Kanchanaburi
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Kanchanaburi Culture & History

Erawan National Park + Kanchanaburi 14-Hour Small Group Tour

1. Erawan National Park + Kanchanaburi 14-Hour Small Group Tour

History lovers visiting Thailand will value this opportunity to tour the region of Kanchanaburi in West Thailand. During this memorable day trip from Bangkok, you’ll visit the Death Railway which was put on the map by the 1957 movie, Bridge Over the River Kwai. You’ll begin the day by getting immersed in Thailand’s rich bounty at one of the country’s best-loved national parks, Erawan National Park. Walking trails, running water, and undisturbed wildlife characterize this peaceful area. Erawan Waterfall has seven tiers and a set of limestone caves at its base: you'll forget all about the busy streets of Bangkok. This natural paradise is the perfect place to breathe in the fresh country air. Continue to JEATH Museum, dedicated to the Allied Prisoners of War who died building the Burmese railway. This museum is a sad yet important reminder of Thailand’s history; it’s thought that over 100,000 lives were lost during this period. JEATH is an acronym for the main nationalities involved in the building of the railway: Japanese, English, Australian, American, Thai and Dutch. Finally, you’ll visit the historic Bridge over the River Kwai. You’ll get the chance to walk over the bridge, soak up the impressive scenery, and take a moment to remember the past, before returning to your accommodations/meeting point at approximately 8:00 PM.

Bangkok: 2-Day River Kwai & Erawan National Park Tour

2. Bangkok: 2-Day River Kwai & Erawan National Park Tour

Day 1: In the early morning at 7:30AM, your personal guide and driver will meet you at your hotel lobby in Bangkok. You will begin with a visit to the floating market of Damnoen Saduak. Close to the market you will board a fast long-tail boat, which will bring you through the narrow "khlongs" to the market. At the market you will enjoy watching farmers selling fruit and many kinds of local products in their boats. If you want, you can take one of the paddle boats to cruise through the market (optional). Following this great experience, you will continue your trip to the bridge over the River Kwai, the Allied Forces Cemetery, and the JEATH war museum. You will then travel once more by long-tail boat to the Jungle Raft, a unique, floating hotel in the middle of the jungle, made from wood and bamboo. The resort offers a unique accommodation experience right on the flowing Kwai Noi River. All floating rooms are tucked into a floating bamboo lodge moored along the historic River Kwai Noi and surrounded by lush green mountains and jungle. At this "floatel", the historic River Kwai Noi flows underneath your bed. The walls are weaved from local bamboo decorated with wooden furniture reflecting the Mon living style (hotel subject to availability). Day 2: Following breakfast, your guide will take you by long-tail boat back to your private vehicle. After another 45 minutes to 1 hour of travel will take you to Erawan National Park, where you will find the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand: the Erawan Waterfalls. The waterfall consists of 7 plateaus, and you can hike to the highest level through a small jungle path. After reaching the top, you will still have plenty of time to discover the natural fish spas, see the natural shaped slides, and go for a swim. Following lunch, you will be taken back to your hotel in Bangkok.

