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Kanchanaburi Province

Given the jaw-dropping natural beauty of Kanchanaburi Province (กาญจนบุรี), it seems paradoxical that the region is best known for the horrors of WWII's Death Railway. The provincial capital's war memorials are a mandatory stop before heading deeper into the parks and preserves that comprise the southern end of the Western Forest Complex, one of Asia's largest protected areas. Numerous waterfalls and caves can be reached with minimal effort, but hiking trails plunging into thick jungle also lure hardened adventurers to this wild terrain.

In the far north, remote, relaxed Sangkhlaburi is one of Thailand's most ethnically diverse towns. Many residents arrived to escape persecution and violence in Myanmar, and they've been joined by communities of foreign volunteers.

And if Sangkhlaburi isn’t far-flung enough for you, the little border outpost of E-Thong, which improbably managed to avoid becoming a ghost town, should be on your itinerary.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Kanchanaburi Province.