Kanchanaburi Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by PeterVancouver
  • Main Entrance to Cemetery
    Main Entrance to Cemetery
    by PeterVancouver
  • Things to Do
    by PeterVancouver

Most Recent Things to Do in Kanchanaburi

  • PeterVancouver's Profile Photo

    Go beyond the River Kwai northwards

    by PeterVancouver Written Jul 6, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Wampo Viaduct (Wang Po)
    Make sure you ride the train between Kanchanaburi (or River Kwae Bridge station) and the current terminus of the operational railway at Nam Tok. As well as crossing the famous Bridge on the River Kwai, the train runs along the beautifully scenic River Kwae, passing at slow speed over the impressive Wampo Viaduct (sometimes written Wang Po), also built by prisoners of war. The viaduct consists of wooden trestles alongside the river, nestling against the cliff side.

    Hellfire Pass (Konyu Cutting)...
    Another must-see is Hellfire Pass, or to give it its proper name, Konyu Cutting. This is located about 80km (50 miles) north of Kanchanaburi, on the disused section of line beyond Nam Tok. Here, the Australian government has cleared about 7km of the old track-bed as a memorial to the 13,000 allied prisoners and 80,000 Asian labourers who died building the railway. The site includes the Hellfire Pass itself (Konyu Cutting, dubbed 'Hellfire Pass' by the PoWs for the way the worksite looked at night by torchlight. A taxi and driver for half-day from Kanchanaburi will cost about £35, and you can ask the driver to drop you at Nam Tok on the way back, to return to Kanchanaburi or Bangkok by the 12:55 or 15:15 train. There are one-day organised tours from Kanchanaburi, but these typically get only 30 minutes at Hellfire Pass, only enough to see the pass itself. If you go independently, you can walk past the locations of 'Three Tier Bridge' & the 'Pack of Cards' bridge to Compressor Cutting, some 7 km northwest of the visitor centre. The peaceful walk through the warm shady jungle along the disused track-bed, past small cuttings and dips where the wooden viaducts used to be, is a very moving experience.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • PeterVancouver's Profile Photo

    Boonpong Sirivejaphan Museum

    by PeterVancouver Updated Jul 1, 2014
    Boonpong Sirivejabhandu GC

    The history of the Thai–Burma railway is often told with little reference to the people on whose territory much of it was built: the Thais.
    In late December 1941 Thailand signed an agreement with the Japanese and then on 25 January 1942 declared war on Britain and the United States. It was a decision which split the government with the Thai foreign minister Direk Chaiyanam and the liberal leader Pridi Phanomyong advocating resistance against the Japanese. Overseas Thai diplomats and ex-patriots also opposed what they saw as a Japanese occupation of Thailand and formed the Seri Thai (Free Thai) movement.
    In Thai accounts of the war the alliance with the Japanese is depicted — not unreasonably — as a pragmatic accommodation to the realities of power balances in the Asia-Pacific. It was a ‘devil’s choice’ in which the only option available to the Thais, if they wished to preserve their sovereignty and some semblance of independence, was to collaborate with the Japanese. Indeed when the war ended Thailand, which installed a more liberal government with Seri Thai connections, in 1944, was ‘cleared of any war guilt’ and moved quickly into the US sphere of influence.
    Yet, it remains the fact that the railway could not have been built without Thai compliance and reluctant assistance. During the war years the Thai government was compelled to loan the Japanese some 491 million baht to fund the railway. Food and other supplies for the railway personnel were also supplied by local traders who plied the Kwae Noi with their barges and drove their herds of buffalo up the road from Kanchanaburi.
    Thai nationals also worked on the railway during its early stages. However, tensions arose between them and the Japanese as result of the latter’s arrogance, their requisitioning of temples and their discourtesy to Buddhist priests. In late 1942 when Thai workers near Ban Pong were evicted from a temple in which they were lodging, they turned on the Japanese soldiers, killing four and severely wounding four others. After this incident the Japanese authorities reportedly ordered its troops to salute Buddhist priests.
    When Thai workers working on the railway decided that they would abscond, the Thai government pressured the local Chinese to make up the shortfall. Between December 1943 and February 1945 the Chinese Association supplied 5200 workers, of whom 500 died. However, there is another narrative of Thai involvement in the railway’s construction. This tells of a Thai population who were generally sympathetic and generous, taking pity on the POWs, supplying them illicitly with food, clothing, money, medicines and even radio parts so they could communicate with the outside world.
    One such Thai was Boonpong Sirivejaphan, a shopkeeper in Kanchanaburi who was contracted by the Japanese to provide supplies to the railway workforce. In secret he also worked with a resistance group based in an internment camp in Bangkok, the V organization. With funding provided from this source and at great risk to himself and his young daughter, Boonpong smuggled life-saving medical supplies into POW camps along the railway. He also cashed prisoners ‘cheques’ and lent money on watches and jewellery, all of which he kept to be redeemed after the war.

