About Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi city, the capital of Kanchanaburi Province, is a popular resort town; picturesque and worthy of a visit in its own right, it is frequently visited as base of operations for exploring the many cultural, natural, and historical attractions in the surrounding countryside. Located at the confluence of the Kwai Noi and Kwai Yai Rivers, Kanchanaburi lies at the source of the Mae Klong River, and these majestic bodies of water are defining characteristics of the town.

The original town of Kanchanaburi was established by King Rama I as a first line of defense against the Burmese, whom he believed might use the old invasion route through the Three Pagodas Pass at the Siam-Myanmar border. According to most historians, the old town of Kanchanaburi was located near Ban Lat Ya, a small village situated approximately 16 kilometers north of the present town. The present provincial capital is a relatively newer town built by King Rama III in 1833.

The town itself is a place to relax, watching the water from the banks of the river, inside a raft house, or from a riverside restaurant. Many visitors like to rest along the river with a cold drink and a good book. Many of them come here just for a couple days but stay for weeks in order to explore all of the attractions in the surrounding countryside. Along with visiting spectacular waterfalls, lush forests, and three of Thailand’s largest reservoirs, white water rafting, elephant trekking, and golfing are popular activities for visitors. Kanchanaburi is an excellent tourist destination for nature lovers.

How to go

Non air-conditioned daily busses leave Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal every 15 minutes from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. The trip takes about 3 hours. Call 02 434 5557-8 for more information.

First-class air-conditioned busses (blue color) leave Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal depart every 25 minutes daily. Call 02 435 5012, 0 2435 1199 or 02 884 6249 or visit www.transport.co.th for more information.

There are also busses leaving frequently daily for Kanchanaburi from Nakhon Pathom. The journey takes up to 1.5 hours. From Ratchaburi and Suphan Buri Bus Stations there are several busses leaving directly to Kanchanaburi. The trip takes some 2.5 - 3 hours.

Ordinary trains leave Bangkok’s Thonburi Railway Station (Bangkok Noi Station) daily. Only 3rd class seats are available. The journey takes approximately 3 hours. For more information, call Thon Buri Railway Station at tel. 02 411 3102 or Kanchanaburi Railway Station at tel. 034 511285.

The weekend special train leaves Bangkok’s Hua Lumphong Railway Station (MRT Hua Lamphong) at 6.30 a.m., returning at 7.55 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. The trip usually includes several stop-overs at Phra Pathom Chedi (Nakhon Pathom), the Death Railway Bridge, and a transfer (by minibus) to Prasat Muang Singh Historical Park, among other points of interest.

There are also special steam trains operating between Kanchanaburi and Wang Pho.

For more information, call the State Railway of Thailand at tel. 1690, or 02 223 7010, 02 223 7020 or visit http://www.railway.co.th/English/Travel.asp


Kanchanaburi War Cemetery (Don Rak)

The immaculately maintained cemetery contains the remains of 6,982 Allied POWs who perished during the construction of the ‘Death Railway’. Its tranquility reminds the visitors of the war and its after-effects.

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery (Don Rak)

Thailand – Burma Railway Centre

The Thailand-Burma Railway Centre in an interactive museum, research and information centre dedicated to presenting the story of the Thailand-Burma Railway built during the World War II.

Thailand – Burma Railway Centre

Kanchanaburi City Gate

An interesting site to see in the remains of Kanchanaburi town is the Gate which was built in 1831 during the reign of King Rama III. It is located on Lak Mueang Road near the meeting point of the Khwae Yai and Khwae Noi Rivers.

Kanchanaburi City Gate