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 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.
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.
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
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.
Ratcha Buri and Nakhon Pathom Provinces.
Suphan Buri Province.
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 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
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
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.
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.
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
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.