Kanchanaburi, the Place to Be

Oh, what a place to go! Kanchanaburi is a town about 2.5 hours from Bangkok. It’s a small town, and not as developed as other tourists cities in Thailand, but manages to offer a little something for everyone: history buffs, foodies, and naturists. And the best part, it’s cheap to visit!

Erawan National Park
Erawan Waterfall, 7th Tier

How to get to Kanchanaburi:

If you have been reading my Under $100 Series, then you know minivans are the cheapest way to travel in Thailand. You could also take a train, but it will cost more. Booking through 12go.asia is easy, cheap and even gives you maps and detailed itineraries.

Once you get there, there are a few side-car taxi’s that range from 50-100 Baht depending on where you’re going.

Getting to Erawan National Park:

The cheapest, easiest way to travel to Erawan National Park, is to catch the local bus at Kanchanaburi Bus Terminal, or on Thanon Sangchuto (on the side of the War Cemetary, not on the Train Station side). This will take you straight to the park. To get back to town, simply take the same bus down to town. It’s only 40 Baht to ride!

8170 Kanchanaburi- Erawan Bus

History:

Kanchanaburi has quite the tragic history. During the Japanese Expansion, Japan used POW’s and their captives to build the Thailand-Burma Railway from Yangon, Burma (today’s Myanmar) to Bangkok, Thailand. The conditions were dangerous due to the malnutrition, malaria, infections, along with the danger of building on rocky cliffsides, causing an estimated 150,000 men to die. For this, the Thailand-Burma Railway got it’s nickname, Death Railway.

Bridge over River Kwai

This story in history has led to books turned films like The Bridge on the River Kwai and The Railway Man, which I highly suggest reading or viewing before visiting Kanchanaburi.

Bridge over River Kawai

I will admit, seeing and walking on the bridge did leave a haunting feeling in the pit of my stomach, but it’s important to learn and share these pieces of history, for so many innocent men lost their lives for.

Where to stay:

Kanchanaburi has numerous resorts, but if you’re looking for something budget friendly, here are my suggestions based on price and location:

Wee Hostel
$15/nt
Sky Resort Kanchanaburi
$27/nt
U Dee Room and Coffee
$23/nt

How much will it cost you?

Here is my approximate list of costs:

I hope you consider Kanchanaburi into your Thailand itinerary! And if you need help packing, be sure to check out my Sensible Packing Guide for Thailand. Sawasdee, ka!

2 thoughts on “Kanchanaburi, the Place to Be

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