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Kanchanaburi

A Glimpse Into The Past

Kanchanaburi Overview


Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi, Thailand, is a world of green hills, majestic waterfalls and sprawling national parks. However, it is also the final resting place of many brave soldiers who fought in World War II. Unlike other cities in Thailand, Kanchanaburi is the type of place where travelers are encouraged to go on trips of discovery and reflection as many sites take you on a journey down the grim history of the area.

Along with history, Kanchanaburi is also the place to be for travellers who are looking for a slower pace than Bangkok. Its rivers, caves and waters are all within reach of the big city and offer a haven for those who are tired of the city traffic.

When To Go To Kanchanaburi


Kanchanaburi, Thailand, has three distinct seasons: the hot season, the cool season (peak season) and the wet season (low season). Despite the three distinct seasons, the average monthly temperatures in Kanchanaburi vary very little all year. However, the area is less temperate than other tourist destinations worldwide.

Rainy Season

From July through October, tourists who visit Kanchanaburi should be prepared to face intense rains that last less than a couple of hours. The average temperature during these months is 86 degrees, with the temperature going down to 83 degrees in October.

Nov

32°C

Avg.Rain
9mm

Dec

32°C

Avg.Rain
15mm

Jan

34°C

Avg.Rain
10mm

Feb

35°C

Avg.Rain
50mm

Cool Season

The cool season lasts from November through January. During this season, Kanchanaburi weather averages at 77 degrees. This is also the peak season for tourists. This means Kanchanaburi attractions like the Erawan National Park, Kanchanaburi War Cemetery and Tiger Temple see an influx of visitors.

Mar

32°C

Avg.Rain
9mm

Apr

32°C

Avg.Rain
9mm

May

32°C

Avg.Rain
10mm

Transitional Period

Summers in Kanchanaburi is very hot. Generally, mid-April sees the highest temperatures, rarely dropping below 100. During these months, visiting Kanchanaburi and its tourist attractions can become undesirable.

Jun

32°C

Avg.Rain
9mm

Jul

32°C

Avg.Rain
15mm

Aug

34°C

Avg.Rain
10mm

Sep

34°C

Avg.Rain
10mm

Oct

34°C

Avg.Rain
10mm

Best Time To Visit Kanchanaburi


November to January

The cool season is also the peak season in Kanchanaburi. This means the prices for accommodations, activities and flights are likely to be the highest during this season. Despite that, the pleasant weather makes November to January the best months to fly in for people hoping to go around the city without worrying about a rainstorm or the battering heat.

Kanchanaburi

Key events:


Loy Krathong Festival, where locals set banana leaves and other home-made boats at the river Kwai to thank Buddha


River Kwai Bridge Week, commemorates the sacrifices of the men who built the Death Railway.


June to October

During the monsoon season, the prices of accommodations, activities and flights are at their lowest. Therefore, these months are the best time to visit Kanchanaburi if you want to save up money for the trip. However, it is advised to prepare for heavy rains during the monsoon months.

Kanchanaburi

Key events:


Longboat Race, where teams of locals race against each other in a rowing competition.


Tak Bat Devo, a Buddhist festival celebrated annually in the country’s central region

Getting To Kanchanaburi


Kanchanaburi is a quaint town. However, it is rich in history and stories, some of which have inspired some of the most heartbreaking books and films. The city is known for many attractions, particularly the River Kwai Bridge, Death Railway, Thailand Burma Railway Centre, Erawan National Park and World War II-related museums.

Many places in Thailand are best reached by taking a flight into the capital city of Bangkok. That being said, Kanchanaburi is not one of them as it does not have its own airport. Located just 126 kilometres (78 miles) from the capital, the quaint, laid back town is best reached by road or train.

Kanchanaburi By Train

Kanchanaburi

Travelling by train from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi is, by no means, the quickest or the most comfortable way. However, it is incredibly popular among tourists who want to see the urban area of the Thai capital when they leave Bangkok.

Trains from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi depart at 7:50 a.m. and 1:55 p.m. from Thonburi Train Station (Bangkok Noi). The Thonburi station is located near the Chao Phraya River and river ferry piers Wang Lang Pier and Thonburi Railway Pier.

A train journey from Bangkok to the main train station in Kanchanaburi costs 100 THB. There is no need to book a Kanchanaburi train ticket in advance.

Kanchanaburi By Bus

Buses from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi leave from various locations, including the Southern Bus Terminal in Sai Tai Mai, the Northern Bus Terminal in Mo Chit, and Khao San Road. Regular buses depart regularly throughout the day from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. The bus would bring you directly to the Kanchanaburi bus terminal, located near markets and shopping centres north of Sangchuto Road.

Kanchanaburi

There are two types of buses offered in the Southern and Northern Bus Terminals: first class and second class.

