This was a full day tour to the River Kwai which included War Cemetery, Jeath Museum, Bamboo Raft ride, Elephant ride, Train ride as well as lunch. Cost in 2009 was 700tb plus train ride100tb, plus Jeath museum 40tb = 840tb for the tour.
This tour was a little disappointing, (tourist trap tip) It was nice to get out into the Thailand countryside. Our 1st stop was Don Rak War Cemetery which was beautifully kept and contained the remains of 6982 soldiers, (Australian, Dutch, British) a sad place to visit. Next, Jeath Museum, interesting, then time to walk across the Bridge over the River Kwai and enjoy the sights. We did a short raft trip, towed up the River, then came back with the current. Lunch, which was nice, Not too spicy, cooked especially for us. An Elephant ride through the Bush. We visited Sai Nok Yoi Waterfall and lastly, the Train ride on the River Kwai railway.
See my tourist trap tips, as I would check out for sure before you go, what you are getting.
Departs 7am returns 6.30pm
I did think the Tour was good value, and I enjoyed it, even though I was a little disappointed.
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
After our elephant rides and rafting we had lunch at a little town up the road. After lunch we walked to the railway station where there was a large group of tourists waithing for the train to arrive from Nam Tok. The train soon arrived and the carriages were very old, wooden seats and open windows. Our trip on the Death Railway commenced and the old carriages rattled as the train gathered momentum on its way to the Bridge on The River Kwai. We were only doing the Kra Sae Viadukt section which is the most spectacular as it travels along the side of the hills overlooking the river. The rails are often on built up bridge like structures which hug the hillside and one tries not to think about the security of this platform.
As the rail bends around hills you can take great photos of the train and rail. To do this you must secure a window seat on the right hand side of the carriage. Our trip lasted 30 minutes and we left the train and continued by coach to the Bridge. We spent an hour at the Bridge and rejoined our coach to visit the cemetery , on this journey we passed the station and the train was just arriving.
We took a day tour from Bangkok to the Bridge on River Kwai and included a visit to this Elephant Park. We arrived at a small village where a film was being made, cameras and actors dressed as traditional warriors were positioned throughout the village. We then walked a short distance and arrived at the Saiyok Elephant Park where there were a large number of elephants, most were used for Elephant Trecking, however there was a entertainment area where several elephants entertained the crowd. Audience participation was part of the show and you were requested to donate 10 baht to purchase food for the animal, who would collect the money from you then walk 20 metres to the store, buy the food or bottled milk and bring it back to you to feed it.As there was 60 people there the clever elephant always returned to the correct person.
The Elephant trek was fantastic, our handler took us off the track into the bush, a bumpy ride up and down gulleys etc and eventually took us to the river where we went down the steep bank and into 5 feet of water for about 300 metres. Very exciting, do not forget to give a good tip to these young handlers.
Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yanasampanno Forest
Monastery (Tiger Temple), in Saiyok District of Kanchanaburi Province
* Do a tour to the Tiger Temple, where you can pat tigers and play with monkeys at an animal rehabilitation centre run by a group of Buddhist monks. The tour can be organised at the Jolly Frog Backpackers and costs 150 Baht ($6) The tour departs daily at 3pm.
I actually went on a two day/one night tour (I booked at a travel agency on Khao San Rd) which was around 150 baht and included the War Cemetary, elephant tracking, rafting, sleeping on the water, waterfalls (swimming) and food etc. There were six of us on the tour and we asked the operator to detour and take us to the Tiger Temple as well. They agreed to do this for extra money of course!! We gave him 400 baht for petrol to go there and he didn't put any petrol in! We then rang out of petrol on the highway curing a monsoon!!!! Oh well, the temple was definately worth a drenching, a crazy driver and poor conditions in general!
I recommend booking a tour in Thailand, because its much cheaper than booking from abroad. This goes for any tour, including to Cambodia and Vietnam. But the conditions may not suit a princess!!
When you get onto the Train at Nam Tok Station (this is the terminal) sit on the opposite side to the one you got on, this gives you the best views. You get to see the River Kwai, the Resorts on the River and the Mountain called "The sleeping woman" You also can hang out of the window and see the viaducts. The seats are hard and wooden, at least you are not sitting on them for long.
Sai Yok was the site of a large Japanese army barracks and POW labor camp during WWII. Nowadays, the Sai Yok National Park is renowned for its tranquil river scenery and impressive falls. The most popular attraction is Sai Yok Yai Waterfall where the water tumbles directly into the Kwai Noi River. The Sai Yok Noi Waterfall is closer and can be reached by train from town. Simple park bungalows and houseboats are available for accomodations.
