Kanchanaburi Province Culture & history

Our most recommended Kanchanaburi Province Culture & history

Elephant Sanctuary & Kanchanaburi Highlights Tour

1. Elephant Sanctuary & Kanchanaburi Highlights Tour

This full-day tour begins when you meet with the group and 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.

From Bangkok: Historical Day Tour to River Kwai

2. From Bangkok: Historical Day Tour to River Kwai

Learn about the construction of the Burma Railway, also known as the “Death Railway,” on this 10-hour historical tour to Kanchanaburi, approximately 80 miles (130 kilometers) west of Bangkok. Upon arrival, you will tour the well-kept War Cemetery, where the graves of an estimated 9,000 Allied soldiers are tended. They perished while constructing the notorious "Death Railway,” which the Japanese had hoped would stretch all the way to the Burmese border. Uncover the terrible history of the railway at the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre, an interactive museum, research, and information center dedicated to presenting the story of the Thailand-Burma Railway built during World War II. See the past recreated and relived with pictures and artifacts. You will also ride a train along the original Death Railway track, with a sumptuous lunch awaiting at the disembarkation station. Return to Bangkok in the late afternoon for your hotel drop-off.

Kanchanaburi River Kwai & Hellfire Pass Private Tour

3. Kanchanaburi River Kwai & Hellfire Pass Private Tour

Meet and greet your guide at the lobby of your hotel in Bangkok at 7 AM. Start your full day private tour to the highlights of Kanchanaburi province and the most important WW2 memorial sites. The drive to Kanchanaburi province will take about 2 hours. First, visit the JEATH war museum, war cemetery and the Bridge over the River Kwai. Learn about how the notorious Burma-Siam railway, built by Commonwealth, Dutch and American prisoners of war, was a Japanese project driven by the need for improved communications to support the large Japanese army in Burma. Discover all of the bridge's history at the museum. Afterward, take a train ride on the Death Railway. After lunch and another 45min drive, see and learn more about the history at the Hell Fire Pass and Memorial. End the day with a visit to one of the most beautiful waterfalls of the country, Saiyoke Noi. Enjoy time to relax and take in the beautiful environment. Finally, head back to your accommodation in Bangkok.

Death Railway , River Kwai & WW II history - Private tour

4. Death Railway , River Kwai & WW II history - Private tour

Benefit from very early morning pickup at your hotel in Bangkok, and then travel by private, air-conditioned vehicle to Kanchanaburi, established in the late 18th century by King Rama I as a defensive outpost against attack from Burma. Visit the interactive Burmese Railway Museum, dedicated to presenting the history of the Thailand-Burma Railway built by the Empire of Japan in 1943. See period photos and models to get a better understanding about the background of what happened during World War II. Pay your respects at the War Cemetery and visit the memorial to some 6,000 Allied prisoners of war. Then, take a scenic train ride on the notorious Death Railway, constructed by prisoners of war on the orders of the Japanese. Break for a local lunch at a restaurant before exploring the local community of Pak Preak. Visit the house of a former member of the underground V Organization from the days of Japanese occupation before traveling back to Bangkok.

3-Day River Kwai, Floating Market and Erawan Waterfalls

5. 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.

2-Day River Kwai Highlights & Jungle Rafts Floating Hotel

6. 2-Day River Kwai Highlights & Jungle Rafts Floating Hotel

Begin your adventure with a pickup from your hotel in Bangkok and head to the west of Thailand, Kanchanaburi Province.  Start with a visit to the Thailand–Burma Railway Centre, an interactive museum, information and research facility dedicated to presenting the history of the Thailand– Burma Railway. Next, visit the Allied War Cemetery which is commemorates the 6,000 allied prisoners of war who perished along the railway line and were moved after the war to this eternal resting place. Continue to the world famous Bridge over the River Kwai, a part of the Death Railway, constructed by Allied POWs. Afterward, take a long-tailed boat on the River Kwai to the floating hotel at River Kwai Jungle Rafts to have lunch. After lunch, journey downstream to Phu Takian Pier and visit the Hellfire Pass Memorial. Then return to the rafts to enjoy your dinner, followed by a 45–minute presentation of traditional Mon Dance. Begin your second day with a visit to a Mon tribal village to learn about local traditions and customs. Trek through the jungle and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Take a ride on a historic train on the Death Railway, passing over an original wooden viaduct constructed by Allied prisoners of war. Transfer back to your hotel in Bangkok in the evening to conclude your two-day journey.

Bangkok: Kanchanaburi, River Kwai & Death Railway Tour

7. Bangkok: Kanchanaburi, River Kwai & Death Railway Tour

Make the most of your day of adventure and start early with a smooth pickup from Bangkok. 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 Bangkok, with some of Thailand’s unforgettable history engraved in your mind.

Bangkok: Kanchanaburi and Erawan Waterfall Private Tour

8. 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.

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 Province

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 266 reviews

We had Sam and an excellent driver, we went for hotel pickup, the trip was a long day as it’s quite away out of the city, but I would still recommend the trip with lots of interesting stops. Sam helped us get the best photo spots and got us good seats on the train. He was happy to answer all our questions, we thought the trip expensive but on reflection it was a worth the price, in the blurb in did mention elephant rides, this did put us off but this wasn’t on this trip.

What a humbling and amazing experience. Our guide Tum Tum knew all the details there was to know. She was really friendly and helped us creating our memories by taking our photos at key places. Great arriving at the bridge by boat, than crossing the bridge on foot with a train following shortly behind. The train journey itself was also an unforgettable experience. 10 out of 10 highly recommended.

As an Australian I was deeply moved by this tour. Our guide Pongsin was very informative and gave excellent explanations about the history of the railway. Lunch was delicious and my most favourite activity of the day was the train ride. Although it was a long day, our car was very comfortable and we felt very safe with our excellent driver. Highly recommend this tour

Mr Pongsin was very knowledgeable and friendly, he knew the best spots to take us and along with our driver Mr Panay were a great team

absolutely amazing!! Such an unforgettable day and extremely lovely staff! I'll remember this for the rest of my life