A first-class bus gives tourists more comfort as it is equipped with a toilet and air conditioning. Generally, first-class bus tickets may cost 120 Thai Baht (THB) per person.

While it does not have a toilet, a second class bus also has air conditioning and is as comfortable as its counterpart. Tickets for regular buses cost 80 THB per person.

Journey times vary. However, the trip from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi bus station takes three to four hours, depending on the route the bus takes.

Kanchanaburi By Mini Bus

Kanchanaburi

Many tourist minibuses are operating between Bangkok and Kanchanaburi. There are two ways for you to book a minibus: through a travel agency along Khao San Road or your hotel.

Here are some of the best minibus services you should get if you plan to visit Kanchanaburi:

From the Southern Terminal

Minibuses operated by Win Happy can take you from the southern bus terminal in Bangkok to Kanchanaburi bus terminal on U-Thong Soi 6 Road. The minibuses depart from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, with each ticket costing 150 THB.

Win Happy introduced a new fleet of minibuses in 2019 that has improved seats and air conditioning. In total, a minibus can seat at least 20 people.

From the Northern Bus Terminal

Minibuses operated by Monsiri Travel depart Mochit New Van Terminal at least six times per day. The first trip leaves at 6 a.m. The last bus departs the station around 5 p.m.

Ticket prices for the minibus cost 135 THB. The minibus seats around eight people. However, you may book an extra seat if you have a large amount of luggage.

From Khao San Road

Minibus operator Mama Travel operates from Khao San Road, with buses departing three times a day from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Each minibus can seat up to 8 passengers. Again, you can book an additional seat if you have any extra luggage. A ticket for the minibus will cost you 289 THB.

Kanchanaburi By Taxi

Kanchanaburi

Travelling to Kanchanaburi by private taxi is the easiest and fastest way there is to get there. However, it is also the most expensive.

Getting a private taxi may cost you around 3000 THB, but it may be the best option if you travel in a group or with family.

Getting Around Kanchanaburi


Kanchanaburi, Thailand, is a fairly small city. With that being said, Kanchanaburi is still a little too stretched to walk around comfortably. Many of the best tourist attractions, such as the Death Railway, River Kwai, Erawan National Park and Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, are located in the centre or outside the city.

There are many modes of transportation available in Kanchanaburi.

Kanchanaburi

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Kanchanaburi Motorbike Taxi

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Where To Stay In Kanchanaburi


Kanchanaburi is an otherwise unassuming Thai town. However, it is famous for offering tourists two different atmospheres. The city was once invaded by the Japanese Army in World War II and became the starting point for the brutal Death Railway.

Today, Kanchanaburi is dotted with places where locals and tourists alike can learn more about its dark history. These places include the Death Railway Museum and the Kanchanaburi Railway Station. It is also home to the Erawan National Park, which is a beautiful lush area where tourists can go bamboo rafting or ride down the River Kwai on a floating raft.

Jump to location

Northern Mae Nam Khwae Road

The northern side of the Mae Nam Khwae Road is home to plenty of restaurants, travel agencies and museums. However, despite having a range of tourist attractions, the neighbourhood is well removed from the loud nightlife found in the south.

The district offers a wide range of accommodation options, from a contemporary lodge style resort to an eco-luxury resort with air conditioning and an outdoor pool. It also gives tourists the chance to visit the famous River Kwai Bridge (Death Railway Bridge).

The Catch

The northern side of the Mae Nam Khwae Road is at least five kilometres from the old town, Kanchanaburi War Cemetery and the local bus station.

Southern Mae Nam Kwai Road

Unlike the northern side of the Mae Nam Khwae Road, the south is packed to the brim with a collection of hotels in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Each hotel is also located a walking distance from a strip of bars and local eateries.

Most hotels in this Kanchanaburi town are located riverside. Guests have a wide range of accommodation options, from those that offer a private balcony to air-conditioned rooms with private bathrooms and a private pool.

The Catch

The southern side is known for being a party hub. While local officials have banned live music after midnight, late-night noise may still cause an issue for people who turn in earlier.

West Of The River Kwai

If you are looking for a hotel in Kanchanaburi that does not cost much, the options along the west of the River Kwai may be the best choice. The neighbourhood offers deluxe rooms for flashpackers and travellers on a budget. It’s also located not far from tourist destinations.

The Catch

The west of the river is located near the nightlife strip across the city’s Sud Jai Bridge. While you are bound to get a quiet night’s sleep, you may need to book a guest house ahead of your trip. As accommodation prices are affordable, the slots for modern rooms fill up fast.

Rongheabaoy Road

Ronghaebaoy Road is peppered with old-style guesthouses and flashpacker accommodations. Some of the hotel options in the area feature a buffet breakfast and an outdoor swimming pool. The neighbourhood is also home to a few floating hotels.

The neighbourhood is best for tourists hoping to visit the Jeath War Museum or explore the Mae Nam Khwae Road while staying in a secluded natural area.

