4 days Kanchanaburi

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June 8, 2017 (Updated on June 8, 2017)

The sights and activities of Kanchanaburi can be fully discovered and experienced in a relatively short trip. Kanchanaburi is perfectly suited as an extended excursion from Bangkok due to the close proximity of the capital, only 2 hours away by coach. This suggested itinerary is for three nights and involves two half days for travelling to/from Bangkok and within this time period all of the major tourist attractions can be visited.

Day 1

Kanchanaburi is to the west of Bangkok and the easiest and cheapest method to travel there is by bus. The Bangkok to Kanchanaburi bus route takes approximately 2 hours and the coaches depart from the Bangkok southern bus terminal. The fare is approximately 120THB with buses leaving every 20 minutes between 4am until 10pm. For this tour try to catch an early morning bus so that you arrive in Kanchanaburi before lunch time.

The tiger temple of Kanchanaburi is nature reserve for rescued tigers which is managed by Buddhist monks. The primary method to fund the upkeep of the sanctuary is by offering visitors the chance to sit close to adult tigers, and we mean very close! The Tiger Temple is a very expensive excursion but the memories (and photos) of being sat so close to these powerful animals will stay with you for life.

Day 2

Erawan National Park, to the east of Kanchanaburi, is a beautiful national park covered in dense forest and steep limestone mountains. The main attraction of Erawan National Park is the 7 tier waterfall the Erawan waterfalls. The waterfalls are stunning just perfect for swimming in and are the natural location of the dead skin eating fish which just love to nibble feet.

The Erawan national park has two sets of caves that have been dug out by years of fast flowing water through the chalk landscape. The caves can be reached by medium length hikes through the dense tropical forest along well signed footpaths. Erawan National Park is connected to Kanchanaburi by bus and the journey is approximately 2 hours.

Disappointingly the last bus back to Kanchanaburi from Erawan National Park is 4pm. It is suggested to catch the first bus of the day from Kanchanaburi to Erawan National Park which departs at 8am.

Operating hours Opening hours
Monday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Day 3

This day will visit all of the remembrance monuments and key construction sites of the Kanchanaburi section of the Death Railway. This section of the Burma Railway was considered the most horrific section of the entire railway and the most prisoners of war died during it construction. This day will be a very somber and chilling experience but will educate and provide understanding so that the re-occurrence of these events will never happen again.

Hellfire Pass is a rock cutting on the Death Railway that was dug using the simplest of tools and where 70% of the prisoners of war perished due to malnutrition and disease. Hellfire Pass and the Death Railway Museum are very somber locations.

A joint venture between the Thai and Australian governments has transformed this hell on earth into the dignified memorial that the event deserves. The seven rock cuttings of Hellfire Pass cover a distance of 3.5km and the entire length of the old rail route can be walked.

The Thailand Burma railway centre (TBRC) an independent museum which strives to present an unbiased opinion of the construction of the death railway. The museum is very highly recommended for an accurate an informative detailed account of the atrocities. Don-Rak war cemetery, Allied Cemetery. This carefully maintained cemetery indicates the sheer number of allied troops who died during the construction of the rail way. There are rows upon rows of name plates each signifying the death of one POW. In Don-Rak there are 6,982 graves.

Operating hours Opening hours
Monday: Open 24 hours
Tuesday: Open 24 hours
Wednesday: Open 24 hours
Thursday: Open 24 hours
Friday: Open 24 hours
Saturday: Open 24 hours
Sunday: Open 24 hours

Operating hours Opening hours
Monday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Day 4

Morning - The movie which made the construction of the death railway famous was centred around a very insignificant bridge, bridge 277, close to Kanchanaburi. The wooden foundations of the original bridge still protrudes from the river but main section was destroyed during the allied bombing. The present bridge was built over the prison of war bridge. Close to the bridge is a small museum.

Afternoon - Bus back to Bangkok and continuation with reminder of your Thailand experience. This is a very full itinerary of Kanchanaburi, those with more time may wish to spend longer exploring the national park or more relaxed days when the humidity of Kanchanaburi is at it’s worst.

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