How to travel from Kanchanaburi to Hellfire Pass, Thailand

Located about a 1.5 hour’s drive from Kanchanaburi, Hellfire Pass is a famous railway cutting in the former Burma-Siam Railway. The construction was built by forced laborers during WWII and cost several lives of Allied prisoners of war and Asian laborers. How to travel from Kanchanaburi to Hellfire pass?

This article is a detailed transportation guide from Kanchanaburi to Hellfire, pass by bus and train, including ticket prices, schedules, and tips.

Hellfire pass Thailand

Overview

The distance between Kanchanaburi city center to Hellfire pass is about 80 km. The most common options to travel between these locations are bus and train.

The journey takes approximately 1.5 hours by bus or 2.5 hours by train.

Please note that Hellfire Pass is located inside a military center, but you can enter. After crossing the gate, turn right and walk until you see the museum.

train

Kanchanaburi to Hellfire Pass train and public bus

Experiencing a historical train ride is a must-do on your trip to Kanchanaburi. However, there’s no direct train to Hellfire pass, and the furthest station you can get off is Namtok train station.

The ticket price for the Kanchanaburi-Namtok route is 100 baht. It applies to all train tickets departing from Kanchanaburi on this route, no matter the distance. 

After arriving at Namtok train station, you can take a tuk-tuk, taxi, or songthaew to Hellfire pass. It costs about 300-500 baht depending on your bargaining skill.

Namtok train station

Another cheaper option is walking or taking a songthaew to Sai Yok Noi waterfall. The distance is about 1.5 km, 20 minutes walk, or 5 minutes by tuk-tuk (20 baht).

You can explore the area and then take a public bus to Hellfire pass. The bus stop is opposite the waterfall, next to 7-eleven and under the big tree.

It costs 20 baht for Hellfire pass.

Hellfire pass bus station

Train time table

Daily trains depart from Kanchanaburi train station at 6:07 am, 10:30 am, and 12:30 am. The train arrives at Namtok station at 8:20 am, 12:30 am, and 2:30 am.

Buses stop at You Nok waterfall bus stop every 30 minutes to 1 hour. So if you’re in a hurry, you should take a direct tuk-tuk from the train station to the pass. 

Kanchanaburi to Hellfire Pass bus

Taking a bus from Kanchanaburi to Hellfire Pass is an easier option because it drops you right in front of the gate.

You can take bus 8203 from Kanchanaburi Bus Station. The ticket price is 50 baht, and buses depart every hour. 

The first bus leaves the Kanchanaburi bus station at 7:30 am, while it’s 5 pm for the last bus.

Kanchanaburi to Hellfire pass bus Thailand

Hellfire pass to Kanchanaburi bus

Getting back to Kanchanaburi city by bus is the easiest option. The ticket price is also 50 baht, and the journey takes 1.5 hours.

The bus stop (yellow) is about 30 meters from the opposite side of the gate. 

Below is the timetable for the Hellfire pass to Kanchanaburi.

NumberTime
16:10 am
26:55 am
37:40 am
48:40 am
59:40 am
610:25 am
711:10 am
812:10 pm
91:10 pm
102:10 pm
113:10 pm
124:10 pm
135:10 pm
Hellfire pass to Kanchanaburi bus schedule.

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One Comment

  1. Jonny Ripples says:

    Very clear and useful information Ha thank you! I went in MAY 2022.

    Three comments from me:

    1. Hellfire Pass is ABSOLUTELY worth visiting. Very informative museum and audio guide to listen to as you walk along the pass. All free. Quite an emotive experience too, of course. I would budget 2-3 hours there, depending on how far down the 4km trail you want to walk.

    2. The bus to get back to Kanchanaburi gave me trouble: I just missed it (it went past at around 13:00, not 13:10 as per the schedule), then the Hellfire Pass Centre guard told me that because of Covid19, the bus comes less frequently than the timetable displays. In short: the bus is unreliable, so I would strongly recommend not relying on it! I was very fortunate to be picked up by a hitchhiker-friendly Thai man on this occasion.

    3. Going there, I took the early train from Kanchanaburi (6:14am from the station next to the River Kwai bridge arriving at 8:20am). I then paid 400 baht from Nam Lok station for a ‘taxi’ (Songthaew) one-way to Hellfire Pass (although I was lazy in negotiating so maybe 300/350 or less is possible). HOWEVER, because of the unreliable piblic bus from Hellfire to Kanchanaburi, it MIGHT be worth booking the taxi for a ’roundtrip’, meaning he will bring you back to Nam Lok station after seeing Hellfire pass so that you can get the return train (Nam Lok to Kanchanaburi (or all the way to Thonburi Bangkok if you can handle it!)) at 12:55.

    If all the trains and ‘taxi’ sound a bit too long and stressful, the fastest and most simple way would be to get a minibus from Kanchanaburi station (I think there are minibuses that go to Hellfire) or even rent a motorbike or a car BUT then you would miss the most scenic part of the Death Railway journey of course!

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