The Lawa Cave and Daowadung Cave are both situated beside the Kwai Noi River, accessible only by boat. The dark caves offer an exciting adventure and house numerous beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, as well as the world’s smallest mammals, the 3-cm long bats.
Discovered by a Japanese soldier during WWII, the Hin Dat Hot Spring is a pond for bathing beside a stream. It is near the entrance of the Pha Tat Waterfall, a huge fall easily accessible by all, located north of the provincial town.
The Prasat Muang Sing Historical Park in Sai Yok District north of town is an ancient site on the banks of the Kwai Noi River. The main structure, the Khmer Prasat Muang Sing (Tower of the City of Lions) is believed to be the westernmost outpost of the Angkor-centered Khmer Empire. Temple carvings, religious statues and other artifacts indicate the city flourished during the 12th-14th centuries.
Within town, the 2 adjacent temples of Wat Tham Sua (Tiger Cave) and Wat Tham Khao Noi (Small Hill) house very beautiful Thai and Chinese style buildings and a huge Buddha image situated on the mount. Further upriver, Wat Tham Khao Pun overlooks the river and the Burma-Siam Railway. Within the temple grounds is a network of narrow passages that leads to a brightly lit cave system filled with Buddha images.
This well kept cemetery is also known as the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery. Here lie the remains of 6982 allied POW's who perished through the building of the Death Railway. Its a quiet spot, with well kept gardens, worth a look, and to remember those who went through such a terrible ordeal. It is just before the main part of Kanchanaburi town.
Open 8.30 - 6pm
We took a bus day tour which included a visit to the historic bridge. I had visited the bridge in 1977 and from memory the only change being commercial buildings constructed to service the tourist industry. The narrow bridge is available to tourists and you can walk accross it , but be careful where you walk and stay on the wooden walkway between the rails as outside this there are many holes big enough for you to fall through. There are viewing platforms for photos or just to admire the wide river, a very beautiful sight.
Included on our day trip to the Bridge on the River Kwai was rafting on the river. We were informed not to be concerned about rapids as there are none on the section we were to travel and that there is nothing to worry about. Eventually we reached the river and climbed aboard the rafts, about 8 people to each raft, and headed off down the river at moderate pace. It was very pleasant on a warm sunny day, looking at the jungle, the occassional mansion sitting on a clearing, taking photos of the river and jungle. Our journey lasted about 30 minutes and we landed at the Soiyok Elephant Park.
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.
Many Floating Restaurant found along the river, some restaurants situated permanently along the river line and some, floating along the river. The restaurants mainly provided by big resort s along the riverside. Last visiting, we had lunch in floating restaurant along the Kwai Noi River and after finished meal, they sent us at next tourist attraction so mainly all visitors take only one way as you can see in photo, another floating restaurant on the way back with only staff there.(The floating restaurant I took along the river provided by Sai Yok River View Resort)
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.
The monastery's main objectives are to propagate Buddhism and to provide a sanctuary for wildlife. Its very first animal was a local bird species found in the surrounding mountain ranges, which the monks adopted. Soon other endangered and injured animals were brought to the monks, including everything from peacocks, horses, deer, and even tigers.
The first cub arrived at the monastery in 1995 after its mother was killed by poachers, leaving it helpless to fend for itself. The monks rescued the cub, and while it didn't survive for long there were many more cubs and tigers to follow. The monastery now looks after a total of eight adults and three cubs, and the tigers have become a huge attraction
During your visit you'll see the tiger's everyday life, from feeding to bathing or simply playing. Bathing happens at 2pm every day. The monks have a few tips before you visit the monastery and for when you are in close proximity with the tigers. Do not make loud noises, do not wear bright colours or perfume and most importantly, never turn your back on a tiger!
You will be walking around with the tigers and you can pat them if you are game enough!
Donation for entry of 100baht but pls give more if you can.
One of the historical attractions when all tourists visit Kanchanaburi and seem like become a symbol of the province, is Bridge over the River Kwai, situated on Saengchuto Road, 4 km north of the town. The significant of the bridge is about history, the prisoners of war who worked and died there, the bridge, the central span was destroyed by Allied bombing towards the end of the war and has been rebuilt in different style. Nearby the area, there are museum, art gallery, many souvenir shops and some restaurants with a great view of The Bridge.