Kanchanaburi city, the capital of Kanchanaburi Province is fast becoming a popular place for tourists to visit while here in The Kingdom.
Located by the Kwai Yai and Kwai Noi rivers, Kanchanaburi lies at the source of the Mae Klong river and these stunning bodies of water set the tone and define the characteristics of the town, along with vast countryside, natural beauty, culture and historic sights Kanchanaburi is a must see.
Kanchanaburi is home to many WWII memorials and museums are a reminder of darker times. Japanese forces used Allied prisoners of war (POWs) and conscripted Asian labourers to build a rail route to Myanmar.
The harrowing story became famous after a fictional tale, based loosely on the real events, was told in Pierre Boulle’s book The Bridge Over the River Kwai and the 1957 movie based on the book. Roads east of the bridge are named after countries involved in the conflict.
There is also memorial and two museums to commemorate the dead.
In March 2003, the Thailand-Burma Railway Museum opened and the JEATH (Japanese-English-American-Australian-Thai-Holland) War Museum dedicated to the bridge and the Death Railway.
The city is also home to the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.
The Chong Kai Allies Cemetery is near Kanchanaburi, about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from Wat Tham Phu Wa.
Because so many of the parks and historic sites in the surrounding countryside are easily accessible, Kanchanaburi is an ideal base for exploring some of Thailand’s wild west.
X2 River Kwai
X2 River Kwai is located at the most beautiful stretch of the Kwai Noi River with its spectacular view and backdrop of mountain ranges and blue sky.
The resort is located on 2 acres (6 Rai) of prime riverside location with every room offering uninterrupted panoramic river views over the idyllic countryside.
The facilities include a river view restaurant with an outdoor deck, The Bridge Bar & Bistro, library, an infinity riverfront pool with sun lounges and sun beds.
Hintok River Camp
Honoured as one of Asia Pacific top ten adventure resorts and top seven places to go glamping Hintok River Camp is located on a gigantic cliff overlooking the River Kwai.
Hintok River Camp at Hellfire Pass is set by Kwai Noi River and surrounded by the local village and temples near Hellfire Pass.
It is the great holiday destination in the abundant green nature of Kanchanaburi near Saiyok National Park with the hidden historical stories of WW 2.
There is also a museum right at the camp site called Hintok Story Museum.
The gallery museum of the cave underneath the campground and the story of this camp site back in WW2.
The Bridge Bar & Bistro
The Bridge Bar & Bistro is a river-view restaurant where guests can enjoy their food and drinks inside or on the outdoor deck. With the concept of “unpretentious luxury”, food is served in a casual and “rustic” style with a creativeness which brings back the memory of the great home cooking.
Thai Peppers Restaurant
Located in U Inchantree Kanchanaburi Hotel, Thai Peppers Restaurant is an elegant restaurant with breathtaking view serving simple cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere.
SEE & DO
Bridge on the River Kwai
This bridge is the best-known historical landmark in Kanchanaburi. It was erected through the forced labor of prisoners of war during WWII.
The bridge was part of the Thai-Burmese “Death Railway,” so named because of the scores of men who died during construction.
Today, you can ride across the bridge, sections of which are from the original structure.
Hellfire Pass & Memorial Museum
The Hellfire Pass is a 500 m-long portion of rock that thousands of prisoners of war dug out (by hand) to pave the way for the Death Railway.
Many of those men died during the 12-week digging period.
Today, it’s possible to walk the old railway track into the jungle (which takes about 4 to 5 hours), and visit a memorial museum honoring those who died.
The museum houses artifacts, tools, and photos.
Erawan National Park
The seven-tiered Erawan Falls are the best-known natural attraction in Kanchanaburi.
The water cascades down the mountains in a serene setting, surrounded by lush vegetation and limestone mountains.
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
The Kanchanaburi War Cemetery (known locally as the Don-Rak War Cemetery) is the main prisoner of war cemetery for victims of Japanese imprisonment while building the Burma Railway.
There are 6,982 POWs buried there, mostly Australian, British, and Dutch. There are 1,896 Dutch war graves, the rest being from Britain and the Commonwealth.
By Paul Johnson