    For many years after the war little was known of Boonpong’s role in assisting the POWs. In 1985 however Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop included in an Anzac Day speech in Kanchanaburi a tribute to Boonpong and other Thais who helped the prisoners. Thereafter Boonpong gained increasing recognition. Through the efforts of ex-POWs, Keith Flanagan, Bill Haskell and Ken Wood, a Weary Dunlop–Boonpong Exchange Fellowship was established in 1986. A collaborative program between the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Surgeons of Thailand, it provides opportunities for Thai surgeons to undertake surgical training attachments in Australian hospitals.
    Boonpong was also recognised by the United Kingdom (George Cross) and the Dutch government (Orange-Nassau Cross). In 1998, at the opening of the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum, the Australian government also formally recognised Boonpong’s courage by presenting his grandson with a certificate of appreciation for the ‘unrepayable debt’ owed to his grandfather. It also donated $50,000 to the Exchange Fellowship.
    The house in which Boonpong lived during World War II can still be found in Kanchanaburi in the old sector of the town at 96 Pak Prak Road. His family maintains a small museum there in his honour. His story and association with Dunlop has also been told in the 2008 Australian video The Quiet Lions. It includes information about the video featuring Boonpong and ‘Weary’ Dunlop, and the awards Boonpong received from foreign governments.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • PeterVancouver's Profile Photo

    Original Changi Prison -all but gone

    by PeterVancouver Updated Jul 1, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Changi main gate
    2 more images

    Sadly there is virtually nothing left of the Original Changi or Selerang Barracks today other than part of a wall in the Changi Museum

    There were in fact two ‘Changis’, which over the years came to be conflated in popular memory.

    Selerang barracks

    The first was the Selerang barracks, a British military installation from the inter-war years. This was the camp to which Allied personnel were marched almost immediately after being taken prisoner on Singapore Island in mid February 1942. These barracks soon became a huge base camp, through which thousands of Allied prisoners transited on the way from their place of capture to work sites elsewhere in Singapore and Asia. It was to Selerang barracks also that survivors of the Thai–Burma railway returned, emaciated and exhausted, in late 1943.

    The size and permanence of the Selerang barracks meant that conditions here were relatively good. The prisoners could maintain gardens, kitchens, latrines and other facilities. Under the day-to-day control of their own officers they were relatively free from direct Japanese harassment. They had the freedom to establish a ‘university’ drawing on the expertise of prisoners and to hold regular entertainment aimed at maintaining morale. Much to the concern of camp authorities there was also a black market in stolen goods, including medicines.

    It was at Selerang barracks that one of the most famous confrontations with the Japanese occurred. In August–September 1942 the Japanese administration insisted that the Allied prisoners sign an oath not to escape. When the POWs refused to do so — on the grounds that this violated their honour and was inconsistent with international law — the Japanese herded over 15 000 prisoners into the barracks parade ground. They kept them there for four days until the Allied leadership, faced with a potential health crisis, agreed to sign the oath under duress. As Captain Adrian Curlewis recorded in his diary:
    I argued with my conscience, Death and Glory vs Common Sense

    The second ‘Changi’ was the prison a short distance from Selerang barracks. Built by the British in 1936 this was originally used by the Japanese to intern some 3500 civilians (mostly British citizens and Eurasians), although its capacity was only 600. In May 1944 these internees were transferred to a camp at Sime Road in central Singapore. The prison was then used until August 1945 to house Allied prisoners of war, some of whom were returning from the Thai–Burma railway. In January 1945 around 10 000 prisoners were crammed into the cells, corridors and common areas of the gaol or huts erected in the prison grounds.

