Located in western Thailand and admired for its beautiful scenery and accessibility to national parks and waterfalls, Kanchanaburi is best known for its iron bridge that is linked with the historic Death Railway to Burma in which thousands of Asian laborers and POWS died during its construction under Japanese occupation during WWII.
While Kanchanaburi is a thriving city with plenty of malls, restaurants and nightlife options, the main attractions are associated with WWII, chiefly the iron railroad bridge that was portrayed in the Academy Award winning 1957 film, “Bridge over the River Kwai.”
Several museums and war cemeteries all present information about the city and its bridge during the 1940s Japan occupation. The city is also home to many spas and temples of which the Tiger Temple is the most popular.
Outside of Kanchanaburi are various national parks, including Erawan and Srinakarind National Parks, all offering beautiful scenery, waterfalls, caves, recreational activities and visits to tribal villages. What’s more, there are several elephant camps in the area where visitors can feed, bathe and ride elephants.
Kanchanaburi has a good selection of restaurants featuring both local and international cuisines. Street vendors and market stalls offer traditional Thai dishes like spicy papaya salad and pad thai (stir-fried rice noodles with meat, fish sauce, eggs and spices). With a wide range of European pubs, karaoke bars and clubs, the nightlife here is vibrant.
Tuk-tuks, motorbike taxis, bicycle rentals and songthaews (converted pickups) are available for getting around Kanchanaburi, while buses and tour operations provide access to area national parks.