Thailand is one of the most popular destinations for many reasons, not only for the tropical weather, islands and parties but also for the pure culture, history and nature. This time, let’s not talk about the beach because that’s the only thing that can’t be seen in Kanchanaburi. To make up for that, Kanchanaburi offers a full package of historical sites, jungles, rivers, waterfalls, animals and one of many doors to Myanmar.
The Best 10 Places to Visit in Kanchanaburi
- Erawan Falls
- Huay Mae Khamin Waterfalls
- Sai Yok National Park
- Kroeng Krawia Waterfalls
- Baan Songkaria Resting Restaurant
- The Bridge Over the River Kwai and the Death Railway
- Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum
- Prasat Muang Singh Historical Park
- Wooden Mon Bridge
- Underwater City and the Sunken Temple
Kanchanaburi has many water areas and green mountains so it’s gifted with waterfalls and rivers. It’s a great place to admire tranquil views and enjoy water activities. There are monkeys everywhere as well.
I. Erawan Falls
One of the most known waterfalls of Kanchanaburi is the Erawan Falls that is located within the area of Erawan National Park. It is a 7-levels waterfalls with blue pools for you to swim with the fish. It’s a grand fish spa.
At the first level, there is a security area where they make sure you don’t bring food into the higher levels. If you are bringing bottles of water, you are required to make a deposit and they will return the money on your way back. This is so that people don’t leave any waste. I’d recommend at least a bottle of water as you will be trekking for about 45 minutes in this tropical heat. If you want to eat, there is area suitable for picnic in this level as well.
There is a 2 metres deep pool at the third level, a natural water slide on the fourth level. The 7th level though, gives the best view and there is a massive pool of blue water with loads of fish. There is also huge cascades that you can sit under while it massages your back.
II. Huay Mae Khamin Waterfalls
Not too far from Erawan National Park, Huay Mae Khamin Waterfalls lay beautifully within the area of Khuean Sri Nagarindra National Park. It also has 7 levels and the journey to the top is about 2 kilometres. There is a flat camping area with great view of the river and Srinakarin Dam for a great sunset watching.
III. Sai Yok National Park
Sai Yok National Park has 2 main waterfalls. Sai Yok Noi Waterfall is a smaller fall in which the water is enclosed within a natural pool and it’s great for swimming. The bigger one, Sai Yok Yai Waterfall is a huge waterfall falling into Kwai Noi River. There is a suspension rope bridge that takes you to the other side of the river and it allows you to have a full look of Sai Yok Yai. If you want to spend the night here, there are floating villas for couple or family in which the river is just by your front door like the one operated by Floathouse River Kwai. There’s also another option for a group of over 12 people. It’s a moving floating villa service. The villa is tied to a long-tailed boat and geared along the length of the river.
IV. Kroeng Krawia Waterfall
Kroeng Krawia Waterfall is located right next to the road number 323. It’s suitable for a lazy day as it can be seen from the road and it’s only 10 metres from where your car is parked so there’s no trekking. If you happen to drive pass it, you should stop and have a cool dip to refresh yourself before moving on to the next destination.
V. Baan Songkaria Resting Restaurant
If you are hungry, only about 5 minutes from Kroeng Krawia Waterfall, there is the Baan Songkaria Resting Restaurant. Their dinning huts are almost in the canal as these huts are elevated, which allows you to soak your legs in the water, while eating. During some seasons, it’s a great spot for swimming or kayaking. You can check with the staff at the restaurant for the convenience.
VI. The Bridge Over the River Kwai and the Death Railway
Kanchanaburi is filled with scars and stories from wars. One of the most painful memory must be from the World War II. The Bridge Over the River Kwai is part of the Death Railway built by prisoners during the war to connect Thailand and Myanmar and used as supplier path for Imperial Japanese Army. The railway is called the Death Railway as over 16,000 war prisoners died during the construction period and the era of the war (Tourism Thailand, 2016.) The bridge is opened to be explored by foot or you could rent a kayak and paddle around the bridge. There is also a scheduled train from Bangkok, running on the railway as well.
If you have seen “The Bridge Over the River Kwai“ starred William Holden before, the bridge in the movie is not from Kanchanaburi as the movie was filmed in Sri Lanka.
VII. Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum
Another section of this long railway that you shouldn’t miss is the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum, which is a railway cutting and there is a safe and convenience walking trail that allows you to explore the actual railway.
VIII. Prasat Muang Singh Historical Park
Prasat Muang Singh Historical Park is an old Khmer town built around the 12th century. This ancient city is very authentic and filled with evidences of the inhabitation. There are many ruins and remains of shrines and monuments to be found in which the main one is Prasat Muang Singh located in the middle of the park. Apart from the antiqueness, the tidiness and trees around the park also makes it a nice place to walk around or relaxing under the shade.
IX. Wooden Mon Bridge
Uttama Nusorn Bridge is the longest wooden bridge in Thailand and it connects the people in Sangkhlaburi with Mon villagers. It’s not far from the Myanmar Border, the Three Pagoda Pass.
The best time to visit this place is in the early morning as you could start of by watching the sunrise over the dam, then see how locals and Mon villagers make merit in the morning by giving food to monks. There will be Mon kids, walking around with powdered face or you could even join some of them for a swim. Across the bridge is the Mon Village, which you can go and have Mon breakfast while observing the culture.
X. Underwater City and the Sunken Temple
Just by the Uttama Nusorn Bridge, there are few boat services taking you out along the river to visit the Underwater City and the Sunken Temple. Because of the operation of Khuean Wachiralongkorn Dam in 1984, Wat Luang Phor Uttama was flooded and drowned in the water but remains are still visible, especially during Summer. Evidences of this sunken temple that was built since 1953 includes pagodas, buddhas, statues, entrances and even arts on the walls of the temple. During other seasons, there are less to see, as only peaks of pagodas and walls are above the water.
These 10 places are a mix of touristy spots, some unseen attractions and places where there are less tourists and more cultural. There are still more places in Kanchanaburi waiting to be explored as well.