Welcome to Kanchanaburi


During WWII, Japanese forces used Allied prisoners of war (POWs) and conscripted Asian labourers to build a rail route between Thailand and Burma (Myanmar). The harrowing story became famous after the publication of Pierre Boulle’s book The Bridge Over the River Kwai, based loosely on real events, and the 1957 movie that followed. War cemeteries, museums and the chance to ride a section of the so-called 'Death Railway' draw numerous visitors to Kanchanaburi. Interest in the railway has been reignited by Richard Flanagan's Man Booker Prize–winning novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North (2013), inspired by the experiences of Flanagan's father as a POW.

Kanchanaburi is also an ideal gateway to national parks in Thailand's wild west, and home to an array of lush riverside resorts.


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Kanchanaburi activities

$70.58 Day Trips & Excursions

Bridge on the River Kwai and Thailand-Burma Railway Tour

Fascinating, nostalgic and memorable sums up this full day tour to Kanchanaburi, 80 miles (130 kilometers) west of Bangkok. The province itself is an agricultural area with sugar cane, rice paddies and pineapple plantations all forming significant portions of the stunning Thai rural landscape. Whether a war buff or rail enthusiast, everyone has a different reason to see this symbolic bridge. The famous bridge and the beginning of the 'Death Railway', which lies 1 mile outside the town of Kanchanaburi, is a poignant reminder of the thousands of POW's and forced laborers who lost their lives in the Second World War. The building of the bridge in 1943 was one part of a huge Japanese wartime project to link existing Thai and Burmese railway lines to create a direct route from Bangkok, Thailand to Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar) in an effort to support the Japanese occupation of Burma. Thousands of POW's and laborers died in the process. During your tour a visit will be made to one of the Allied War Grave cemeteries (often an emotional experience) before visiting the JEATH war museum, which houses pictures and paintings from this period. An exhilarating long tailed speed boat ride will then take you down river to the famous bridge itself where you have ample time to explore at your own leisure. A ride on a local train is also included before returning to Bangkok city.

$83.65 Day Trips & Excursions

Floating Markets and Bridge on River Kwai Tour from Bangkok

Your journey commences with a leisurely drive from Bangkok, passing through salt fields and rice paddies before embarking aboard your long tail speed-boat on your journey to the Damnern Saduak floating markets. The floating markets are a fascinating experience, a complete contrast to how we shop for food in the west, and are made up of Thai style canoes laden with colorful and succulent fruits, vegetables, sweets and meats - gently plying their way through the canal, selling as they go. It is one of most popular Thai sightseeing experiences and not to be missed. If you want to take a closer look your local Thai guide will help you organize a local boat ride through the markets (optional extra).You will then board your coach for the journey west to Kanchanaburi, home to the River Kwai and it's infamous bridge. The building of the bridge in 1943 was part of a wartime project to link existing Thai and Burmese railway lines to create a direct route from Bangkok, Thailand to Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar) in an effort to support the Japanese occupation of Burma. Over 100,000 conscripted laborers and 12,000 prisoners of war died during the whole project.Lunch will be taken at a local restaurant before visiting the bridge after visiting the JEATH war museum, which houses pictures and paintings from this period. Combining the two attractions unfortunately means there is not enough time to take a train ride, before your journey back to Bangkok and your hotel.

$94.11 Day Trips & Excursions

Burma Death Railway Bridge and Kwai River from Bangkok

Moving and memorable sums up your private Bridge on the River Kwai tour from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi, 80 miles (130 km) west of the city. The Thai province is an agricultural area, with sugar-cane fields, rice paddies and pineapple plantations all forming significant portions of the rural landscape. The famous bridge, which marks the beginning of the Death Railway, is a poignant reminder of the thousands of POWs and forced laborers who lost their lives while building the railway during World War Two. The construction of the bridge in 1943 was one part of a huge Japanese wartime project to link existing Thai and Burmese railway lines to create a direct route from Bangkok to Rangoon, Burma (aka Myanmar), in an effort to support the Japanese occupation of Burma. Thousands of POWs and laborers died in the process. During your tour with a private guide, visit one of the Allied War Grave cemeteries before visiting the JEATH war museum, which houses pictures and paintings from this period. A long-tailed speedboat ride will then take you up the river to the bridge itself, where you have ample time to explore at your leisure. A ride on a local train is also included before returning to Bangkok.