    For practical reasons to do with tourist access, it was Changi prison not the Selerang barracks which became the focus of commemorative activities as ex-POWs began to revisit the sites of their wartime experiences. This was because much of the Selerang barracks was demolished and what remained became a base for the Singapore armed forces inaccessible to the public.

    The Changi prison, to which Allied POWs were moved in 1944, was intensely overcrowded. Each cell off this thoroughfare housed four prisoners, though built originally to accommodate one person.

    Hence tourists seeking to find ‘Changi’ turned to visiting Changi prison, and in particular the chapel within its grounds erected in the 1950s by inmates. In time this chapel would be replaced by another one, a replica of a wartime Changi chapel built outside the prison grounds in the 1980s. Then in 2001 this ‘Changi chapel’ was moved a little down the road to the Changi Museum. Here it became the site of multinational commemorations on anniversaries, such as of the fall of Singapore, which continue to this day.

    When in 2004 the Singapore government decided to demolish Changi prison, in order to build a more state-of-the-art facility, there was an uproar in Australia from the press and ex-POWs. But despite considerable diplomatic pressure the prison was demolished. As a compromise one wall was left standing with the original gates affixed to it.

    Artefacts from the prison were sent to the Australian War Memorial and veterans’ associations in Australia and the United Kingdom. The original chapel pews were installed in the Changi Museum, Singapore.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • PeterVancouver's Profile Photo

    Japanese war memorial 1943

    by PeterVancouver Updated Jul 1, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    photo taken by War Graves Comm just after the war
    4 more images

    Memorial built by the Japanese to mark the death of so many in building the Thai- Burma railway.
    The plaque states:-

    "This memorial was built for southern countries labours and prisoners who unfortunately lost their lives for the construction of the railway to comfort their spirits.
    Feb, 1943. Japanese Army Railway Forces."

    The following is an extract from my Uncle, Lance Corporal A.A Carter, Service #7276299 196 Regiment RAMC who attended this service in Kanachanaburi in April 1944 after spending 18 months on the Railway as a POW in Thailand in Songkurai some 243Km from Kanachanburi and after that, in Thanbaya Hospital Burma 311Km, before being returned to internment in Changi, Singapore for the remainder of WWII

    "The ceremony lasted the best part of a day, as prayers etc were said according to the rites of every known religion. We were enjoined to pass through a wicker gate on our way out after the ceremony, where Japanese on the left and another on our right, gave each of us 100 cigarettes and a box of biscuits!"

    Many prisoners were amazed at the contradictory attitude of the Japanese who treated prisoners appallingly while alive but offered respect to the dead. The memorial can still be seen in Kanchanaburi where it remains a site of remembrance for local people including the Thai–Japanese Chamber of Commerce.
    Japanese soldiers are widely remembered as being cruel and indifferent to the fate of Allied prisoners of war and the Asian rômusha. Many men in the railway workforce bore the brunt of pitiless or uncaring guards. Cruelty could take different forms, from extreme violence and torture to minor acts of physical punishment, humiliation and neglect.
    A Korean guard was nicknamed ‘The Mad Mongrel’ for his brutal treatment of POWs. He was later sentenced to death and executed for his crimes along the Thai–Burma railway.
    However, it should be recognised that Japanese behaviour varied from place to place and from person to person. Some prisoners recounted instances of compassion by the Japanese and even a sense of sharing a burden.
    The reasons for the Japanese behaving as they did were complex. The Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) indoctrinated its soldiers to believe that surrender was dishonourable. POWs were therefore thought to be unworthy of respect.
    The IJA also relied on physical punishment to discipline its own troops. Allied prisoners and rômusha formed the bottom rung of the military hierarchy and could be punished by any Japanese soldier.
    Physical punishment was meted out for even minor infractions, such as failing to salute a Japanese guard — something that caused the Japanese to lose face. The most common form of punishment was face-slapping, often done with a hard instrument, such as a bamboo stick or a shovel.
    More severe beatings were also common. The Australian surgeon Lieutenant-Colonel E.E. (‘Weary’) Dunlop described a Japanese beating prisoners who had missed work (some of whom had been in hospital) over a period of hours:
    blows with a fist, hammering over the face and head with wooden clogs, repeatedly thrown to the ground…kicking in the stomach and scrotum and ribs etc ... When the men fell to the ground, they somehow got to their feet by such painful stimuli as the above and the dose was repeated.

