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What to see in Kanchanaburi : Top 9 places to visit in 2023

Kanchanaburi, Thailand is a place of mystery and wonderment. Hidden away in the mountainous jungle terrain, its winding rivers and lush green valleys are a sight to behold. For those looking for an escape from the monotony of everyday life, it offers a chance to explore hidden wonders and find peace amongst nature. Here, you will discover a magical world waiting to be explored - 9 must-visit places that make Kanchanaburi truly special.

This province in western Thailand is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the world; it's easy to see why it's become one of the top attractions for travelers seeking adventure and relaxation.

From ancient temples nestled in the hills to sprawling national parks filled with exotic wildlife, Kanchanaburi has something for everyone. Whether you're looking for an off-the-beaten path experience or simply want to soak up some sun on its sandy beaches, this province has it all!

Pack your bags and let us guide you through these 10 remarkable places that make Kanchanaburi so unique. We'll take you on a journey through history, culture and natural beauty; get ready for an unforgettable experience!



History Of Kanchanaburi Province

Kanchanaburi has a rich history that dates back centuries. It was an important military stronghold during World War II, when Allied prisoners of war were forced to build the notorious 'Death Railway'. This railway connected Nong Pla duuk jungtion with Burma and it was part of the Japanese attempt to control Southeast Asia. Today, reminders of this tragic time in history are everywhere in Kanchanaburi, especially near the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery which serves as a memorial for those who lost their lives building the railway.

The province also offers amazing natural beauty, with lush jungles and rivers that make up its landscape. The Erawan National Park is one of its most popular attractions, where visitors can admire its stunning waterfalls, deep gorges and wildlife-filled forests.

There's plenty to explore here, from caves to viewpoints offering breathtaking views over the park, making it essential for anyone looking to experience both at once. From exploring its war memorials to immersing yourself in its wonders of nature - it's sure to be a memorable trip for all who visit.



Erawan National Park

Erawan National Park is one of the the most beautiful waterfall in Thailand, and it’s easy to see why locals refer to it as the ‘jewel of Thailand’. Nestled within this lush paradise lies the River Kwai, which adds to the park's already picturesque setting. Here, visitors can explore the seven tiers of Erawan waterfall - each one more awe-inspiring than the last. The river is also ideal for swimming and hiking, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with nature.



From soaking up its natural beauty to submerged yourself in the water and hiking trails– Erawan waterfall is an essential destination for any traveler looking to experience Kanchanaburi at its best. With a host of activities on offer and plenty of opportunities for exploration – it’s easy to see why this national park is one of Kanchanaburi province and Thailand's most beloved attractions. From here, visitors can easily make their way towards their next stop – the famous Bridge over the River Kwai and Death Railway Bridge.



The Death Railway And Bridge Over The River Kwai

One of the most iconic landmarks in Kanchanaburi province is the Death Railway and Bridge over the River Kwai. This remarkable feat of engineering was built by allied POWs (Allied prisoners-of-war) during World War II, and it remains a powerful reminder of the tragedy that took place here. Visitors can learn more about its history by visiting the Death Railway museum or by taking a trip across the bridge itself.



The Bridge on the River Kwai is one of the most iconic structures in Kanchanaburi, and it’s not hard to see why. Spanning over 400 meters long, this steel bridge towers over its surroundings – offering stunning views of both land and water. It’s also a great spot for photography – with plenty of opportunities to capture unique shots from any angle.





The bridge has become a symbol of resilience and remembrance for allied pows and many people around the world, and it serves as an important reminder of those who lost their lives during WWII. Whether you’re interested in learning more about its history or simply want to take in its breathtaking beauty – a visit to this bridge is a landmark for sure to leave an unforgettable impression on all who experience it. From here, travelers can make their way towards their next stop – Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum.




Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum

The Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum is an emotional and educational experience for all who visit. Its solemn atmosphere gives visitors a rare insight into the harrowing events that took place here during WWII. Through displays of photographs, artifacts, audio headsets and other memorabilia – this museum is a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made by those who fought in the war.



The museum also houses a replica of the famous Hellfire Pass – which was used by Allied prisoners-of-war to construct a railway line through the mountains. This gruelling task took place under intense conditions, with many men losing their lives in the process. You can take a audio headsets and walk in the museum of the instuctoin and guiding though the museum and the trekk down the the walking trail.



The museum’s tranquil setting also provides an ideal spot for reflection, allowing visitors to contemplate on the significance of these events and remember those affected by them. While it may be difficult to face such an emotionally charged experience, it’s still important to understand our past and honour those who sacrificed so much for our freedom today. With its thought-provoking displays and poignant atmosphere – this museum is an essential stop on any trip to Kanchanaburi. From here, travelers can venture towards Sai Yok Noi Waterfall(AKA- Nam tok Saiyok Noi) – another must-see destination in Kanchanaburi.



