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All you need to know to visit Kanchanaburi

Central Thailand
126 km from Bangkok
Province of Kanchanaburi

Recomm. stay
2 jours minimum


Practical guide to go and visit Kanchanaburi

First we want to contest the too much spread idea idea that apart from the River Kwai Bridge, there is nothing interesting to see in the area. It is true that by feet you can only go to the bridge, museums and the war cemetery and the rest is several kilometers far away. But there are many options to get there by bus or train. Otherwis, numerous taxi drivers and travel agencies will offer you their services. Surrounded by mountains, forests, with national parks nearby and magnificent waterfalls, Kachanaburi has a lot to offer. During World War II, the Japanese took position here and forced their prisoners to build a railway line connecting Thailand to Burma (Myanmar). This railway road has now the sad nickname of Death Railway Road and you can take it (this is the Thonburi - Namtok line). Several museums trace this painful episode.
Third largest city of Thailand, Kanchanaburi and the surrounding area have incredible natural resources. Nature lovers can make many treks, tours and spend time with elephants back, to discover the waterfalls, national parks of Erawan or Sai Yok, make agro-tourism, rafting, kayaking make a trip on Death Railway Road, visit temples, sail on the Kwai River. It is worthy to spend several days in Kanchanburi and its region. There is plethora of things to see and do. The night market, for instance, is nice and besides clothing, CDs and other products, you will find many stalls to eat.
Accommodations are often on the banks of the river and offer beautiful scenery. The only little flow is the occasional noise from the bars and boats turned into dancing or Karaoke clubs or the noisy engines of speedboats. The face of Thailand you will see here is unique, more rural, more green...

Accommodations in Kanchanaburi

Finding where to sleep in Kanchanburi is incredibly easy. Mae Nam Kwai Road that leads to the Bridge over the Kwai River has a multitude of cheap guesthouses. Some have rooms floating on the river. On this street, even if you did not book in advance, you will find a room very quickly. This is the backpackers area of Kanchanaburi. The proportions of budget hotels and guesthouses is very important there. The most luxurious accommodation are usually a little further. In the province, more or less long distance from Kanchanaburi town, you will find very friendly bungalows in the nature and/or on the river.

Find accommodation in Kanchanaburi

My recommandations

People often ask me what accommodations I recommend in Thailand, here are my recommandations in Kanchanaburi.

Homestay in Kanchanaburi

Hotel in Kanchanaburi

Hotel in Kanchanaburi

Guesthouse in Kanchanaburi

Hotel in Kanchanburi

See all accommodations in Kanchanaburi

Practical information about Kanchanaburi

There are many choices for accommodations at all prices and especially for at average prices (300 to 500 THB) but it is also easy to find cheaper rooms without air conditioning (not essential to Kanchanburi) or shared bathroom ect ... Most of the guesthouses, bars, restaurants, massage parlors, 7-Eleven stores and laundry shops are on Mae Nam Kwae Road, the road that leads to the bridge.
If you plan to come to Kanchanaburi by train just know that you will have to go to Thonburi train station in Bangkok. Otherwise there are many buses leaving from Bangkok Southern Terminal or minvans going to Kanchanaburi. You caa book online minivan tickets here at around 150 THB.

How to go to Kanchanaburi ?

In general, travelers go to Kanchanaburi by bus or minivan from Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) or by van from the Minibus station opposite to Mo CHit Bus Terminal. The trip last around 2h30. You can book your minivan (ticket to Kanchanaburi online here). If you come from DOn Muang AIrport, I recommend you to go to Mo Chit. It is a lot more practical since bus A1 can drop you opposite to Minibus station. From Bangkok, it is also possible to go to Kanchanaburi by train but from Thonburi Railway station (not Hua Lamphong. The nearest MRT metro station is Bang Khun Non (see MRT Bangkok metro map). Note that you can not book your train tickets to Kanchanaburi in advance online but will have no difficulty to buy it at the train station just before taking the train.

See all options to go to Kanchanaburi

My selection of tours & activities in Kanchanaburi

E-scooter tour in Kanchanaburi Countryside Kanchanaburi
Safarine Tours

E-scooter tour in Kanchanaburi Countryside

Offered in Englishenglish guide
This 1h20 e-scooter tour will take you to discover the Kanchanaburi countryside, passing through local rice fields and farms, then to a café in an exceptional setting, before visiting a Chinese temple and arriving at the famous bridge over the Kwai River.

E-scooter combo tour: countryside & Kanchanaburi Old Town Kanchanaburi
Safarine Tours

E-scooter combo tour: countryside & Kanchanaburi Old Town

Offered in Englishenglish guide
This 3-hour e-scooter tour combines the two offers: the countryside tour where you will go through the rice fields and the Kanchanaburi old town tour.

How to get around in Kanchanaburi ?

We can easily visit Kanchanaburi city by walking. There are no real taxi in Kanchanaburi but songthaews (pickup with benches in the back) that can be used as taxis or cars with driver offered by a lot of local agencies. For short trips, there are also tuk-tuks. Renting a bicycle is also an option. There are several bicycle rental companies and many guesthouses and hotels also offer bicycles. For trips outside the city, the best option if you do not have your own transportation is probably to hire a songtheaw (there are always some at the railway station and at the Bus Terminal) by negotiating the program and the price before climbing in. Depending on the distances to drive and the duration, the price should be between 800 THB for a half a day up to 2,000 or 2,500 THB for a really distant visit one day tour. The price is per trip regardless the number of passengers.

Festivals in Kanchanaburi ?