    The Japanese used many types of physical punishment. Some prisoners were made to hold a heavy stone above their heads for many hours. Others might be forced into small cells with little food or water. Tom Uren described how a young Aboriginal soldier was made to kneel on a piece of bamboo for a number of days. The bamboo cut into him, causing gangrene and the eventual loss of his legs.
    On the work site guards would throw jagged stones at prisoners working in cuttings below and beat anyone they thought was working too slowly. Sometimes they simply laughed at the misfortune of their captives.
    The unpredictability of the guards made their prisoners particularly vulnerable. An action that could attract a savage beating one day could elicit a laugh and a cigarette the next day. Ray Parkin noted in his diary the ‘fatal impulsiveness as the Japs can so readily show
    The Japanese military police, or Kempetai, was particularly feared by prisoners. They used torture in order to gain information from prisoners, particularly those who had been caught trying to escape or in possession of an illegal radio.
    The Japanese attitude to sick prisoners was perhaps the most hated of all. Dunlop’s diaries are full of accounts of the Japanese insisting on meeting their quota of workers, regardless of whether the prisoners were well enough to work or not. Stan Arneil remembered:
    If they wanted 200 men they had to have 200 men. The guards would deliver 200 men even if perhaps thirty of them might be on the backs of their mates. We would carry them back at night. Usually one would die during the day.
    Illness and death were constants on the Thai–Burma railway. Approximately 12 800 of more than 60 000 Allied prisoners of war, and up to 90 000 rǒmusha, died between 1942 and 1945. Malnutrition, disease and overwork – mostly attributable to the brutality, neglect and indifference of the Japanese – all contributed to this death toll.
    Many prisoners were in poor physical condition even before they reached the railway. The forces leaving Changi included many prisoners who were ill, since the Japanese assured the Allied officers that conditions at their destinations would be easy. The long and arduous journeys to Thailand and Burma (now Myanmar) — by train, ship, truck and foot — further undermined the health of many prisoners

    The POWs found it hard to resolve the contradiction between the Japanese demanding that the railway be completed quickly but then making no effort to protect the health of their workforce. The Japanese respect for the dead also seemed to the prisoners to be contradictory. Treating the prisoners with such neglect that they died, the Japanese then allowed funerals to be conducted and cemeteries created,
    However, not every Japanese soldier on the Thai–Burma railway was callous and brutal. Hugh Clarke remembered the English-speaking Lieutenant Sumi preventing his men from beating their prisoners while they worked on an embankment. When the work was completed, Sumi organised a meal of fish and a concert for the Australians.
    Postwar investigation of the causes of the severe and unnecessary sufferings of sick prisoners of war was found to be rooted in the attitude of the Japanese Imperial Army towards their own sick and wounded personal engaged in combat conditions. It was considered that it was a soldiers duty to die and suffer for the Emporer, a philosophy understood and accepted by the soldiers themselves. When a soldier departed from his family, through symbolic gestures such as the presentation of a lock of hair, the family would then consider that the soldier was already "dead",his life firmly forfeited in the cause of the Divine Emperor. When confronted with almost unmanageable numbers of prisoners of war who in their opinion had disgraced themselves by allowing themselves to be captured instead of fighting to the death and who compounded this "disgrace" by becoming incompacitated by illness, then there was no alternatives but allow the sick captives to die.
    This is a suggestion as to why such cruelty was perpetrated, but perhaps if we had lived through the horrors of being captured by the Japanese at that time in the war, you may not be able to accept the above, having suffering the physical and especially the mental scars that this horrific event created.
    After the war the Japanese were held accountable for their maltreatment of the POWs. Australian courts tried almost one thousand Japanese and Koreans, of whom 62 were accused of war crimes committed on the Thai–Burma railway.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • PeterVancouver's Profile Photo

    Kanchanaburi War Cemetery

    by PeterVancouver Updated Jun 30, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Main Entrance to Cemetery
    4 more images

    The Kanchanaburi War Cemetery also referred to as the Dom Rak Cemetery by the locals, is the largest cemetery in the town, where you can find the graves of thousands of World War II victims.

