Suppose you are too familiar with the crowded and busy Bangkok or the sleepy but charming Chiang Mai. In that case, we recommend spending a day or more exploring the largest suburb of Central Thailand: Kanchanaburi.
In this article, we share the list of things to do in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, with tips to enjoy the best of your trip here.
Visit Kanchanaburi War Cemetary
The first place we visited in Kanchanaburi was the Don Rak War Cemetary.
This Cemetary is the resting place for 6892 Prisoners of War (POW) who died during the Death Railway’s construction.
The place is well-maintained, and you can learn valuable information on the wall.
How to get there
Don Rak cemetery is located on Saengchuto Road, opposite Kanchanaburi Railway station and 1.5 km from the bus station.
Kanchanaburi War Cemetary opens daily from 8:30 am to 6 pm. There is a memorial service each year on Anzac Day – 25th April.
Visit Death Railway Museum
The Death Railway Museum and Research center, known as Thailand-Burma Railway Center, is located opposite Kanchanaburi station, next to the cemetery.
This museum is informative, offering information about railway construction, prison life, bombing, and after the war.
It took us about 1 hour to visit this place. We could use our coffee/tea coupon to exchange for a drink on the second floor.
Below is the admission fee of Thailand-Burma Railway Center
- 120 baht/ adult
- 60 baht/ child
The center opens daily from 9 am to 5 pm
See the Kwai River and visit the River Kwai Bridge
Leaving the Death Railway Museum, we continued our journey to River Kwai.
The river water was green and cool, far different from Bangkok’s noisy and dusty atmosphere.
There were many trees on the banks, and we could see different war items such as trucks and airplanes.
River Kwai Bridge
Across the river is the historic River Kwai Bridge.
The bridge was built in 1943 and suffered many bombs by Allied troops during World War II in 1944 and 1945.
It was repaired after the war. It’s also presented in the novel by Pierre Boulle and the film of the same name by David Lean.
How to get there
The bridge is located 5 km from the bus station.
Visit the JEATH War Museum
Another museum that we visited on this list is the JEATH War Museum.
The name JEATH is taken from countries involved in the war: Japan, England, America, Australia, Thailand, and Holland.
The museum displays photos and illustrations of POWs’ living conditions and items during the war.
Most of them look very horrifying and distressing, so consider them before you visit. Outside of the museum is a beautiful view of the Kwai River.
The admission fee to the JEATH War Museum is 50 baht.
JEATH War Museum opens from 8 am to 5 pm daily.
Take a historical train ride
Visiting Kanchanaburi without taking a train ride to Death Railway is a huge miss.
We decided to take a 10:30 am train, as 6 am was too early. The train ride was enjoyable with beautiful scenery.
The outstanding point of our trip was Death Railway. This area was the hardest part to construct the railway, and many POWs passed away here.
Walk the Hellfire pass
We took the train to Nam Tok train station to visit Hellfire Pass, a part of Death Railway using POW labor to cut through the mountain.
This pass witnessed many POWs’ deaths due to short-time construction and a harsh working environment.
We visited the museum first and borrowed audio before walking this pass. The audio was very useful, offering an inside experience of what happened.
How to get there
You can get there from Kanchanaburi by bus or train. Check this detailed transportation guide for more information.
The museum opens from 9 am to 4 pm daily, and admission fee by donation.
Watch the sunset on Chuk Don beach
We found this little beach during our trip to Kanchanaburi.
It was not a beach, but a chill-out area with sand on a river, with a restaurant and swimming area.
We sat at the restaurant, dined, and watched the sunset.
Travel back in time to 1985
This Retro city offers visitors a look into the past Siamese traditional society, lifestyle, and cuisine.
We could also experience the atmosphere of the past over 100 years with Thai architecture.
Mallika opens from 9 am to 6 pm daily.
- Children: 120 baht
- Adult: 250 baht
- Extra cost if you’d like to try Thai costumes and enjoy dinner with Thai culture shows
Explore Muang Sing Historical Park
Located about 40 km from Kanchanaburi, Muang Sing Historical Park is an exciting place to visit.
It was built under Khmer architecture’s influence and was abandoned until the reign of King Rama I.
The area has impressive artifacts such as religious statuary, temple carving, and pottery shards.
How to get there
You can travel to Muang Sing Historical Park by train from Kanchanaburi to Tha Kilen Railway station and walk to the park about 2km away.
Muang Sing Historical Park opens from 8 am to 4:30 pm.
The admission fee of Muang Sing Historical Park is 100 baht. The extra charge is 50 baht/car if you enter by car.
Enjoy local dishes
We had a great time dining in Kanchanaburi. From street food to high-end restaurants, the meals were delicious.
Our favorite spot was the night market close to the Kanchanaburi bus stop. We enjoyed walking around, trying barbecue food, noodle soup, chicken rice, and roti.
Cycle around town
As most of the attractions in Kanchanaburi are nearby, it’s easy to cycle around and explore the town.
We rented our bicycles from our accommodation at 50 baht per day.