River Kwai

River Kwai: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Bangkok: Historical Day Tour to River Kwai

1. 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.

From Bangkok: Erawan National Park & Kanchanaburi Group Tour

2. From Bangkok: Erawan National Park & Kanchanaburi Group Tour

Tour the region of Kanchanaburi in West Thailand and uncover local history on this guided day trip. During this memorable day trip from Bangkok, visit the Death Railway which was put on the map by the 1957 movie, 'Bridge Over the River Kwai.' Begin at one of the country’s best-loved national parks, Erawan National Park. Connect with pristine nature at the Erawan Waterfall which has seven tiers, turquoise pools and a set of limestone caves at its base.  Continue to the JEATH Museum, dedicated to the Allied Prisoners of War who died building the Burmese railway. This museum is a sad yet important reminder of Thailand’s history. It’s thought that over 100,000 lives were lost during this period.  Finally, visit the historic Bridge over the River Kwai. Have the chance to walk over the bridge, admire the impressive scenery, and take a moment to remember the past, before returning to your accommodations/meeting point at approximately at night. 

Bangkok: 2-Day River Kwai & Erawan National Park Tour

3. Bangkok: 2-Day River Kwai & Erawan National Park Tour

Day 1: In the early morning at 7:30AM, your personal guide and driver will meet you at your hotel lobby in Bangkok. You will begin with a visit to the floating market of Damnoen Saduak. Close to the market you will board a fast long-tail boat, which will bring you through the narrow "khlongs" to the market. At the market you will enjoy watching 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). Following this great experience, you will continue your trip to the bridge over the River Kwai, the Allied Forces Cemetery, and the JEATH war museum. You will then travel once more by long-tail boat to the Jungle Raft, a unique, floating hotel in the middle of the jungle, made from wood and bamboo. The 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 and surrounded by lush green mountains and jungle. At this "floatel", the historic River Kwai Noi flows underneath your bed. The walls are weaved from local bamboo decorated with wooden furniture reflecting the Mon living style (hotel subject to availability). Day 2: Following breakfast, your guide will take you by long-tail boat back to your private vehicle. After another 45 minutes to 1 hour of travel will take you to Erawan National Park, where you will find the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand: the Erawan Waterfalls. The waterfall consists of 7 plateaus, and you can hike to the highest level through a small jungle path. After reaching the top, you will still have plenty of time to discover the natural fish spas, see the natural shaped slides, and go for a swim. Following lunch, you will be taken back to your hotel in Bangkok.

From Bangkok: Death Railway & River Kwai Bridge Private Tour

4. From Bangkok: Death Railway & River Kwai Bridge 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.

Kanchanaburi River Kwai & Hellfire Pass Private Tour

5. 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.

Erawan Waterfall & Kanchanaburi Highlights Tour From Bangkok

6. Erawan Waterfall & Kanchanaburi Highlights Tour From Bangkok

Enjoy your full-day private tour from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi with your personal tour guide. Start with from your hotel in Bangkok in the early morning. Visit the top destinations in Kanchanaburi by a private air-conditioned car. Begin your trip by visiting Bridge Over the River Kwai, the famous attraction of Kanchanaburi which made famous by the movie of the same name. Continue to Sri Nagarin Dam and "Erawan Waterfall National Park", one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand with an altitude of 500 meters above sea level. Walk from national park office to the waterfall. Relax at the waterfall or take an optional trek up to the top of the waterfall on the 7th tier (about 1,500 meters). After the waterfall, enjoy an optional lunch at a local restaurant. Visit Krasae Buddha cave and board the train and ride along the former railway for about 30 minutes. Then return to your hotel in Bangkok.

3-Day River Kwai, Floating Market and Erawan Waterfalls

7. 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

8. 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.

From Bangkok: Kanchanaburi Tour with Floating Market Visit

9. From Bangkok: Kanchanaburi Tour with Floating Market Visit

Start your tour with pickup from your hotel in Bangkok at 7 AM and discover the highlights of the Kanchanaburi Province in western Thailand in just one day. Enjoy a private day trip to visit Maeklong Railway Market and the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Travel to the Maeklong Railway Market where you can see the trains passing. Take a private boat tour through the Damnoensaduak Floating Market and see the farms and traditional Thai-style houses along the canal. Walk around the first floating market of Thailand, where the villagers sell fruit and other food products on their paddle boats. Afterward, enjoy transfer to Kanchanaburi Province where you will have an optional Thai lunch at a local restaurant. Visit the bridge over the River Kwai and learn about its WWII history. Visit Krasae Cave Bridge and board the train from Krasae Cave Station to Tha-Kilen Station. End your tour with drop off at your hotel in Bangkok at around 7:00 PM.

Kanchanaburi: Erawan Waterfall & Train Full-Day Tour

10. Kanchanaburi: Erawan Waterfall & Train Full-Day Tour

You’ll start bright and early and head to Srinakarin Lake, built as a result of the Srinakarin Dam on the Kwai Yai River. The peaceful lake offers fantastic views of the reservoir and the surrounding mountains and forests. Admire the lakeside views and get your photos in before heading to your next destination.  Erawan National Park is named after the three-headed white elephant in Hindu mythology. The park is most famous for housing the Erawan Waterfall, a cascade that tumbles down seven tiers – said to resemble the god Erawan. Take a quick dip in the emerald green pools, scout the nearby caves, and take in the lush surrounding forest of the park before digging in to a tasty lunch at a local restaurant. Up next is the infamous Siam-Burma Railway, also known as the Death Railway. Ccatch a train and chug past stunning views of the Tham Krasae Bridge and River Kwai. You’ll end the day with a stop at the Bridge On The River Kwai, where you’ll learn about its cultural and historical significance while admiring fantastic views.

Other Sightseeing Options in River Kwai

Want to discover all there is to do in River Kwai? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about River Kwai

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 508 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.

Our trip leader was Mook. She kept the energy and jokes in the group going on throughout the trip. This is a long trip (14 hours), with total 6-7 hours of ride (3.5 hours one way), so be prepared accordingly. The erawan park, and waterfalls were amazing. Do give it a try if you are in Bkk. Our group was pretty mixed - we had a family with little kids, some solo travelers, and couple of senior travelers.

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

Our guide made the trip more pleasant and easier with his knowledge and thoughtfulness. Waterfall is lovely too. Highly recommend.