Introduction

The 1950's world box-office hit movie "The Bridge on the River Kwai" put Kanchanaburi, a hitherto sleepy town 150 km west of Bangkok, on the world map. Half a century ago, the bridge was a link in the infamous 415 km Death Railway joining Thailand with Burma, built by the Imperial Japanese Army in WWII, employing Allied prisoners of war and forced-labor Asian coolies. Over 80,000 laborers and 13,000 Allied POW's and thousands of Japanese soldiers lost their lives in the odyssey.

The bridge was publicized worldwide in the film starring moviedom's great names, ironically from the nationalities involved in the saga: American William Holden, British Sir Alec Guinness and Japanese Toshiro Mifune. After the film hit the screens around the world, tourists started their exodus to Kanchanaburi to see the bridge.

Now, Kanchanaburi is a prosperous province with endless sugar cane plantations covering her vast plain and rich mines in the bills. The rugged countryside, the wild jungles and mountain rivers are still there. However, a road system has succeeded in making most areas accessible, which gives rise to a growing number of jungle resorts for nature-lovers.

Kanchanaburi City is 150 km west of Bangkok on an excellent, scenic highway. The way to Kanchanaburi also leads pass the historic town of Nakorn Pathom with the world's highest Buddhist monument. Kanchanaburi city, itself a popular resort town, is on the bank of the picturesque Mae Klong River at the meeting point of its two tributaries - Kwai Noi and Kwai Yai rivers. The city also serves, as overnight base for tourists to visit the province's many attractions, beside that bridge on the River Kwai.
There are spectacular waterfalls, river cruises and jungle tours for the nature lovers. For the foot-loose travelers, there is the thrilling 200 km drive through newly opened jungle areas to the Thai Myanmar border to visit ethnic Mon and Karen settlements. For the sporting types, Kanchanaburi provides the best freshwater fishing grounds in remote jungle backwater and streams. For the outdoor type, rafting in the wild river. And, for the golfers, more than a score of 18-hole world standard courses in pastoral countryside.

The jungle, the rugged terrain, and wild rivers now combine to make Kanchanaburi the most rewarding tourist destination for nature lovers and sportsmen. A large jungle area of the province has been declared national wildlife sanctuary, called Thungyai National Park, which remains the most pristine area in the whole country. The sanctuary was recently listed as a world natural heritage by the United Nations.
If one chooses to stay overnight out in the wild, there are the float bungalows on rafts moored off the River Kwai bank in remote jungle areas. A night on a float hotel is an unforgettable experience. By nightfall, hushed stillness settles over the jungle, with only occasional night bird calls.

Boundary

North -  Connects with Myanmar.
South -  Connects with Ratcha Buri and Nakhon Pathom Provinces.
East -  Connects with Suphan Buri Province.
West -  Connects with Myanmar.

Kanchanaburi Province is divided into 10 Amphoes and 2 king Amphoes (sub-districts). 
The distances from Amphoe Muang to other Amphoes are as follow :

Amphoe Bophloi 
Amphoe Lao Khwan 
Amphoe Phanom Thuan 
Amphoe Sai Yok 
Amphoe Sangkhla Buri 
Amphoe Si Sawat 
Amphoe Tha Maka 
Amphoe Tha Muang 
Amphoe Thong Pha Phum 
Amphoe Dan Makham Tia 
King Amphoe Nong Pru 
King Amphoe Huai Kra Chao 
40 kms.
98 kms.
24 kms.
50 kms.
230 kms.
102 kms.
30 kms.
12 kms.
145 kms.
30 kms.
75 kms.
60 kms.

Getting there

Kanchanaburi is connected by daily road and rail services with Bangkok and other neighbouring provinces. Air-conditioned and non-airconditional coaches frequently leave Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal throughout the day for the 2 to 3-hour journey while trains leave the Bangkok Noi Railway Station two times daily for Kanchanaburi.

Festivals & Events

Boat and Raft Festival
The river tour of Kanchnaburi is famous and popular among visitors. Boat races and water sports games are held at this annual festival at the beginning of November in the area of Khun Phan Dam.

Ban Nong Khao Fair
The fare is usually held during the Songkran festival in April at Wat Intharam. Tambon Nong Khao. Activities to promote the culture and traditions of the local villagers are demonstrations of sweet making, cloth weaving, games, play performances, bull races, a beauty queen contest, and various forms for entertainment.

Ram Yoei or Yoei Dance
It has been a kind of folk play for more than 500 years. This dance is always practiced during Songkran and New Year festivals. There are male and female players standing to form a circle. A player takes turn to sing his/her own verses with the accompany of his/her players who clap their hands in rhythm. A couple of players take turn to dance with the music from a long drum band. Male players wear a round neck shirt with loincloth on a shoulder. Female players dress in a Thai costume with a Sabai cloth bound around the upper body. This play is still popular nowadays in Panom Thuan district.

River Kwai Bridge Week
This is an annual event to be held by the Kanchanaburi Provincial Authority from the end of November to the beginning of December to commemorate the notorious establishment of the Death Railway and the Bridge Over the River Kwai during WWII. Activities at the fair include a historical and archaeological exhibition, folk shows, booths of governmental offices, products sale, entertainment, and a light and sound presentation.

Shopping
Major souvenir shops are concentrated around the eastern approaches , and riverine environment, of the world-famous bridge.  Almost every handicraft produced in Thailand can be purchased there.  Browsing to compare quality, and good-humored but determined bargaining, will ensure favorable prices for ready made leisure wear and other apparel, and popular souvenirs such as jewelry home-spun clothes, wooden furniture and decorations, young coconut jelly, tamarind candy and several kinds of snack.
Kanchanaburi is a major source of high-quality Thai blue sapphires.  These are mined at Bo Phloi  District, as are onyx and topaz.  Purchases of finished jewelry creations can be made at Jewelry Center.

Dining
Excellent Thai and Chinese cuisine features freshly caught river fish. The most popular dining areas are the Song Kwae Road waterfront area and the riverside restaurants in the vicinity of the River Kwae Bridge.

Information provided by Tourism Authority of Thailand

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