This is somewhere nice to go to escape the heat or the crowds of Bangkok. It makes a nice long weekend, or even a day trip if you’re really organized.
Kanchanaburi is most famous for the river Kwai (as in ‘bridge over the’). There is chance to look at the famous world war two death railway, built by the Japanese using prisoners of war as labour (one man died for every sleeper that was laid is the frequently repeated mantra). There is also a museum and war cemetery there.
Also, for any fans of the 1978 movie ‘The deer hunter’, the sequences where they are playing Russian roulette with their captors, supposed to be taking place in Vietnam, was actually filmed here.
What else? Well, the surrounding countryside contains some stunning scenery, including a number of amazing waterfalls.
I got a bus directly from Bangkok’s Khao San road; it’s not the cheapest way to do it but it’s the most convenient if you are staying over that side. There were only three farangs travelling by bus up to Kanchanaburi. The remaining seats were sold to Thais going home for the weekend. I would guess they paid a lot less for their seats than we did.
If you’re looking for cheap accommodation, there are lots of inexpensive little cabins down on the river bank. They make a nice place to relax and enjoy a cold beer or two on an evening, if you can ignore the gambling ships ploughing noisily up and down every hour or so.