A Guide to Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi [กาญจนบุรี] is 150 km west of Bangkok on an excellent, scenic highway.
The province is a popular resort with long history, ancient civilisation and an abundance of tourist
destinations, both natural attractions and human made attractions. It is the location of the internationally-known
death railway “Kwai Bridge” from the historic World War II and the setting of the film "The Bridge over the River Kwai".
The province is a home of 7 National Parks, many spectacular waterfalls, the cemetery of Prisons of War
from the World War II and by the border to Myanmar, it is a settlement of Mon and Karen. It is also where
3 rivers converge. The natural attractions are also sources of adventure activities such as white water rafting,
bamboo rafting, trekking, elephant trekking, bird watching and many more. Other outdoor activities are also available
such as golf, fishing and horse riding.
Kanchanaburi City (เมืองกาญจนบุรี)
The main attraction is definitely the internationally famous Bridge on the River Kwai
), the black iron bridge was brought from Java
by the Japanese supervision by Allied prisoner-of-war labour as part of the Death Railway
linking Thailand with Burma.
The so called Death Railway (ทางรถไฟสายมรณะ
), a 415 kms long
Burma-Thailand railway was built mainly by prisoner of War, most of whom were Australians,
Dutch and British and they had been working steadily southwards from Thanbyuzayat (Burma)
to link with other PoW on the Thai side of the railway. The railway line originally ran
within 50 meters of the Three Pagodas Pass which marks nowadays the border to Burma
as well many raft restaurants and natural sightseeing such as Wat Kao Pun & Cave
), where can be found several Hindu and Buddha images
in some rooms.
Amphoe Thong Pha Phum (อำเภอทองผาภูมิ)
There are many attractions in Amphoe Thongpaphum for tourists to visit.
The Hin Dad Hot Spring (น้ำพุร้อนหินดาด
), where a hot spring
bath in available. Many picturesque waterfalls, such as Pha Tad Waterfall
), or the 7 tiered Namtok Pha Sawan
) are very popular excursion destinations.
The Vajiralongkorn Dam (เขื่อนวชิราลงกรณ์
), with its scenic lake as well as,
the Thong Pha Phum National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติทองผาภูมิ
which features many spots of interest including 2 viewpoints which offer a panoramic view of the mountains,
Vajiralongkorn Dam and Khao Chang Phueak – the national park's highest peak.
Amphoe Si Sawat (อำเภอศรีสวัสดิ์)
Amphoe Si Sawat has many natural attractions. It is well known for its waterfalls, national parks and the dam.
The most popular one is the 7 tiered Erawan Waterfalls (น้ำตกเอราวัณ
located in the Erawan National Park.
As well the Sri Nakarin Dam (เขื่อนศรีนครินทร์
), one of the two main electricity producing
plants, with its rafts and activities is very famous.
The Chalerm Rattana Kosin National Park houses several caves, such as Tham Than Lod,
The Tham Than Lod Noi and the Tham Than Lod Yai which are always very refreshing excursion during the hot months.
Amphoe Sai Yok (อำเภอไทรโยค)
is located 60 kms from Kanchanaburi town. Mainly consisting of forests and mountains, there are some beautiful
waterfalls and a 700 year old historical park to visit. A wide range of accommodations and activities
(golf courses) are available.
Among the more popular sightseeing places are Sai Yok Noi Waterfall (น้ำตกไทรโยคน้อย
its landscape is one of the most beautiful places in Thailand where once the Death Railway was passing Sai
Yok Noi. Sai Yok Yai Waterfall (น้ำตกไทรโยคใหญ่
), Sai Yok Yai Waterfall is part of
Sai Yok National Park.
Most popular attraction is the Tiger Temple (วัดเสือ
), Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua – which
started as a rescue centre for wild tigers. The Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum
), which honors the Allied POWs and Asian conscripts who died while the
construction of the Death Railway, is located near the Hellfire Pass in the west of the district.
Amphoe Dan Makham Tia (อำเภอด่านมะขามเตี้ย)
Dan Makham Tia is a district (Amphoe) in the southern part of Kanchanaburi Province,
is located about 30 kilometers from Kanchanaburi City.
Neighboring districts are (from the north clockwise) Mueang Kanchanaburi, Tha Muang of Kanchanaburi Province,
Chom Bueng and Suan Phueng of Ratchaburi Province.
Dan Makham Tia is amidts mountain range, lush tropical garden and green forests. Dan Makham Tia is
suit for adventure, health conscious for rest, relaxation and healthy living.
Kwai Yai (แควใหญ่)
The Kwai Yai River (แม่น้ำแควใหญ่
), also known as the Si Sawat
), is a river in western Thailand.
It flows for about 380 kilometres through Sangkhla Buri, Si Sawat,
and Mueang Districts of Kanchanaburi Province, where it merges with the Kwai Noi
to form the Mae Klong River at Pak Phraek subdistrict.
The famous bridge of the Burma Railway crosses the river at Tha Makham Subdistrict
of the Mueang District.
The construction of the bridge is depicted in The Bridge over the River Kwai by
Pierre Boulle and in its film adaptation. Up until the 1960s, the River was
considered part of the Mae Klong itself.
Kwai Noi (แควน้อย)
Kwai Noi or The River Kwai, is a river in western Thailand, near but not over the border with
Myanmar and merges in Kanchanaburi Kwai Yai River to form the Mae Klong river, which empties
into the Gulf of Thailand at Samut Songkhram.
The river is chiefly known from the Pierre Boulle novel and David Lean film The Bridge
on the River Kwai, in which Australian, Dutch and British prisoners of war were forced by
the Japanese to construct two parallel bridges spanning the river as part of the Burma Railway,
also called the Railway of Death, for the many lives lost in its construction.
One bridge was wooden and temporary. The other was made of concrete and steel and still exists.
Ironically, the bridges actually spanned the Mae Klong, but as the railway subsequently follows
the Khwae Noi Valley, the bridges became famous under the wrong name. In the 1960s, the upper
part of the Mae Klong was renamed the Kwai Yai. Vajiralongkorn Dam (formerly named Khao Laem Dam)
is a hydroelectric dam on the river.