Sai Yok Noi Waterfall

The Sai Yok Noi Waterfall (Waterfall =Nam tok) is a magnificent sight that should not be missed on any trip to Kanchanaburi. part of Sai yok national park, this stunning waterfall cascades down into a tranquil pool below. The surrounding area is also filled with lush greenery beautiful surrounding, making it the perfect spot for a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of city life.



After some time spent here, you can visit other side of The Death Railway by taking the train from Nam Tok station(Train station) and to experience the Death railway train ride. This historicTrain track was built by Japanese soldiers forces during WWII and is now open for visitors to explore – providing another unique opportunity to experience to the train ride along The Death Railway history. From here, travelers can make their way towards Wat Tham Sua and Wat Tham Khao Noi – two more must-see destinations in Kanchanaburi.



Wat Tham Sua And Wat Tham Khao Noi

Wat Tham Sua and Wat Tham Khao Noi– two magnificent cave temples located on either side of the Mae Klong River. The first, Wat Tham Sua(Tiger Cave temple), is an ancient site that offers panoramic views across the reservoir and surrounding mountains.




Take some time here to explore the intricate interiors of this sacred space before making your way down a steep path towards the second temple – Wat Tham Khao Noi(Small Mountain temple). Here, you can see the chinese influence architect on this temple, which different from the Wat Tham Sua



After exploring these two spectacular sites, head back towards town and make your next stop at Kanchanaburi City Gate and Old Town – where you can learn about the city’s rich history and culture while wandering through its winding streets lined with colorful temples and traditional homes.

Leaving the spiritual sites of Wat Tham Sua and Wat Tham Khao Noi behind, journey to Kanchanaburi city gate and old town to learn more about the city’s rich history and culture.



Kanchanaburi City Gate And Old Town

• Kanchanaburi City Gate is located at Pakprak sub-district. It is an ancient style gate built since 1831 with bricks and cement in pre-Rattanakosin period during the reign of King Rama III. In the meantime, Kanchanaburi was being moved from the old location at Lad Yah to Pakprak due to better strategic battle position and more convenient trading with other cities.





Kanchanaburi brick city wall has sema built on top of it as boundary marker symbol. The wall stretches out in rectangular, 210 meter wide and 480 meter long. There are fortresses on every corner and one in the middle of front wall and another in the middle of back wall. There are 8 entrances including 6 city gates and 2 topless doors. Nowadays the wall and gates are almost completely ruined except the front gate facing KhwaeYai River and the nearby wall. A restoration was done once in 2006. Behind the city gate stands a King Rama III monument.

• San Lak Mueang serves as the city pillar shrine for Kanchanaburi. These shrines, known as lak mueang, are typically found in most urban centers throughout Thailand. They are constructed to house Chao Pho Lak Mueang, the city's spirit deity, when a new town is founded.



Kanchanaburi old town or Pak Prak RoadPak Prak in Kanchanaburi and take a step back in time to discover the city's rich history.

Pak Prak Community and Pak Phraek Road is the oldest community in Kanchanaburi, derived from the Chinese words "Pak Phek," meaning the crossroad. The community features ancient buildings from the early 20th-century architecture that showcase a combination of Chinese, European, and Thai styles. Over 20 heritage buildings are adorned with information boards that explain the artistic styles and provide a glimpse into the history along the road.

You'll be amazed to learn that some of the owners of these old buildings played important roles in World War II. One outstanding figure is Boonpong Sirivejabhand, who risked his well-being by forwarding secret messages from prisoners of war (POWs) to their governments.

These historic buildings are full of stories of how Kanchanaburi residents interacted with both the Japanese military and the POWs during the war, which is not commonly found in museums. Take a stroll through Pak Prak and immerse yourself in the city's rich heritage.

JEATH War Museum

JEATH War Museum – Located in an old temple near the bridge over the River Kwai, this museum offers a glimpse into life during WWII. The acronym JEATH stands to represents the main nationalities that participated in the construction of the railway, namely Japan, England, Australia, America, Thailand, and Holland.

After taking a tour through these historic sites, we are going to the adventue on The River with Paddle and More Travel.

Paddle Boarding On The River Kwai

Make your way to Paddle and More Travel the number one paddle boarding oparator in town for a beautiful scenic paddle boarding on the Khwae Yai River. This river is the larger of two rivers that form the River Kwai, and with pristine waters, vibrant and stunning views, it's no wonder why it's one of Thailand's most popular paddle boarding spots. In fact, Kanchanchanaburi have make them self a SUP Destination of thailand nand many tourists come here each year to explore it.

At the end of your adventure, take a moment to appreciate the beautiful sunsets over the River Kwai bridge as you make your way back to shore. With its idyllic surroundings and abundance of activities, it’s no surprise this is one of Thailand’s must-visit destinations!



As you leaving The memory on the river beind, now head next to into Kanchanaburi’s ancient culture and history.