Kanchanaburi: 3-Day Highlights Tour from Bangkok with Meals

3. Kanchanaburi: 3-Day Highlights Tour from Bangkok with Meals

Day 1 Begin your 3-day getaway early with pickup from your hotel in Bangkok at 6.00 AM and set off for Kanchanaburi. Once you arrive in Kanchanaburi, visit the Thailand–Burma Railway Centre, an interactive museum where you can learn about the history of this famous railway. Your next visit is the Allied War Cemetery, which is a memorial to the 6000 allied prisoners of war who perished building the death railway. Then, Kanchanaburi's most conic landmark, the The Bridge over the River Kwai. Take a long-tailed boat on the River Kwai to the River Kwai Jungle Rafts Hotel. Check in and have lunch upon arrival. In the afternoon, take a long-tailed boat downstream to Phu Takian Pier and continue on road to visit the Hellfire Pass Memorial. In the evening, enjoy dinner back at the hotel followed by a 45–minute presentation of traditional Mon Dance. Day 2 Wake up to sounds of nature surrounding your room and enjoy breakfast served. You will then visit the nearby Mon Tribal Village. Learn the way of life of the Mon villagers, originally from Myanmar, who were granted permission to build this village by the Thai authorities after they fled from their homeland. Feast on an authentic Thai lunch and enjoy an easy jungle walk in the afternoon. After a day of exploring the rainforest, you will return to the hotel for dinner.  Day 3 Wake up feeling recharged after spending 2 days in the jungle and enjoy a final berakfast and a leisurely morning. Check out of your room and and have lunch at a local restaurant. Finally, take a historic ride on the Death Railway, passing over the original wooden viaduct. You will then return to Bangkok and will be dropped off at your hotel around 6.00 PM.

Bangkok: Kanchanaburi and Erawan Waterfall Private Tour

4. Bangkok: Kanchanaburi and Erawan Waterfall Private Tour

Explore western Thailand on a private tour from Bangkok. Starting with pickup at 7:00 AM, travel 2.5 hours to Kanchanaburi, learning about the history of this area and life under Japanese occupation in WWII from your English-speaking guide as you go.   The first stop will be at the Allied Cemetery and the JEATH (Japanese-English-American-Australian-Thai-Holland) War Museum. Learn about the poor circumstances of the Asian convicts and European POWs during the construction of the Myanmar railway. Next, you will visit the iconic bridge over the River Kwai, the main landmark of Kanchanaburi. Wait until the local train passes and enjoy the view of the picturesque river. After a delicious lunch at a local restaurant, you will proceed to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand, the Erawan Waterfalls. The waterfall consists of 7 plateaus and has many caves hidden behind the walls of water. If you wish, you can take a dip in the crystal-clear pools.  At the end of the tour, hotel drop-off will be provided. You will reach your hotel in Bangkok at around 6:00 PM.

From Kanchanaburi: Elephants World Sanctuary Visit

5. From Kanchanaburi: Elephants World Sanctuary Visit

Elephant World is a self-supporting environmental conservation organization that cares for domestic elephants, situated just outside the town of Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Elephant World cares for the daily needs of over 30 elephants and staff by offering eco-travelers the experience of an up-close and personal encounter with these wonderful creatures. Choose from either a 1-day program or an overnight stay which includes accommodation in a traditional Thai-style cottage by the river and the mountains.  1-Day Experience The 1-day experience starts with pick up from your hotel or guesthouse in Kanchanaburi at 9 AM. Arrive at Elephant World, where you'll meet and feed the friendly elephants up close. Then observe the elephants bathing on a huge river. Have the opportunity to clean fruits and vegetables and prepare and cook sticky rice balls for your new friends. After lunch, gather plants and vegetables for elephants at the sanctuary's farm then plant banana trees and sugarcane. Feed sticky rice balls to the old elephants and take the elephants to the river for a bath where you can scrub them clean before feeding them with the fruits you prepared. The day program ends at 4 PM when you will head back to your hotel. Overnight Experience The overnight experience is the same but includes overnight accommodation in a traditional Thai-style cottage, equipped with a bathroom and hot shower, mosquito nets, and a comfortable terrace for relaxing. In the wet season, the elephants sleep and eat in the forest. Staying overnight will allow you to walk the elephants out into the forest at the end of the day with the mahouts. The next day, wake early up to the sounds of the wildlife. Bring the elephants back in from the forest before the day's activities begin. In the dry season, take a walk with the elephants in the morning. Choose to hike to the top of a mountain (for an extra fee of 100 THB) and enjoy the view or observe the beautiful birds next to the river. After that, return for a tasty Thai lunch and check out. Finally, enjoy a fun afternoon with the elephants and help them take a bath. Then, enjoy rafting down the River Kwai with life jackets provided. Relax and admire at the peaceful atmosphere of the surroundings as you float back to Elephant World. Finish the program at around 3 PM and return to your hotel in Kanchanaburi.

