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Kanchanaburi Travel - Kanchanaburi is known for the grand monuments of historical legacy such as Death Railway and the Bridge of River Kwai. The province, which plays home to some lush national parks, also offers nice adventure sports.
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 TOURISM IN ASIA : THAILAND TRAVEL : THAILAND CITIES : KANCHANABURI TRAVEL

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Kanchanaburi TravelKanchanaburi province, located in close vicinity of Capital Bangkok, is the favorite of backpackers. Most famous for monuments of historical legacy like 'Death Railway' and the 'Bridge of River Kwai', the province also holds some popular national parks. The province is also nice for adventure sports like rafting and mountain biking.

Synopsis

Country Thailand
Location 2-3 hours journey from Capital Bangkok
Accessibility Best through Bangkok
Accommodation Hotels, resorts, forest retreats available
Dining Chinese, Thai and river fish

Tour Attractions
Tourist attractions of Kanchanaburi are as given below:

Death Railway
The Imperial Japanese Army, which captured Thailand during the Second World War, forced thousands of captives to built the railway line from Thailand to Burma, aimed at easy supply of men and material. The poor builders perished during the construction, hence the name 'Death Railway'. Sections of the route are still in use. Prominent among them are The Bridge of Nam Tok Staion at Sai Yok National Park, and the 'Helfire Pass', which passes through solid rock.

Bridge of River Kwai
Located in Kanchanaburi town, this bridge on Khwawe Yai is ill-famous for atrocities associated with it. It was carried from Java by the Japanese Army, which forced the war prisoners to assemble it. It suffered bombing several times and was rebuilt post-war. An estimated 16,000 war prisoners and 49,000 laborers faced death while building the bridge and the Death Railway.

The Museums
Three noteworthy museums of the province are JEATH War Museum, Ban Kao National Museum and the National Museum.

JEATH War Museum: Located in Kanchanaburi town, the Museum is actually a detention hut used for keeping the prisoners of war in the World War II. The captives were alloted very congested living space in the hut. Illustrations of the atrocities against the prisoners are placed on the walls.

JEATH : JEATH is derived from the initial letters of the countries Japan, England, America, Australia, Thailand and Holland.

Ban Kao National Museum: The Museum, 35 km off Kanchanaburi town, showcases specimens of Neolithic remain and utensils. The credit of finding the remains goes to a Dutch prisoner of war. He chance-discovered the burial site while working on the Death Railway.

Railway Museum: This fully air-conditioned interactive Museum, also known as Thai-Burma Railway Center, is dedicated to the history of 'Death Railway'. Using modern interactive tools, the Center makes the visitors acquainted with the horrific war history.

War Cemeteries
The two cemeteries, Kanchanaburi War Cemetery and Chong Kai War Cemetery, are the final resting place of the poor captives, who were forcibly employed in building railway. Chong Kai cemetery is also accessible by boats, available at the pier near the town gate.

The National Parks
Kanchanaburi is rugged terrain covered with forests, which are studded with several picturesque waterfalls and caves. These forests are also home of interesting wild creatures. Three spectacular National Parks of Kanchanaburi are as follows:

Sai Yok National Park

Erawan National Park

Chaloem Rattnakosin National Park

Muang Sing Historical Park
One of the popular attractions of Kanchanaburi, Muang Sing National Park features the ruins of two Khmer temples, harking back to the 13th century. The site was declared a Historical Park in 1987.

Activities-Sports
Undulating verdant landscape, and bubbling rivers make the province ideal for several sports and activities. More prominent activities in Kanchanaburi are the following :

» Rafting
» Rail Trips
» Golf
» Mountain Biking
» Trekking

Events and Festivals
Participating in a Kanchanaburi event or festival can be a memorable experience.

Boat & Raft Festival: This annual event is held in November in Khun Phan Dam area. Water sports and boat races are organised, joined by the locals and the tourists with equal zeal. Kanchanaburi river tour is popular in itself among the tourists, and the Festival adds more color to the tour.

River Kwae Bridge Week: River Kwae BridgeThe renowned bridge becomes the hotspot of festivities in late November or early December every year. Highlights of the celebrations are exhibitions showcasing historical and archaeological objects, cultural programmes, folk entertainment, a light and sound presentation producing the bridge's history and rides on trains pulled by World War II fame steam engines.

Yoei Dance: It has become a custom to perform Yoei Dance, having it's roots more than 500 years back, during Near Year and Songkran festivals. The players, standing in a circle, take turn to sing verses with their supporters clapping in tandem. Then, a long drum is beaten to produce music and a couple of players take turn to dance with it.

Shopping
Kanchanaburi is not a great shopping destination, but one can indulge in souvenir shopping. Jewels coming from mines of Bo Phloi district, are a good souvenir. Coconut jelly, Tha Rua grass noodle and handicrafts can also be purchased in the area.

Climate
Warm February to May
Rainy June to October
Cool (Pleasant) November to January
Best time to visit November to January

How to Reach
Means of reaching Kanchanaburi are given below:

By Road
Buses leave from the Southern Bus Terminal of Bangkok for Kanchanaburi at regular intervals. The journey takes 2 to 3 hours.

By Rail
Trains for Kanchanaburi leave from Noi Railway Station of Bangkok.

Accommodation & Dining
Kanchanaburi has good facilities of accommodation, catering to it's tourist needs. Several budget and high-end hotels are available, in addition to resorts, guesthouses and forest retreats. Various types of food, specially Thai and Chinese cuisines are available in the province. Dishes made from freshly caught river fish are also popular.