Prasat Mueang Singh Historical Park

Take a step back in time and explore Prasat Mueang Singh Historical Park. This unique site is located on the banks of the River Khwae Noi and is home to a variety of ancient ruins, including stone monasteries, temples and fortified walls. Take a guided tour of the park to learn more about its fascinating history, or wander around at your own pace to admire the stunning architecture.



At Prasat Mueang Singh, visitors have the chance to delve into Kanchanaburi’s past while admiring its stunning scenery. From exploring ancient ruins to getting lost in nature - there’s something for everyone here! Now, it's time to take a break from sightseeing and indulge in some delicious treats with cafe hopping in Kanchanaburi!

Cafe Hopping In Kanchanaburi

Cafe hopping in Kanchanaburi is an experience not to be missed. After sightseeing around the city, it’s time to take a break and explore some of the best cafes and restaurants in the area. From quaint coffee shops to hip bistros, here’s a list of places you must visit:

The Curve Kanchanaburi

located next to the Kwai Noi River, is a coffee shop that creatively uses dates as raw materials for various menus. Their signature dishes include Date Cake, Bacon-wrapped Dates, and Date Cookies. The shop is also known for its beautiful views and can accommodate a large number of people with both indoor and outdoor seating options.



Rakkanna Cafe & Noodle Shop

is located in the middle of a beautiful rice field near Wat Tham Suea in Kanchanaburi Province. Their hanging leg noodles are a must-try, but make sure to come early before they sell out in the afternoon. The shop also serves coffee, grass jelly, and other snacks. It's a great place to enjoy the affordable countryside atmosphere. Advice for visitors: come in the evening for great views and bring patience for potential long lines.



Sitthisang House in Kanchanaburi's old town

is a charming coffee shop located in a century-old house that has been beautifully preserved with stunning architectural details. The shop offers a variety of tea, coffee, and bakery items, including signature drinks like Macadamia White Chocolate, New York Cheese, and Almond Mocha. The second floor of the house has been restored as a private residence for one family at a time and is decorated with beautiful watercolor paintings. It's no surprise that Sitthisang House is a recommended restaurant in guidebooks like France's Lonely Planet.



Davenport Cafe

is a riverfront restaurant located in Kanchanaburi, opened in mid-2020 as part of The Zeit River Kwai Hotel. With a modern-minimalist and rustic vibe, the cafe offers a chill atmosphere by the Kwai Noi River, perfect for relaxation. The cafe serves a variety of Thai, Fusion, and Western cuisine, coffee, and bakery items, catering to all meals throughout the day. Customers can also take a short walk to the hotel's pool, a popular photography spot. Davenport Cafe is open to all, including pets.

Kanchanaburi has plenty of options when it comes to cafe hopping! Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or want to savor something special, this city has something for everyone. With its vibrant atmosphere and delicious food, it’s easy to see why so many people choose Kanchanaburi as their destination for cafe hopping! It's time now to wrap up your trip with some concluding thoughts about Kanchanaburi.





Conclusion

Kanchanaburi is truly a place of vibrant culture and history. From the bustling cafes to the Stuning waterfall hike, there’s something for everyone in this city. But perhaps the most poignant attraction of all are the war memorials, which serve as a reminder of the past and honor those who lost their lives in battle. The Memorial Museum, Burma Railway and Hellfire Pass provide an unforgettable experience that will stay with you long after you’ve left Kanchanaburi.

No matter what brings you to this city, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience that you won’t soon forget. Kanchanaburi offers something for everyone - from foodies to historians and adventurers alike. Whether it's for a weekend getaway or an extended stay, Kanchanaburi will reward you with its unique culture, stunning sights and captivating stories. So take your time here and explore all that this amazing city has to offer!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Kanchanaburi known for? Kanchanaburi is known for its historical landmarks and beautiful natural scenery, including the River Kwai Bridge, Erawan National Park, and Sai Yok Noi Waterfall.

  2. How far is Kanchanaburi from Bangkok? Kanchanaburi is approximately 130 kilometers (81 miles) west of Bangkok and can be reached by car, train or bus.

  3. How many days should I spend in Kanchanaburi? It is recommended to spend at least 2-3 days in Kanchanaburi to fully explore the area and enjoy its natural beauty and history.

  4. Are there any elephant sanctuaries in Kanchanaburi? Yes, there are several elephant sanctuaries in Kanchanaburi, including the Elephant's World and Sai Yok Elephant Park.

  5. Is Kanchanaburi a good destination for a family vacation? Yes, Kanchanaburi is a great destination for a family vacation, with plenty of outdoor activities and cultural attractions for all ages to enjoy.

  6. Is there many tour groups visit kanchanaburi? Yes many Tour groups frequently visited Kanchanaburi on their itinerary.

  7. Can I go to Chiang mai from Kanchanaburi? Yes you can take public bus from here to Chiang mai.





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