Why you need to visit Kanchanaburi in Thailand
If you need somewhere relaxing, great value for money, and with lots to see and do; you can’t go past a visit to Kanchanaburi. Due to it’s proximity to the chaotic Bangkok, it’s a fantastic place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a few days before flying home.
ACCOMMODATION IS GOOD VALUE
Upon arrival, I spotted a brochure for a guest house called ”Little Creek Hideaway” at the bus station. I phoned and asked if they would pick me up and it was as easy as that. For a budget price, I now had a Bungalow with air-conditioning, toilet and hot shower.
This place has a decent pool and fantastic food. The staff were able to organise tours and transport for us as well.
GETTING THERE IS EASY
Kanchanaburi is only a very scenic 2.5 hour bus trip from Bangkok. Even better than that, is that Thailand has different classes of bus travel. This means that for the price of a cup of coffee back home in Australia, you can take a first class bus for the journey. A first class bus in Thailand means complimentary bottles of water, air conditioning, soft seats and leg room.
The scenery as you pass from the chaos of Bangkok to the greenery of Kanchanaburi is worth the journey in itself. If you get bored admiring the tropical scenery, you can always play a game of seeing who can spot the most amount of people on a scooter.
I visited Erawan Falls as part of a tour, however making your own way there is advisable as you can then stay as long as you want. There are seven tiers to the falls, and if you aren’t up for the walk, the best swimming is at the second tier anyway. You aren’t supposed to take food up past the 2nd tier.
I should warn you, if you don’t keep moving, the fish in the water come over and nibble at your skin. They don’t hurt in any way, but you can definitely feel and see them bumping into you. As long as you keep moving its fine!
Serenely floating down a river on a bamboo raft, checking out the homes built alongside. This is the life! Some of the homes are basic huts, and every now and then you will pass an extremely opulent looking dwelling. Makes you wonder who lives in them!
DEATH RAILWAY BRIDGE
There is a lot of war history in Kanchanaburi and this bridge has an interesting and very sobering story. Prisoners of war were used to construct the bridge to connect Thailand and Burma. The majority of the men were Australian, Dutch and British. After the war, the remains of thousands of men were buried at the War Cemeteries which you can also visit.
BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI
This bridge was build as part of the Burma/Thailand railway connection. Many lives were lost and it is still used as a historical line today. The bridge is also well known due to the movie with the same name that was released in 1957-ish. It was based on a novel by Pierre Bouelle.
You will have to do your own research regarding whether you think riding Elephants is ethical. Clearly I am no expert, but I felt that the elephants looked healthy and only saw gentle interaction between the handlers and elephants.
There is actually quite a bit more to do in and around Kanchanaburi, such as war musuems, war cemetaries, caves, monkey school, floating river markets …..the list goes on. I really would have liked to have spent a week here (or two with a bit of relaxing) however unfortunately, I just didn’t have the time on this trip.
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