Elephant Sanctuary & Kanchanaburi Highlights Private Tour

6. Elephant Sanctuary & Kanchanaburi Highlights Private Tour

This full-day private tour begins with a pick-up at your hotel and a drive to ElephantsWorld. Learn about this sanctuary for old and rescued elephants, who will spend their remaining years well cared for in a natural environment. Help care for the animals by feeding them, gathering food and bathing them. Around noon, enjoy a buffet lunch before heading out to see the major attractions of Kanchanaburi. Visit the Bridge on the River Kwai, which is part of the infamous Death Railway, built by prisoners during World War II. Continue your tour with a stop at the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, the final resting place of 6,982 allied prisoners who died during the construction of the railway.

3-Day River Kwai, Floating Market and Erawan Waterfalls

7. 3-Day River Kwai, Floating Market and Erawan Waterfalls

In the early morning on day one at 7:30 am, your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel lobby in Bangkok. First, you will visit the floating market of Damnoen Saduak. Close to the market, you will board a fast longtail boat which will bring you through the narrow khlongs to the market for about half an hour. You will enjoy watching the farmers selling fruit and many kinds of local products in their boats. If you want you can take one of the paddle boats to cruise through the market (optional). After this great experience, continue your trip to the Hellfire Pass where you will see and learn more about the history at the Hell Fire Pass Memorial and hike through the pass. Then you will travel by longtail boat to the Jungle Raft, a unique, floating hotel in the middle of the jungle, made from wood and bamboo. River Kwai Jungle Rafts Resort offers a unique accommodation experience right on the flowing Kwai Noi River. All floating rooms are tucked into a floating bamboo lodge moored along the historic River Kwai Noi surrounded by lush green mountains and jungle. At your floatel, the historic River Kwai Noi flows underneath your bed. The walls are weaved from local bamboo decorated with wooden furniture reflecting Mon living style. After breakfast on day two, your guide will take you by longtail boat back to your private vehicle. After another 45min to 1 hour you will reach Erawan National Park, these are the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand: the Erawan Falls. The waterfall consists of 7 plateaus and you can hike to the highest level through a small jungle path. After reaching the top you still have plenty of time to discover the natural fish spas, see the naturally shaped slides and go for a swim. After lunch, you will be taken to Pungwaan Resort and Spa and you will have free time for the rest of the afternoon to explore Kanchanaburi city or just lounge at your hotel's swimming pool with an excellent view over the river. On day three after checking out from the hotel, you will visit one of the highlights of this area: the Bridge over the River Kwai, the Allied Forces cemetery and the JEATH war museum. In the early afternoon a transfer back to Bangkok, this will take approximately 2 hours.

Kanchanaburi: Erawan Waterfall & Train Full-Day Tour

8. Kanchanaburi: Erawan Waterfall & Train Full-Day Tour

You’ll start bright and early and head to Srinakarin Lake, built as a result of the Srinakarin Dam on the Kwai Yai River. The peaceful lake offers fantastic views of the reservoir and the surrounding mountains and forests. Admire the lakeside views and get your photos in before heading to your next destination.  Erawan National Park is named after the three-headed white elephant in Hindu mythology. The park is most famous for housing the Erawan Waterfall, a cascade that tumbles down seven tiers – said to resemble the god Erawan. Take a quick dip in the emerald green pools, scout the nearby caves, and take in the lush surrounding forest of the park before digging in to a tasty lunch at a local restaurant. Up next is the infamous Siam-Burma Railway, also known as the Death Railway. Ccatch a train and chug past stunning views of the Tham Krasae Bridge and River Kwai. You’ll end the day with a stop at the Bridge On The River Kwai, where you’ll learn about its cultural and historical significance while admiring fantastic views.