Here is a list of the main festivals taking place every year in Kanchanaburi. I mention their dates as soon as they are official on Thai Festivals page.
river kwai bridge week

River Kwai Bridge Week

This festival generally takes place in the month of November

Plus d'infos sur River Kwai Bridge Week

Must-visits in Kanchanaburi

River Kwai Bridge

My opinion :
or Death Railway Bridge which reputation comes from the movie The Bridge over the Kwai River

Erawan National Park

My opinion :
with its magnificent waterfalls, it is one of the most beautiful national parks in Thailand. Probably the most beautiful one.

Wat Tham Sua

My opinion :
Temple on a small hill located about twenty kilometers from Kanchanaburi, it has a gigantic Buddha and offers a 360 degrees view over the countryside
My opinion :
Train line from Thonburi (Bangkok) to Nam Tok, sadly famous for the conditions of its construction during World War II

Wat Ban Tham

My opinion :
or Dragon Temple with its big stairs leading to a big dragon mouth

Giant Tree

My opinion :
This majestic centenary raintree located about 20 kilometers outside Kanchanaburi city is undoubtedly one of the must vitis places in Kanchanaburi! Below its shadow, you feel so small.

Wat Metta Tham Photiyan

วิหารพระโพธิสัตว์กวนอิม ปางพันเนตรพันกร
My opinion :
This very recent temple, which continues to expand, is about 20 km from Kanchanaburi city. Its carved wooden statues of the Chinese goddess Guan Yin are impressive.

Kanchanaburi Night Market

ตลาดนัดเจเจ กาญจนบุรี
My opinion :
In Kanchanaburi as elsewhere in Thailand, the night market is a nice place to go eat Street Food in the evening and why not do some shopping mainly for clothes. It is held every day of the week near the train station.

Other places to see in Kanchanaburi

JEATH War Museum Kanchanaburi
JEATH War Museum

it includes pictures and objects from World War II
Sai Yok Noi Waterfall Kanchanaburi
Sai Yok Noi Waterfall

located about sixty kilometers from Kanchanburi, it has many waterfalls, including the most important ones: Sai Yok Yai and Sai Yok Noi
Wat Tham Khao Noi Kanchanaburi
Wat Tham Khao Noi

chinese temple just next to Wat Tam Sua
Hellfire Pass Kanchanaburi
Hellfire Pass

pass excavated in a huge rock mass by prisoners and workers during World War II for the railway line to Burma. The section whose construction has left tens of thousands deads is no longer used. A memorial museum was built near the pass.
Wat Sa Long Ruea Kanchanaburi
Wat Sa Long Ruea

This elegant royal barge-shaped temple is just over a kilometer from the city of Kanchanaburi, not far from the border with Suphanburi province and can therefore be visited from both cities.
Crystal cave Kanchanaburi
Crystal cave

Although the name is singular, there are several crystal caves which are located a dozen kilometers from Kanchanaburi city but only the main one can be easily visited. Their name comes from the crystals formed naturally on the walls.
Wat Wang Khanai Hotsprings Kanchanaburi
Wat Wang Khanai Hotsprings

These hot springs located in the enclosure of a temple can be a pleasant moment of relaxation after the visits of Wat Ban Tham, the Crystal caves and Wat Tham Suea and its neighbor Wat Khao Noi. But do not expect to be in a setting of nature and trees, the place is a lot more austere.
Wat Tham Khao Laem Kanchanaburi
Wat Tham Khao Laem

The Khao Laem cave made the reputation of this temple but it should not be visitable for several more months (February 2020), remains the pretty ordination hall.
Wat Tham Mangkon Thong Kanchanaburi
Wat Tham Mangkon Thong

This temple is known for its floating nun, a ritual that has really become a spectacle which can be controversial in a Buddhist temple but the visit especially of the cave remains interesting.
Wat Tham Pu Wa Kanchanaburi
Wat Tham Pu Wa

This temple about twenty kilometers from Kanchanaburi down. It is mainly interesting for its large 2 floor cave with stalagmites and stalactites, statues of Buddha...
Huai Mae Kamin waterfalls Kanchanaburi
Huai Mae Kamin waterfalls

Less known than Erawan Waterfalls 40 km before and less easy to access because there is no bus to go there, the Huai Mae Kamin waterfalls are at least as pretty and easier to visit once there and also much less crowded.
Prasat Muang Sing Historical Park Kanchanaburi
Prasat Muang Sing Historical Park

This historical site is the most western Khmer vestige found in Thailand, not the most beautiful in the country but it remains an interesting place to visit and is a stop you can easily add to the route to other places of interest in the province.
Suk Jai Floating Market Kanchanaburi
Suk Jai Floating Market

If it is a nice night market at the edge of Kwai river, it is not really a floating market but still a pleasant place to come for dinner. It is held once a week in the center of Kanchanaburi city.
Wat Thipsukhontharam Big Buddha Kanchanaburi
Wat Thipsukhontharam Big Buddha

This temple located about fifty kilometers from Kanchanaburi has a magnificent park with the largest standing bronze Buddha Image in Thailand which is 32 meters high.

Weather & climate in Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi has a tropical savanna climate. The winters are dry and very hot. Temperatures rise until April, the hottest month of the year. The rainy season runs from May to October, with shower rainfalls especially in September and October and cooler temperatures during the day.

The best time to come to Kanchanaburi is from November to March. Here the monsoon is less humid than in the South so that except September and October when rains can disrupt your holidays, you can enjoy Kanchanaburi.

See weather forecast in Kanchanaburi

When to go to Kanchanaburi ?

quand partir à Kanchanaburi

How to ask in Thai to go to Kanchanaburi ?

I want to go to Kanchanaburi / Yak paï ti Kanchanaburi.
Where is Kanchanaburi ? / Kanchanaburi you ti naï ?
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