The Catch

Rongheabaoy Road is very narrow. It’s also strategically located between the old town and some of the best tourist spots in the city. This means the rooms may fill up quicker than those in other districts.

Sai Yok

Kanchanaburi

Sai Yok is a town located further northwest of the city. The area is home to accommodations with prices that are generally cheaper than those found in the city itself. The district is also near several tourist spots, including the famous Hellfire Pass and the Prasat Muang Singh temple.

The Catch

Sai Yok is a fairly rural area that you can only access if you hire some transport.

Wang Dong

Kanchanaburi

Located in the northwest of the city centre, Wang Dong is famous for its beautiful scenery and close distance to the Elephant World— a tourist spot where families can care for rescued elephants through a number of on-site activities.

The Catch

Wang Dong is a fairly rural area. As such, there are only a few high-end resorts in the neighbourhood.

Things To Do In Kanchanaburi


The city of Kanchanaburi is one of the several Thai cities that makes the country a truly fascinating place to visit. Besides having magnificent landscapes, Kanchanaburi is also rich in history, especially from the World War II era. Today, the city is dotted with memorials and museums that talk about some of the most controversial events in Thai history.

Nature lovers will also find plenty of things to do in Kanchanaburi. There are several national parks in the area as well as animal sanctuaries. Additionally, there are many opportunities to see stunning waterfalls and cave systems.

Go Back In Time


In 1942, during the second world war, Kanchanaburi fell under the control of the Japanese. It was at this time that the Japanese forced labourers and prisoners of war to build several infamous places en route to invade Malaya (Malaysia and Singapore), as well as Burma (Myanmar). Many of the structures still stand today, having been turned into tourist attractions where locals and tourists alike can learn about the war. Here are some of the places you cannot miss when in Kanchanaburi:

  • Bridge on the River Kwai
  • Hellfire Pass
  • Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
  • Chungkai War Cemetery
  • Jeath War Museum

Embrace Nature


Kanchanaburi, Thailand’s natural surroundings offer a soothing counterpoint to its emotionally charged attractions. The city is also home to some of the most picturesque views, most beautiful national parks and sanctuaries for elephants who have been used for some form of abusive work in the past.

Best nature spots to go to:

  • Erawan National Park
  • Sai Yok National Park
  • Tiger Cave Temple
  • Khuean Srinagarindra National Park
  • Elephant World

Visit Towering Temples


Much like the rest of Thailand, people in Kanchanaburi also take pride in their religious culture, marked by the numerous towering temples dotting the city. The temples across the city come in different ranges of colours and are made of different materials. Here’s a list of the best temples to visit in Kanchanaburi:

  • Wat Khao Sung Chaem Fa
  • Sunken Temple
  • Guan Im Sutham Temple
  • Wat Ban Tham Temple
  • Wat Tham Sua

Travel Guides


Kanchanaburi Travel Tips: Frequently Asked Questions

What is Kanchanaburi known for?

Kanchanaburi is a historic Thai city that was once occupied by the Japanese during World War II. Today, tourists who visit Kanchanaburi are treated to a range of museums depicting the dark history of the region and the steps its people took to rise above the challenge.

What is the best way to save money when visiting Kanchanaburi?

If you’re looking to save some money, you should visit Kanchanaburi’s street food stalls. The vendors of these quaint stalls serve some of the best food in the region for dishes that only cost around 30 THB. While comically small, most vendors set up a couple of plastic tables and chairs where you can sit comfortably while eating.

Is it safe to travel in Kanchanaburi?

Like most places in Thailand, Kanchanaburi is very safe. However, some parts of the city, especially those in the rural areas, are poorly lit at night. If you are unsure of where you’re going, it may be best to book a taxi ride.

What are the best tourist attractions to visit in Kanchanaburi?

Erawan National Park – River Kwai Bridge – Death Railway Bridge – Sai Yok National Park – Kanchanaburi War Cemetery – Thailand Burma Railway Centre – Jeath War Museum – allied War Cemetery – Tiger Temple – Wat Tham Khiritham – Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum – Elephant Sanctuaries – World War II Museum – Bridge War Museum

What are the best things to experience in Kanchanaburi?

Book a day trip to the famous Erawan National Park – Visit the ancient Prasat Muang Singh Historical Park – Take Thai Cooking Classes and learn to cook authentic Pad Thai – Buy affordable handmade souvenirs at the night market (Also known as the River Kwai Park Market) – Travel Back In Time at Mallika City

What are the best places to stay in Kanchanaburi?

Royal River Kwai Resort – Glory River Kwai Hotel – ComSaed River Kwai Resort – Thailand Natee The Riverfront Hotel Kanchanaburi – The Bridge Residence Hotel – The Vista Pool Villa – U Inchantree Kanchanaburi – The Siamese Living Heritage Town – Dheva Mantra Resort

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