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Kanchanaburi Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 3-4 days

Best Time: November - February Read More

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"The wild west"

Kanchanaburi Tourism

Blessed with ancient rainforests, waterfalls and limestone caves, Kanchanaburi is a popular resort town located at the confluence of the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai Rivers in western Thailand. Regarded as Thailand's microcosm, Kanchanaburi and its surrounding region boast stylish resorts, scenic reservoirs, pagodas, historical sites, trekking, golfing and white-water rafting destinations. Located just 2 hours away from Bangkok, the town is mainly reachable by roadways and trains, with the latter being the more common.

Kanchanaburi attracts a lot of backpackers and those interested in Thailand's gruesome World War II history. Kanchanaburi's WWII-era Burma Railway, built by prisoners of war, was immortalised in the film 'The Bridge on the River Kwai'. The bridge, and the railway line, along with other war remnant historical sites and museums, stand as proof of this quiet town's past.

Kanchanaburi, as mentioned earlier, is blessed with untouched flora and fauna. Erawan National Park is a soothing contrast to the world war remnant experience of the town. The park shelters tropical jungles, gibbons, cobras and elephants, aqua-coloured seven-tiered waterfalls for swimming, and the extensive Tham Phra That Caves system. Travellers especially go on hiking trips to tourist hotspots within the lush vegetation or nearby villages.

While Kanchanaburi was mainly a backpacker's haven, over the years, many affluent resorts and hotels have come into business, providing a more modern stay experience without taking away from the old-world charm of the town and its surrounding regions. For those who wish to experience a bucolic Thailand and immerse themselves in a historical journey, this laid-back town is more than ideal.

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Nightlife in Kanchanaburi

  • Kanchanaburi boasts a great number of small bars and pubs.
  • A lot of guesthouses run their own karaoke bars.
  • Drinks can prove to be a little expensive at the nightclubs, but the Mae Nam Kwae road has many cheap places. Firefly, Buddha Bar, and Red Tanks bar come among some of the most popular bars.

Shopping in Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi is a centre of gemstone mining industry, hence this is one of the best souvenirs travellers usually buy. Blue sapphires can be found at any stall here. There are many more stalls selling bamboo crafts, ceramics and other home d_cor items. Head to the night market and the fresh market for a delightful food experience.

Traveller Tips

  • Kanchanaburi is not very strict with following any particular dressing code, so if you're visiting during the summer months, feel free to wear shorts.

  • Although, while entering temples, you should be careful and preferably cover yourself appropriately.

  • Thais are very calm and patient people, so always maintain a smile on your face while talking to them because being rude is going to get you no good.

  • Tipping is not common, but it's nice to tip waiters or hotel staff for good service.

Daily Budget & Money Exchange

The most important consideration in Kanchanaburi is the access fee to various museums and national parks which range from 100-200 Baht. The food here is comparitively cheaper costing you around 300 Baht per day. Travelling around costs 80-100 Baht. So in total, a daily budget of 1,000 Baht would suffice.

  • Currency exchange services are offered at almost all the banks.
  • Some of the larger hotels and resorts also provide currency exchange services.

Language of Kanchanaburi

Thai and especially southern Thai, is spoken more in Kanchanaburi. Most hotels and restaurants have staff who speak English, so it shouldn't be challenging to converse for tourists. However, some local vendors might know very little English, so learning a few Thai phrases is advisable for a smoother experience.

History of Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi has a more recent history, dating back to World War II. The Death Railway was built by the Allied prisoners of war and the Asian labourers under the Japanese command during the war. Due to time restrictions, thousands of Australians, British, Dutch and other Allied POWs were forced to work on the Thai-Burma military supply railway. While working, most of them died.

Religion of Kanchanaburi

Buddhism is the major religion followed in Kanchanaburi.

Best Time to Visit Kanchanaburi

How to Reach Kanchanaburi

How to Reach Overview

Trains depart daily from Thonburi Bangkok station to Kanchanaburi and return; and buses depart daily from Sai Tai Mai and Morchit terminals in Bangkok.

How to reach Kanchanaburi by flight

Kanchanaburi has no airport of its own so you will have to fly into Bangkok to the Suvarnabhumi airport, and then take a train, bus or car to Kanchanaburi.

How to reach Kanchanaburi by road

Many taxi services help you to get into Kanchanaburi from Bangkok. A cab or car journey would be uncomfortable and expensive too, so it is advisable to choose train or bus as a better travelling option.

How to reach Kanchanaburi by train

Trains depart daily from the Thonburi station of Bangkok to Kanchanaburi and return. The journey takes around 3 hours and costs 100 Baht.

How to reach Kanchanaburi by bus

Buses leave from 2 terminals of Bangkok daily: Sai Tai Mai (Nothern) and Morchit (southern). It takes around 4 hours and 120 Baht. Most people prefer travelling to and from Bangkok only. However, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai and Ratchaburi are well connected buses too.

Local transport in Kanchanaburi

A lot of toruists prefer taking the guided tours with professional agencies. However, you can ride around by renting a bicycle or motorbike ranging from 50-150 Baht. Other alternatives are tuk tuks and songthaews that are available around the entire city.

Kanchanaburi Photos

Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Wat Tum Sua Temple - Most Popular Temple in Kanchanaburi
 Spellbinding View of Waterfalls in Erwan National Park
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery

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FAQs on Kanchanaburi

What are the places near Kanchanaburi?

The top places near to Kanchanaburi are Bangkok which is 123 km from Kanchanaburi, Hua hin which is located 180 km from Kanchanaburi, Pattaya which is located 204 km from Kanchanaburi, Phuket which is located 694 km from Kanchanaburi, Krabi which is located 671 km from Kanchanaburi

What are the things to do in Kanchanaburi?

The top things to do in Kanchanaburi are Bridge On The River Kwai, Elephantsworld Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Erawan National Park, Huay Mae Khamin Waterfalls, Erawan waterfall. You can see all the places to visit in Kanchanaburi here

What is the best way to reach Kanchanaburi?

Trains depart daily from Thonburi Bangkok station to Kanchanaburi and return; and buses depart daily from Sai Tai Mai and Morchit terminals in Bangkok.
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What is the local food in Kanchanaburi?

Kanchanaburi doesnt make it to the top list of best food places in Thailand, but it is still decent and you can explore some really great things. The night market has a great variety of fried insects and grilled meats A speciality of here is the gooey grilled bananas, coconut sticky rice with mango and jackfruit, and the range of prepared curries. Chukdon night market is a better option among others. The central fresh market has loads of seafood options. There are many floating restaurants along the Mae Nam Khwae road for a different experience and a western meal.
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What is the best time to visit Kanchanaburi?

The best time to visit Kanchanaburi is from November to February which are the cooler months of the year. The months of March to June are very hot up to 38-degree celsius. July to October have rainfall and sightseeing can become undesirable. 
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