    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. During its construction, approximately 13,000 prisoners of war died and were buried along the railway. An estimated 80,000 to 100,000 civilians also died in the course of the project, chiefly forced labour brought from Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, or conscripted in Siam (Thailand) and Burma (Myanmar).

    Two labour forces, one based in Siam and the other in Burma worked from opposite ends of the line towards the centre. The Japanese aimed at completing the railway in 14 months and work began in October 1942. The line, 424 kilometres long, was completed by December 1943.

    The graves of those who died during the construction and maintenance of the Burma-Siam railway (except for the Americans, whose remains were repatriated) were transferred from camp burial grounds and isolated sites along the railway into three cemeteries at Chungkai and Kanchanaburi in Thailand and Thanbyuzayat in Myanmar.

    Buried at this cemetery are:-
    3,585 British;
    1,896 Dutch;
    1,362 Australians;
    12 members of the Indian Army (including British officers)
    two New Zealanders, and;
    one Canadian.

    The Kanchanaburi War Cemetery was not the original location of these graves. There were many prison camps set up along the track where prisoners were kept even after the railway line was completed to do maintenance and repair work on the line, including the Bridge over the River Kwai, which was destroyed several times by aerial bombing by the allied forces. Thousands of them died due to illnesses and maltreatment by the Japanese soldiers. Their bodies were originally buried near the tracks of the Death Railway.

    After the war, 7,000 graves belonging to British, Australian and Dutch prisoners, which were found alongside the tracks at the southern section from Bangkok to Nieke were moved to the present location at the Kanchanaburi cemetery. The cemetery is located opposite the Railway Station and close to Kanburi base camp, which most prisoners passed through before moving on to their labour camps.

    The graves of those who died during the construction and maintenance of the Burma-Siam railway (except for the Americans, whose remains were repatriated) were transferred from camp burial grounds and isolated sites along the railway into three cemeteries at Chungkai and Kanchanaburi in Thailand and Thanbyuzayat in Myanmar.

    KANCHANABURI WAR CEMETERY is only a short distance from the site of the former 'Kanburi', the prisoner of war base camp through which most of the prisoners passed on their way to other camps. It was created by the Army Graves Service who transferred to it all graves along the southern section of railway, from Bangkok to Nieke.

    Some 300 men who died (most from a Cholera epidemic in May/June 1943) at Nieke camp were cremated and their ashes now lie in two graves in the cemetery. The names of these men are inscribed on panels in the shelter pavilion.

    Within the entrance building to the cemetery will be found the KANCHANABURI MEMORIAL, recording the names of 11 men of the army of undivided India buried in Muslim cemeteries in Thailand, where their graves could not be maintained.

    The cemetery was designed by Colin St Clair Oakes.

    In addition to Kanachaburi cemetery, additional burial sites are at:-

    Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, at Thanbyuzayat, which has the graves of 3,617 POWs who died on the Burmese portion of the line.
    1,651 British;
    1,335 Australians;
    621 Dutch;
    15 Indian Army;
    three New Zealanders, and;
    one Canadian.

    Chungkai War Cemetery, near Kanchanaburi, has a further 1,693 war graves.
    1,373 British;
    314 Dutch;
    and six Indian Army.

    The remains of United States personnel were repatriated. Of the 688 US personnel forced to work on the railway, 356 died. This includes 133 personnel from USS Houston (out of 368 survivors of its sinking in 1942) and 133 members of the 131st Field Artillery Regiment (Texas Army National Guard).

