The otherwise unassuming Thai town of Kanchanaburi is famous for being the site of the real River Kwai Bridge. Built by the Japanese Army after using Thailand as a foothold for invading Burma in the Second World War, it became the starting point for the brutal ‘Death Railway’ – the railway tracks laid down by hand by Allied prisoners of war and indentured Southeast Asian laborers. Thousands died along the way.
Today, you can visit Kanchanaburi, ironically made easily accessible via the railway. You can catch the train from the town to the infamous Hellfire Pass. Educate yourself at multiple museums and pay your respects at the large Allied cemetery here. When it comes to places to stay, there are a number of options – from simple guesthouses to more luxury lodgings located on the Kwai riverfront itself.
8. The Nine Guest House
Located mere steps away from Kanchanaburi railway station – which makes getting to this hotel very easy – The Nine Guest House is a great place to stay in Kanchanaburi for fans of convenience.
The rooms are simple and unfussy but still boast some traditional Thai design details, which is a nice touch. There’s an onsite restaurant as well as a lush tropical garden to relax in.
As for the immediate area, the Death Railway Museum is just a couple of minutes’ walk away, plus the famous River Kwai Bridge itself is within walking distance. You could always rent a bike from the guesthouse and pedal your way there.
7. Natee The Riverfront Hotel
Featuring an outdoor pool that boasts views out across the famous river, Natee The Riverfront Hotel is a firmly upmarket option when it comes to accommodation in Kanchanaburi.
The rooms here are stylish and sleek; some feature hot tubs and amazing views of the surrounding natural scenery.
In terms of location, you’ll find this large, contemporary hotel is within easy walking distance of Kanchanaburi railway station, and also not too far from the River Kwai Bridge and the JEATH War Museum. Though expensive compared to some other options, this hotel is a little more high-end.
6. The Zeit River Kwai
When it comes to luxury and style, The Zeit River Kwai boasts rooms designed with a minimalist feel, polished concrete floors, a neutral color palette, and ultra-modern, design-led bathrooms.
Just 700 meters from the River Kwai Bridge itself, as well as right on the doorstep of a variety of eating and drinking options, this stylish hotel also comes with its own on-site restaurant, which serves up a breakfast every morning. There’s also a terrace which is right on the riverfront, plus a pool which is perfect for when you want a refreshing dip to cool off from the heat.
5. Canaan Guesthouse
Just a three-minute walk from Kanchanaburi Bus Terminal, Canaan Guesthouse isn’t exactly located in the center of all the action that Kanchanaburi offers in terms of culture – like the River Kwai Bridge and museums – but it’s still got a pretty good setting.
There are a number of restaurants and cafes in the vicinity, plus the historic Kanchanaburi Town Gate is within easy walking distance. It isn’t too far to Pak Phraek railway station, where you can catch the train to the River Kwai Bridge station.
Canaan Guesthouse is a cute and cozy place to stay, with the feel of a homestay and an onsite restaurant, too.
4. Royal River Kwai Resort & Spa
If you are looking to splash out on your trip to Kanchanaburi, you may want to consider a stay at the Royal River Kwai Resort and Spa. That said, this hotel actually isn’t very central at all – in fact, it is around eight kilometers west of Kanchanaburi and its cultural sights.
Tours can, of course, be arranged from the hotel. It boasts polished, wood-paneled rooms boasting flat-screen TVs and private patios. There is a complimentary breakfast on offer, as well two restaurants – one of which features a riverside terrace. There’s evening entertainment, an outdoor pool and – of course – a spa — all the things you could want from a hotel.
3. Princess River Kwai Hotel
Set on the banks of the famous river that runs through Kanchanaburi, Princess River Kwai Hotel is not very close to town.
Being several kilometers to the northwest, you might want to arrange your own transport or even join an organized tour to see the sights of the town, including the JEATH War Museum and – obviously – the renowned River Kwai Bridge itself.
Catering to those who do drive themselves, there’s free parking available at Princess River Kwai Hotel, plus complimentary breakfast. The rooms on offer here are casual but contemporary, boasting flatscreen TVs and air-conditioning. Guests can also dine at the onsite restaurant or jump in the outdoor pool.
2. U Inchantree Kanchanaburi
This offering is mere minutes from the River Kwai Bridge by foot, as well as all the other sights nearby – the Kwai Bridge railway station, JEATH War Museum, plus a number of restaurants, bars, and cafes.
That said, guests will find a cool bar on site – complete with a suspended, riverfront terrace – where you can enjoy an evening drink, plus an upscale open-air restaurant, too.
As well as a gym and complimentary breakfast, other great things about this place include its contemporary rooms, which feature rain showers and a modern, decidedly design-led style. This hotel is not just a great choice for location, but for how cool and stylish it is.
1. Good Times Resort
This Kanchanaburi hotel is stacked with amenities that make it a convenient place to stay. There’s an outdoor pool for a refreshing dip after a day of learning and exploring, and an open-air restaurant where the free breakfast is served up daily.
Massage services are available and so is motorbike rental. The rooms at Good Times Resort are chilled and unfussy, with flatscreen TVs and private bathrooms – plus you could upgrade and get your own balcony to chill out on. Not far at all from some restaurants, bars, and cafes, as well as Kanchanaburi railway station, this hotel is two kilometers from the River Kwai Bridge.