$96.20 Day Trips & Excursions

River Kwai Bridge, Floating Markets Private Tour from Bangkok

Your journey commences with a leisurely drive from Bangkok, passing through salt fields and rice paddies before embarking aboard your long tail speed-boat on your journey to the Damnern Saduak floating markets. The floating markets are a fascinating experience, a complete contrast to how we shop for food in the west, and are made up of Thai style canoes laden with colorful and succulent fruits, vegetables, sweets and meats - gently plying their way through the canal, selling as they go. It is one of most popular Thai sightseeing experiences and not to be missed. If you want to take a closer look your local Thai guide will help you organize a local boat ride through the markets (optional extra). You will then board your coach for the journey west to Kanchanaburi, home to the River Kwai and it's infamous bridge. The building of the bridge in 1943 was part of a wartime project to link existing Thai and Burmese railway lines to create a direct route from Bangkok, Thailand to Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar) in an effort to support the Japanese occupation of Burma. Over 100,000 conscripted laborers and 12,000 prisoners of war died during the whole project. Lunch will be taken at a local restaurant before visiting the bridge after which a visit is made to the new Thailand - Burma War Museum which is adjacent to the War Grave Cemetery. Combining the two attractions unfortunately means there is not enough time to take a train ride, before your journey back to Bangkok and your hotel.

$58.90 Day Trips & Excursions

Bridge on River Kwai from Bangkok

You will be picked up from your hotel in Bangkok before driving 130 kilometers west to the town of Kanchanaburi. Apart from the fascinating natural geography, this region has many major monuments affiliated with World War II and this tour will show you the sites of where thousands of prisoners of war were forced to work for the construction of a railroad track that would connect Myanmar with Thailand. Your first stop is the famous bridge over the River Kwai. Still in use today, the bridge was the target of frequent Allied bombing raids during 1945, and was rebuilt after the war ended. The curved spans of the bridge are the original sections. The Death Railway itself stretched originally to 415 kilometers from Thanbyuzayat in Burma (now called Myanmar) to Nong Pladuk in Bang Pong district of Ratchaburi province in Thailand. 304km from the railway station in Thailand, and the remaining 111 km in Burma.  More than 16,000 prisoners died during the construction of the railway undertaking or thirty-eight of prisoners for every km of railway built. The prisoners died from disease, malnutrition and exhaustion. There was little or no medical care available, and many prisoners suffer terribly before they died. Continue with visiting two well-kept cemeteries, containing the graves of an estimate 9000 allied soldiers who lost their lives while building the bridge and constructing the notorious “Death Railway” which the Japanese had hoped to stretch all the way to the Burmese border. These well-kept cemeteries are among the most impressive sites today, providing the harsh reality of the casualties of war. Lunch is included at a local restaurant during this tour. In the afternoon, return back Bangkok in the late afternoon at your booked hotel.

$192.80 Multi-day & Extended Tours

2-Day River Kwai Jungle Rafts

Gently dancing on the tides of the Kwae Noi, Kanchanaburi’s Jungle Rafts have been the epitome of local authenticity, designed in an overnight adventure of extraordinary proportions. With only a few basic floating huts on the famous River Kwai, this experience of a lifetime has gained raving reviews once you’ve settled in on your bamboo raft with nothing but the sound of nature as very much acceptable back ground noise. This 2-day package will not skip the most famous sites and landmarks of Kanchanaburi, once engulfed in war atrocities during the construction of the Death Railway. Get ready for an overnight stay, sincerely blessed with its surrounding gorges as you laze around at one of the hammocks with nothing but oil lamps brightening up the place with romance and character.Guests are picked up early in the morning from your Bangkok hotel (conditions apply) by English speaking staff. The 2.5 hour transfers in western direction heads straight into Kanchanaburi town, the start of our visits to the remnants of the 2nd World War. With material collected over the past years, the interactive Thailand – Burma Railway Centre forms now the base to get the feeling of the sheer size of the Death Railway project. Thousands of prisoners- of-war endured harsh conditions to get to the incomplete construction of the whole railway. Those who perished while working tirelessly are buried at the nearby War Cemetery; guests are welcome to wander around the well-maintained graves for a moment of silence. We end the morning at the famous Bridge over the River Kwai before boarding already waiting long tail boats, bringing you upstream to the Jungle Rafts. Lunch will be served at the floating restaurant.After lunch, your long tail boat captain sails to another landmark of historical value: the Hellfire Memorial Pass is an example on how the environment was used to connect Burma with Thailand through thick forest areas and large rock formations. After wandering around and listening to the stories of your guide, we sail back to the Jungle Rafts where you truly can enjoy this awesome place of peace and quietness. After a Thai set dinner, the Mon staff will showcase their arts and culture via dance and music with a 45-minute performance before it is time to turn in for the night. After breakfast, you head into the nearby village, where the Mon people have lived for generations. The tour follows a well laid-out path into the jungle for a refreshing short hike. We return back to the Jungle Rafts to check out and say goodbye to the staff of this amazing place in nature. We reach our local lunch address after a long tail boat ride downstream, located nearby our train embarkation point for a train ride over the Death Railway. The one-hour plus ride takes you over original parts of the railway track, following the flow of the River Kwai River. At the end of the ride, our driver welcomes to into his air-conditioned vehicle for the drive back to Bangkok.