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • PeterVancouver's Profile Photo

    Thailand -Burma Railway Centre

    by PeterVancouver Updated Jun 26, 2014
    1 more image

    A fascinating, yet somber record of what some of the conditions were like during the building of this rail link from Thailand to Burma in particular, the endless struggle against malnutrition and horrific disease that are prevalent in the jungle. As if this was not bad enough, there was virtually no medical supplies and virtually everything had to be improvised right down to "drips" which were made of inverted bottles with the bottoms cut off. With all this going on, there was little help from their captors who were under instruction to complete the railway urgently and who used barbaric methods of ensuring the work was carried out even if thousands would die in the process.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    JEATH WAR MUSEUM

    by balhannah Updated Jul 19, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Old Japanese Motorbike
    2 more images

    This museum is located in Kanchanaburi and just a short walk away from the River Kwai bridge. The Museum is about the Death Railway as well as other interesting pieces to do with the War. The word "Jeath" comes from the six main Nationalities that worked on the line. They were Japan, England, Australia, America, Thailand, Holland. The Museum is located on the banks of the River Kwai inside the Temple "Wat Chai Chumphon" The Bamboo Hut that you see in the Museum is an exact replica of the one the men were forced to live in. There are old Cars & Motorbikes, Photos, and written accounts of what their life was like. I found it an interesting Museum.
    In the yard, I was lucky enough to come across a big Iguana. I was told he was 15 years old.

    Open daily 8.30 -4.30 pm
    Admission 2013 ... 30tb

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    THREE PAGODAS PASS

    by davidjo Written Jul 10, 2012
    THREE PAGODAS PASS

    While in Kanchanaburi take a train and bus to Sangkhlaburi, stay the night and visit Three Pagodas Pass which is the boundary between Thailand and Myanmar. You will see the three pagodas and immigration control, but i am sure that foreigners cannot cross over the border at the moment.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Motorbike day trip to the Temples.

    by kanchman Written Jun 1, 2012
    Wat Tham Suea at the back of the Japanese Temple.
    3 more images

    If you rent a motorbike you can visit many different places in the area around Kanchanaburi town. Bikes are readily available to rent on the main backpacker strip ( Thanon Mae Nam Khwae ) for around 200B per day.
    I would recommend visiting Wat Tham Suea ( Tiger Cave Temple ) it's about 25 km from town ( all directions below ) . On your way back from Wat Tham Suea there is a loop you can take to drive through the wonderful countryside and visit other large Buddha images and Khao Poon Cave.

    Directions- Take the main road ( 323 ) heading out of town towards Bangkok. After about 5km you will see a Tesco superstore on the right hand side, take the next right turning at the traffic lights. You travel past some government buildings and cross over the River Khwae. Take the first turning on the left . This road follows the river. Drive maybe 20km and you will see the Tiger Cave Temple on your right, very difficult to miss.

    Return to town on the same road but this time take a left away from the bridge to the government buildings. Drive for about another 20km look for the right turning to Kanchanaburi. Follow this road- look for the Buddha on the left above the treeline. Follow the road to the end and turn right again towards Kanchanaburi. Fantastic gardens behind the temple on the left on this road. Stay on this road to get to Khao Poon Cave on the right.
    At Khao Poon visit the view point and the large Buddha image a further 1km up the hill in the temple grounds.
    Leave Khao Poon Temple and turn left and follow the signposts back into town.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Motorcycle
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    KANCHANABURI WAR CEMETERY

    by davidjo Written Apr 5, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    THE MEMORIAL at the CEMETERY

    Visit the cemetery between the railway station and the town and spend some minutes considering the way these men died. The cemetery was actually started after the war by the Army Graves Service who visited the camp sites along the railway and transferred the remains here. Over 7000 dead are remembered here.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    TRAIN RIDE TO NAMTOK

    by davidjo Written Mar 25, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    DEATH RAILWAY
    1 more image

    Take a ride on the train to the end of the line, Namtok (means waterfall in Thai). Trains leave 5.57 and 10.45 and you can return on 12.50 or 15.50, taking around 2 hours for the journey. This wil take you through Hellfire Pass, and along side the river where so many died constructing the railway under the Japanese. There is not much to do at Namtok except walk the 2 kms to the waterfall or visit Tham Wang Badan, a nearby cave. Bring your own flashlight or rent one when you are there. It is spectacular if you can get the warden to turn on the cave lights.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • DennyP's Profile Photo

    CARRY SUFFICIENT WATER FOR YOUR DAY

    by DennyP Written Feb 15, 2012
    fresh bottled water...dont be without it!!!

    kANCHANABURI
    When you are setting out for the day make sure that you have plenty of fresh cold bottled water with you. Here the temperatures can be so hot with such high levels of humidity you must keep up your fluid losses. Of course if you need more water there are usually places where you can purchase more but sometimes not. Be aware of the affects of the heat as it affects different people different ways. Another handy item to carry is a pack of wet ones ...so great in the heat..

