Elephant’s World are survivors of abuse and have been rescued from various illegal and unethical practices. At the Elephant’s World, you get to interact with them in the purest form, through empathy. You get to offer your services to the humongous creature and care for it. You could cook food for them, walk them, or even give them a bath in the river; all of that without causing any harm to the elephant.
5. JEATH War Museum
JEATH (Japan, England, Australia/America, Thailand, and Holland) – POWs of these allied powers were imprisoned and tortured at the prison camp situated on the grounds of Wat Chai Chumphon. It is an exact replica of the war jail camps set up during WWII. Visitors can relive the past through the accounts narrated by the prisoners or their family members. The bunks and other authentic articles each have a story to tell. The museum is maintained by monks.
How To Reach Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi is connected to Bangkok and neighboring provinces by roads and rails.
By Road: Air-conditioned and non-AC buses ply from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal towards Kanchanaburi. These buses depart after every 15 minutes and take about 2 to 3 hours to reach the destination.
Another way to get to Kanchanaburi by road is by boarding a minibus from the Khaosan Road, Bangkok, to get to the location within 2 hours.
By Rail: In addition to the buses, trains depart from the Thonburi Train Station (Bangkok Noi Railway Station) for Kanchanaburi. These trains travel twice a day.
Places To Stay In Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi has many lodging options ranging from high-end luxury hotels to budget hotels. Some of the highly recommended hotels are:
1. Dheva Mantra Resort
The Dheva Mantra Resort is around 8 kilometers away from River Kwai and is centrally located. The colonial style resort offers spacious rooms, picturesque gardens, and a sprawling pool to beat the heat.
2. Bamboo House
The Bamboo House offers two lodging options – raft houses and bungalows. While the bungalows are the regular run-of-the-mill accommodation, it is the raft houses that enjoy great popularity. The raft houses float right on the river offering stunning views.
3. Pong Phen Guesthouse and Bungalows
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4. Royal River Kwai Resort & Spa
The Royal River Kwai Resort houses spacious rooms with cozy decorations. The sprawling pool offers a break to those looking to escape the heat. Additionally, the riverside location makes this scenic hotel a value for money option.
5. Mida Resort Kanchanaburi
With multiple river-facing rooms, the Mida Resort offered stunning views. You could request to set up a luxury tent by the river as the resort’s waterfall lulls you to sleep.
Kanchanaburi serves a slice of anthropogenic history with the sides of nature’s beauty, the contrast of the gruesome and the marvelous. Thus, it is definitely a place worth a visit. Book your trip to Thailand with Traveltriangle and have a great time as you take a tour of the places to visit in Kanchanaburi.
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