Kanchanaburi: River Kwai and Death Railway Day Tour

9. Kanchanaburi: River Kwai and Death Railway Day Tour

Make the most of your day of adventure and start early with a smooth pickup from your accommodation in Kanchanaburi, or meet your guide at the Kanchanburi Bus Terminal. Catch up on sleep in the comfy air-conditioned van on the way to your first stop, the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery. Walk along the perfectly kept grounds as you honor the fallen soldiers and prisoners of war and civilians who died while working on the infamous Death Railway (Siam-Burma Railway) under the Japanese Empire. Head to the JEATH Museum, built to commemorate those who lost their lives while working on the railway during World War II. The JEATH War Museum was named after the nationalities of those that worked on the railway: Japanese, English, Australian, American, Thai, and Hollander. Examine exhibits from the war such as weapons, tools, uniforms, medals, and replicas of the living conditions the prisoners of war lived in. Make a quick stop at the Bridge over the River Kwai, where you’ll experience the subject of your earlier history lessons. At Tham Krasae Station, a picturesque railway section that snakes around a cliff, admire the views, see the trains pass by, and fill up on some tasty lunch. Enjoy a quick coffee break before stopping at Wat Tham Suea, otherwise known as the Tiger Cave Temple. Don’t miss the tiger paw prints on its cave walls and the large, gleaming, 18-meter-tall Buddha statue at the top. Make the steep hike and be rewarded with a close-up view of the statue as well as the impressive scenery of the surrounding landscape. After exploring and taking photos at Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple), begin your journey back to your accommodation with some of Thailand’s unforgettable history engraved in your mind.

From Bangkok: Private Car Hire to Kanchanaburi Province

10. From Bangkok: Private Car Hire to Kanchanaburi Province

Leave the busy city of Bangkok for a day to explore Kanchanaburi, a city full of beautiful nature and historical sites from the period of the Second World War. Enjoy a private tour with the flexibility to design your visit based on 3 itineraries. After a long day of sightseeing, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Bangkok at night. Program 1: Car Hire to Kanchanaburi City Sights Only With this program, visit the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, the main cemetery for victims of Japanese imprisonment during the construction of the Thailand-Burma Railway, and the real Bridge on the River Kwai. Find out more about the infamous railway at the Death Railway Museum and JEATH War Museum. Program 2: Car Hire to Kanchanaburi City Sights & Erawan Waterfalls As well as the sights visited in program 1, this program also allows you to explore Erawan Waterfalls and spend some free time swimming in them. Program 3 - Car Hire to Kanchanaburi City Sights & Hellfire Pass As well as the sights visited in program 1, this program also takes you to the Hellfire Pass, a railway cutting on the former Burma Railway, also commonly called the Death Railway, in Thailand.

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What people are saying about Kanchanaburi

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 266 reviews

It was a perfect trip my guide Mr phayungsin 'Sam' was just wonderful friendly and helpful and very knowable about the bridge and it history he answered all my questions and even thought me things I never even knew the driver MrDenchai was professional and certious and made me feel safe and comfortable sitting in the back of the car , throughly recommended this trip if you have a liking for history especially ww2 and the bridge very y good value for money and lunch was delicious with stunning views of the river and rail way very happy with my day trip

Very kind and helpful tour guide, went out of his way to help with everything. Great driver and was on time. They were both very kind despite the fact that I misunderstood my pickup time. The trip was great, the waterfall is extremely beautiful (level 3), definitely do not miss out on taking a bathing suit. The history of the Death bridge was quite interesting to learn about as well.

Our guide Nancy was friendly and considerate. She gave us plenty time at the Falls when we said we wanted to swim. She knew where the clean restrooms are and planned the breaks before it’s too late, e.g. just before we enter Bangkok because you never know the traffic situation. The driver was steady and gave us a smooth ride.

The tour was very rich of content related to Kanchanaburi. A great mix of history and nature. Golf, our guide was always open to amend the route a bit in case we wanted to see sth specific & he was always open to answer questions.

Harry was a wonderful guide! We had a great tour - he was very helpful, informative, and fun :)