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Trains

    Was this review helpful?

  • DennyP's Profile Photo

    VISIT THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI

    by DennyP Updated Feb 15, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    THE INFAMOUS BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI
    4 more images

    KANCHANABURI
    My main reason for visiting Kancahanaburi was two fold. Firstly I wanted to see the Bridge , and walk across it. to visit the war graves Cemetery and the Museum. One is really impressed by the way in which these war graves are tended to and kept in such a beautiful state with each grave having beside it a lovely tropical plant along with pristinely clipped grass lawns. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission must be commended for taking such care and thought in this process. They are the same in every War Cemetery that I have visited ..absolutely wonderful.
    While here at the Bridge I just wanted to take in the ambience and reflect on the unbeleivable hardships that fellow Australians suffered here at the hands of the extremely brutal behaviour of the Japanese The bridge was a surprise I expected something bigger nevertheless to be walking across this structure was to be inundated with thoughts of the poor devils from so many places labouring beyond their endurances to build such a structure. Apparently the train still runs across the bridge to places north. I only came up here for the day and was dissapointed that i had not organised to stay longer here and go on the train north.
    Secondly I wanted to travel a little further north and visit the Tiger temple. This I found to be really an amazing experience interacting with Tigers.(see my tip on this)

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • DennyP's Profile Photo

    ARRIVE EARLY FOR BEST ADVANTAGES.

    by DennyP Updated Feb 15, 2012

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    MONK WITH TIGER AND CUBS
    4 more images

    THE TIGER TEMPLE MONASTERY.
    .When visiting here I was fortunate in that I arrived before anyone and I had a good chance to talk with a keeper (who was English)and got to be with him while he was doing his chores..was great without the crowd that came later...This is a fine programme of conservation and there is a lot of new building being constructed here and appears that many improvements are under way....but like most programmes of this kind is so much under funded. and needs assistance..anything that conserves the worlds wildlife has to be a good project.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • DennyP's Profile Photo

    WHEN AT THE RIVER KWAI BRIDGE..

    by DennyP Updated Dec 10, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    THE JEATH WAR MUSEUM...KANCHANABURI
    4 more images

    KANCHANABURI
    When visiting the Bridge on the River Kwai..make sure you visit the JEATH WWII WAR MUSEUM..The museum contains the history of the occupation of the Japanese here and the construction of the bridge with many items of militaria and information regarding the brutal incarceration and the horrific ill treatment inflicted on the allied and local prisoners of war that were interned in the notorious prison here.
    This for me was a really interesting place to visit as I have a big interest in military History and the History here involved a lot of Australian POW's. While in the cemetery I met an interesting dutch traveller who was looking in the cemetery for a relative. A really soft spoken elderly man and we spoke in length of a very prominent Australian "surgeon" whom became quite famous in the prison camp attending to the many hundreds of victims of the Japanese brutality while building the bridge. He was regarded with such high regard by the prisoners of all nationalities and known by all for his relentlessly dedicated work..
    This surgeon , a huge man, not only in stature but in character was known as "Weary" Dunlop..his "nick name" of "weary" was apparent. he treated hundreds of prisoners for their tropical disease and the ones who often suffered brutal beatings by the japanese and performed many amputations from the result of tropical ulcers etc. This must have been miracle surgery as they had little if any medical supplies.There is a wonderful memorial for him in his hometown of Benalla New South Wales...it is located in the most wonderful rose garden...I don't think a more deservingly quiet and colourful place could be found for such a wonderful man.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Seniors
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Kanchanaburi

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

108 travelers online now

Comments

Kanchanaburi Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Kanchanaburi things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Kanchanaburi sightseeing.

View all Kanchanaburi hotels