Kanchanaburi Thailand

The 1950's world box-office hit movie "The Bridge on the River Kwai" put Kanchanaburi, a hitherto sleepy town 150 km west of Bangkok, on the world map. Half a century ago, the bridge was a link in the infamous 415 km Death Railway joining Thailand with Burma, built by the Imperial Japanese Army in WWII, employing Allied prisoners of war and forced-labor Asian coolies. Over 80,000 laborers and 13,000 Allied POW's and thousands of Japanese soldiers lost their lives in the odyssey.

The bridge was publicized worldwide in the film starring moviedom's great names, ironically from the nationalities involved in the saga: American William Holden, British Sir Alec Guinness and Japanese Sessue Hayakawa. After the film hit the screens around the world, tourists started their exodus to Kanchanaburi to see the bridge.

Now, Kanchanaburi is a prosperous province with endless sugar cane plantations covering her vast plain and rich mines in the bills. The rugged countryside, the wild jungles and mountain rivers are still there. However, a road system has succeeded in making most areas accessible, which gives rise to a growing number of jungle resorts for nature-lovers.

KanchanaburiKanchanaburi City is 150 km west of Bangkok on an excellent, scenic highway. The way to Kanchanaburi also leads pass the historic town of Nakorn Pathom with the world's highest Buddhist monument. Kanchanaburi city, itself a popular resort town, is on the bank of the picturesque Mae Klong River at the meeting point of its two tributaries - Kwai Noi and Kwai Yai rivers. The city also serves, as overnight base for tourists to visit the province's many attractions, beside that bridge on the River Kwai.
There are spectacular waterfalls, river cruises and jungle tours for the nature lovers. For the foot-loose travelers, there is the thrilling 200 km drive through newly opened jungle areas to the Thai Myanmar border to visit ethnic Mon and Karen settlements. For the sporting types, Kanchanaburi provides the best freshwater fishing grounds in remote jungle backwater and streams. For the outdoor type, rafting in the wild river. And, for the golfers, more than a score of 18-hole world standard courses in pastoral countryside.

KanchanaburiThe jungle, the rugged terrain, and wild rivers now combine to make Kanchanaburi the most rewarding tourist destination for nature lovers and sportsmen. A large jungle area of the province has been declared national wildlife sanctuary, called Thungyai National Park, which remains the most pristine area in the whole country. The sanctuary was recently listed as a world natural heritage by the United Nations.

If one chooses to stay overnight out in the wild, there are the float bungalows on rafts moored off the River Kwai bank in remote jungle areas. A night on a float hotel is an unforgettable experience. By nightfall, hushed stillness settles over the jungle, with only occasional night bird calls.

Kanchanaburi Province is divided into 10 Amphoes and 2 king Amphoes (sub-districts).

The distances from Amphoe Muang to other Amphoes are as follow :
□ Amphoe Tha Muang 12 kms.
□ Amphoe Phanom Thuan 24 kms.
□ Amphoe Tha Maka 30 kms.
□ Amphoe Dan Makham Tia 30 kms.
□ Amphoe Sai Yok 50 kms.
□ Amphoe Thong Pha Phum 145 kms.
□ Amphoe Sangkhla Buri 230 kms.
□ Amphoe Si Sawat 102 kms.
□ Amphoe Bo Phloi 40 kms.
□ Amphoe Nong Prue 75 kms.
□ Amphoe Huai Krachao 60 kms.
□ Amphoe Lao Khwan 97 kms.

How to get there

[ By Car ]
Route 1: a 2-hour drive along Highway No.4 (Phetkasem) via Nakhon Chaisi Province, Nakhon Pathom Province, Ban Pong, Tha Maka and Tha Muang (of Ratchaburi Province) to Kanchanaburi.
Route 2: drive along Highway No. 338 from Bangkok to Nakhon Chaisi Province then switch to Highway No.4 to Kanchanaburi.

[ By Bus ]
Non air-conditioned buses leave Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal daily every 15 minutes from 4 a.m. until 8 p.m. The trip takes about 3 hours.
For more information call (02) 434 5557-8

[ First class air-conditioned buses (blue color) ]
Leave Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal daily every 25 minutes.

There are also buses leaving frequently daily for Kanchanaburi from Nakhon Pathom. The journey takes up to 1.5 hours. From Ratchaburi and Suphan Buri Bus Stations, there are several buses leaving directly to Kanchanaburi. The trip takes some 2.5 - 3 hours.
For details see Bus Time Table.
For more information call (02) 435-5012, (02) 431-199 or (02) 884-6249

[ By Train ]
Ordinary trains leave Bangkok’s Thon Buri Railway Station (Bangkok Noi Station) daily. Only 3rd class seats are available. The journey takes approximately 3 hours.
For details see Train Time Table.
For more information, call Thon Buri Railway Station at tel.(02) 411-3102 or Kanchanaburi Railway Station at tel.(034) 511-285.

The weekend special train leaves Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lamphong) at 6.30 a.m., returning at 7.55 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and on public holidays. The trip usually includes several stop-overs at Phra Pathom Chedi (Nakhon Pathom), Death Railway Bridge, and a transfer (by minibus) to Phrasat Mueang Singh Historical Park, etc.

There are also special steam trains operating between Kanchanaburi and Wang Pho.


[ Boat and Raft Festival ]
Boat Race KanchanaburiThe river tour of Kanchanaburi is famous and popular among visitors. Boat races and water sports games are held at this annual festival at the beginning of November in the area of Khun Phan Dam.

[ Ban Nong Khao Fair ]
The fare is usually held during the Songkran festival in April at Wat Intharam. Tambon Nong Khao. Activities to promote the culture and traditions of the local villagers are demonstrations of sweet making, cloth weaving, games, play performances, bull races, a beauty queen contest, and various forms for entertainment.

[ Ram Yoei or Yoei Dance ]
It has been a kind of folk play for more than 500 years. This dance is always practiced during Songkran and New Year festivals. There are male and female players standing to form a circle. A player takes turn to sing his/her own verses with the accompany of his/her players who clap their hands in rhythm. A couple of players take turn to dance with the music from a long drum band. Male players wear a round neck shirt with loincloth on a shoulder. Female players dress in a Thai costume with a Sabai cloth bound around the upper body. This play is still popular nowadays in Panom Thuan district.

[ River Kwai Bridge Week ]
River Kwai BridgeThis is an annual event to be held by the Kanchanaburi Provincial Authority from the end of November to the beginning of December to commemorate the notorious establishment of the Death Railway and the Bridge Over the River Kwai during WWII. Activities at the fair include a historical and archaeological exhibition, folk shows, booths of governmental offices, products sale, entertainment, and a light and sound presentation.


Major souvenir shops are concentrated around the eastern approaches , and riverine environment, of the world-famous bridge. Almost every handicraft produced in Thailand can be purchased there. Browsing to compare quality, and good-humored but determined bargaining, will ensure favorable prices for ready made leisure wear and other apparel, and popular souvenirs such as jewelry home-spun clothes, wooden furniture and decorations, young coconut jelly, tamarind candy and several kinds of snack.

Kanchanaburi is a major source of high-quality Thai blue sapphires. These are mined at Bo Phloi District, as are onyx and topaz. Purchases of finished jewelry creations can be made at Jewelry Center.


Excellent Thai and Chinese cuisine features freshly caught river fish. The most popular dining areas are the Song Kwae Road waterfront area and the riverside restaurants in the vicinity of the River Kwae Bridge.

Published At : http://kanchanaburi.sawadee.com/

No comments: