15 Best Things To Do in Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Kanchanaburi is a town in Thailand which is quite popular amongst many for the Burma Railway or Death Railway. The town is a witness of the sufferings endured by civilian laborers and prisoners of war during the construction of the Burma Railway Bridge. There are many points of interest in Kanchanaburi that pay homage to these lost lives. Many museums and historical sites are dedicated to the fallen prisoners. Besides history, Kanchanaburi has lush green nature to offer its visitors. There are two national parks engulfed in greenery and waterfalls that make for tourist attractions in Kanchanaburi. ElephantsWorld, Mueang Sing Historical Park, and numerous cave temples are a few other places to visit in Kanchanaburi. Read on and you will know about the best things to do in Kanchanaburi. Add them to your itinerary and be assured that you will have a great tour.

Let's explore 15 best things to do in Kanchanaburi:

1. Visit the historical Burma Railway Bridge

Burma Railway Bridge, Kanchanaburi - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

Burma Railway Bridge or Death railway Bridge as it is popularly known, is one of the prime attractions in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. The bridge is of great historical importance since it was built at the cost of the lives of thousands of war prisoners. Since its center was destroyed in the 1945 bombings, only its outer curved spans are original till this date. Visitors are allowed to roam across the bridge and observe the bridge from a safe point when a train is passing. As the bridge is a tourist point of interest, it is always bustling with hawkers selling food and souvenirs.

2. Step into the land of green at nearby National Parks

National parks in Kanchanaburi  - ImageImage Source: pixabay.com

If you wish to escape the hustle and bustle of Kanchanaburi and be amidst nature, then Erawan National Park and Khuean Srinagarindra National Park are your best bets. Erawan National Park is the 12th national park of Thailand and was established in 1975. Its prime feature is the Erawan Waterfall which cascades in a total of seven stages. It is also home to four caves, namely Mi, Rua, Wang Bahdan, and Phartat. Khuean Srinagarindra National Park is spread over an area of 592 square miles and was established in 1981. This national park also features a seven-tiered waterfall named Huay Mae Khamin waterfall. There are several cave systems inside the park that showcase stalactite and stalagmite formations.

3. Revisit the old times through the war museums in Kanchanaburi

War museums in Kanchanaburi - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

Kanchanaburi has a rich but dark history. Get a glimpse of the melancholic past by heading towards the war museums in town. Your best options lie in JEATH Museum, Arts Gallery and War Museum near the Burma Railway Bridge, and WWII Museum. The JEATH Museum will let let you know all about the Death Railway which was built in between 1942 and 1943 using the Allied Prisoners of War. This museum was established in 1977. To get an insight into the history of Second World War, you must visit WWII Museum and Arts Gallery and War Museum.

4. See ancient temple ruins at Mueang Sing Historical Park

Kanchanaburi attractions - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

Mueang Sing Historical Park is of great point of interest, especially for the connoisseurs of architecture as well as history. Declared as a historical park in 1987, it is home to the remains of two Khmer temples that go as back as 13th and 14th century. The temples showcase Bayon style of architecture and exude an old charm. Besides the two temple, two more ancient monuments also exist inside the historical park.

5. Enjoy the beauty of nature at Sai Yok Noi Waterfall

Sai Yok Noi Waterfall - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

If you fail to visit the Erawan Falls then make your way towards Sai Yok Noi Waterfall. Although it may not cascade like the Erawan Falls in all its glory, Sai Yok Noi Waterfall makes up for it by allowing you to swim in its pristine pool. It is a favorite picnic spot not only amongst the tourists, but amongst the locals as well. If you wander around, you will also come across an old locomotive from the second world war put up on display. You may even head towards Rock Valley Hot Spring and Fish Spa to get a relaxing treatment amidst natural settings.

6. See the gigantic elephants up-close at ElephantsWorld

Enjoy a one-on-one interaction with friendly elephants at ElephantsWorld in Kanchanaburi. This animal protection facility is home to numerous rescued elephants. While you get to see the majestic animals in their natural habitat, you may also get to feed and bathe them. The facility is tucked away in lush greenery and has a large pond where you may enjoy bathing the elephants. The guides at ElephantsWorld are very knowledgeable and will make your visit even more special.

7. Visit the historical site Hellfire Pass

Hellfire Pass is a part of the Burma Railway. It is a railway cutting which was constructed using forced labour and the prisoners of war. Many prisoners and laborers are said to have lost their lives during the process of building the pass. Although Hellfire Pass is known for its jarring past, it is now more of a memorial site. People visit it to pay homage for those who suffered during the construction of the cutting pass. Since the site is now preserved, it is possible to walk through the cutting. The path leading to the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum is also very scenic and treats you with breathtaking vistas.

8. Pay your tribute to the lost lives at Kanchanaburi War Cemetery

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery was established in 1956. It is dedicated to the prisoners of war who were used to build the Burma Railway or Death Railway. It has a total of 6,982 graves, primarily those of Australians, Germans, and Britishers. A few others belong to those from Commonwealth Nations. After visiting this well-maintained cemetery, you may head towards Thailand–Burma Railway Centre which is just across the road. Here you will get to know more about the prisoners who built the Burma Railway.

9. Get transported back to the Stone Age at Ban Kao National Museum

Located near the Khwae Noi river, the Ban Kao National Museum is a small place with exhibits that date as back as 4,000 years. The artifacts include pots, axes, and bowls from the Stone Age. It also has a burial site of Neolithic men. All these objects were recovered from archaeological site near Ban kao. Funerary objects and skeletons are a few other things that make up for the collection at Ban Kao National Museum. It is a great place to visit if you are a history buff with enough time on your hands.

10. Visit the numerous cave shrines in Kanchanaburi

If you are tired of visiting all the historical sites in town, then spend a day hopping from one cave temple to another in Kanchanaburi. Many of these caves are developed and have statues of Buddha placed inside. A few of the must visit cave temples include Wat Tham Khao Pun, Wat Tham Pu Wa, Wat Ban Tham, and Wat Tham Mangkon Thong. Visiting the caves will also allow you to see different natural formations. Tourists make it a point to visit Wat Tham Khao Pun since it is a system of 9 caves. Wat Tham Mangkon Thong is also of particular interest since it has a floating nun show that attracts the visitors.

11. Be in awe of the huge Buddha statue at Wat Tham Suea

Wat Tham Suea is a hill-top Buddhist temple. You may either hike to the top or take a mini train if you wish to skip the leg work. The huge Buddha statue at the top will leave you awestruck. Reaching at the peak of the hill, you will also be treated with stunning vistas of the surrounding nature. Since the temple is quite famous amongst locals as well as tourists, it may get quite crowded during later hours of the weekdays and on weekends. To avoid the crowds, start off early morning when even the weather is quite pleasant.

12. See a little of China at Wat Tham Khao Noi

Located very close to Wat Tham Suea, Wat Tham Khao Noi is a Buddhist temple constructed in Chinese-style. To reach the main temple, you will have to climb many stairs. But it is worth all the efforts, since you are treated with mesmerizing scenic views of surrounding nature. The temple itself makes for a spectacular piece of architecture and is a beautiful sight to behold. There are many gilded statues inside Wat Tham Khao Noi.

13. Experience the Thai culture at Malika R.E 124

If you wish to be one with the Thai culture then you must visit Malika R.E 124. This is a recreated ca.-1905 Thai town. Many cultural shows are held in the village that are must-visit to soak in the hues of Thai traditions. People mostly enjoy having traditional Thai food which is fresh served and steaming hot from the boats that are rowed in the water body of the Malika R.E 124. You may go ahead and even rent the traditional Thai costumes. Get an insight into the lives of Thai people by visiting this place.

14. Rest in the shade of the Giant Rain Tree

The century old Giant Rain Tree is a popular tourist attraction near Kanchanaburi. Many locals as well as outsiders flock to this place to admire the 100 year old specimen of a chamchuri, that is a rain tree. The branches of the tree are so wide-spread, that numerous people can rest under its shade at a time. A board near the tree offers information about it. The location is seen more of a good photography site. A small market selling local produce is also set near the tree frequently. If you wish to buy a few Thai fruits at cheap price, then you may head towards this market.

15. Soak in the sun at Thale Nam Jued Had Sai Tha Lo

Thale Nam Jued Had Sai Tha Lo is a tiny beach by the banks of Mae Klong River. Its soft sand makes it a great place to visit for those who want to enjoy the sun, sand, and swimming. Although the beach is small, it is clean enough making it possible for you to enjoy sunbathing. You may also get a lounging chair on rent if you do not wish to lie on the sand. The river water near the beach is shallow enough and is safe for swimming. Many eateries are also set up along the beach. Treat your taste buds to mouth-watering food as you enjoy at the beach.

Author: Ketki Hanamshet
Usually lost in a reverie, Ketki is someone who absolutely refuses to live in the practical world. While she has a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, she should be honored mastery in procrastination. If you see her slouching on a couch, ask...

Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Must see places in Kanchanaburi ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of Kanchanaburi tourist attractions & points of interest.

  1. # 1 of 41 Things To Do in Kanchanaburi | Added 3796 times in trip plans
    Hellfire Pass Museum

    Tags: Museum, History Museum, Tourist Center, Architecture

    Address: Kanchanaburi | Wat Chaichumphon, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

    Timings: 09:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    Hellfire Pass is a railway cutting that was built by forced labour during the Second World War. This museum commemorates the suffering of those who were involved in its construction. Most of the labou...Read more

  2. # 2 of 41 Things To Do in Kanchanaburi | Added 3128 times in trip plans
    Bridge Over The River Kwai

    Tags: Bridge, Tourist Center, Picnic Spot, Nature

    Address: Tha Makham, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This bridge is a part of the Thailand-Burma Railway Line. Prisoners of War and Asian Slaves were involved in its construction. It was a difficult terrain to build a bridge upon. And thanks to the malt...Read more

  3. # 3 of 41 Things To Do in Kanchanaburi | Added 2219 times in trip plans
    Kanchanaburi War Cemetery

    Tags: History Museum, War Memorial, Cemetery, Tourist Center

    Address: Saeng Chuto Road, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This is the main Prisoner of War cemetery in Thailand. It is associated with the victims of the Burma Railway. There are close to 7000 former POWs buried here. The cemetery is very well maintained. Yo...Read more

  4. # 4 of 41 Things To Do in Kanchanaburi | Added 1706 times in trip plans
    The Thailand-burma Railway Centre

    Tags: Museum, History Museum, Coffee House, Tourist Center

    Address: 73 Jaokannun Road, BanNua, Amphoe Muang, Kanchanaburi 71000, Thailand

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    This is an interactive museum. It is dedicated to the maltreated victims of the Thailand-Burma Railway line. There are various sections in the museum that have been chronologically arranged to narrate...Read more

  5. # 5 of 41 Things To Do in Kanchanaburi | Added 2716 times in trip plans
    Thai-burma Railway

    Tags: Bridge, Picnic Spot, Train Ride

    Address: The Riverside, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This is a historic railway line that starts from Ban Pong, Thailand and ends at Thanbyuzayat, Burma. The Japanese Army had this line built during the Second World War. The railway line has a very dist...Read more

  6. # 6 of 41 Things To Do in Kanchanaburi | Added 1000 times in trip plans
    Jeath War Museum

    Tags: Museum, Architecture

    Address: Wat Chai Chumphon near the TAT office on Saeng Chuto Road, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

    Timings: 08:30 am - 04:30 pm Details

    This is a war museum. It is dedicated to the sufferings of those involved in the construction of the Death Railway. It has been built at the exact same site where the original wooden bridge first stoo...Read more

  7. # 7 of 41 Things To Do in Kanchanaburi | Added 356 times in trip plans
    Sai Yok National Park

    Tags: Cave, Forest, National Park, Waterfall

    Address: Moo 7, Amphoe Sai Yok, Kanchanaburi 71150, Thailand

    Timings: 06:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    This is one of the most sought after national parks in Thailand. It is home to waterfalls, mountains caves and rare animals. The park covers an area of 500 square kilometres. The area is mountainous, ...Read more

  8. # 8 of 41 Things To Do in Kanchanaburi | Added 328 times in trip plans
    Safari Park Open Zoo

    Tags: Park, Zoo, Safari, Tourist Center

    Address: 40/2 Moo 5,Tambon Nongkum,.Bo Phloi District, Kanchanaburi 71160, Thailand

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    This is an open zoo safari park. It was once a dreary mining pit, but now has been converted into one of the most fun destinations in the region. The aim of the park is to spread environmental awarene...Read more

  9. # 9 of 41 Things To Do in Kanchanaburi | Added 88 times in trip plans
    Taweechai Elephant Camp

    Tags: Forest, Park, Theme Park, River

    Address: 14/1 Moo 6 | Chong Sadao, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

    Timings: 08:00 am - 03:00 pm Details

    This is a big activity park dedicated to elephants. In the camp, there are 40 elephants. This is not just an elephant sanctuary. It’s much more than that. The elephants are trained. They enterta...Read more

  10. # 10 of 41 Things To Do in Kanchanaburi | Added 495 times in trip plans
    Tham Kra Sae Bridge

    Tags: Cave, Bridge, Statue, Picnic Spot

    Address: Tham Kra Sae station, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This is a wooden bridge that is a part of the Tahiland-Burma Death Railway. It is one of the most popular destinations along with the Tham Kra Sae train stop. The bridge is very old but well maintaine...Read more

  11. # 11 of 41 Things To Do in Kanchanaburi | Added 116 times in trip plans
    Wat Tham Sua

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple, View Point, Observatory

    Address: The Tiger cave temple, 20 kms to the south of town centre, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

    Timings: 07:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    This is a hilltop monastery. It is also called ‘The Tiger Cave Temple’. The temple is about 14 kilometres south of Kanchanaburi town centre. You have to climb more than a 100 steps to reac...Read more

  12. # 12 of 41 Things To Do in Kanchanaburi | Added 139 times in trip plans
    Prasat Mueang Singh

    Tags: Temple, Museum, View Point, Ancient Ruin

    Address: Prasat Mueang Singh park, Sai Yok district, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

    Timings: 08:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    This is a historical park in the Sai Yok district. It covers a huge area of 736,000 square metres. This area is enclosed by a laterite wall. The wall in the south winds along the course of the Khwae N...Read more

  13. # 13 of 41 Things To Do in Kanchanaburi | Added 402 times in trip plans
    Pha Tad Waterfall

    Tags: View Point, Waterfall, Walking Area, Tourist Center

    Address: Srinakarin Dam National Park, Kanchanaburi,Thailand

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This is a large single level waterfall. The fall is from a height of 25 m. The water flows down from the limestone cliffs of the Kala mountain range. This waterfall is located inside the Khuean Srinag...Read more

  14. # 14 of 41 Things To Do in Kanchanaburi | Added 157 times in trip plans
    Khao Pun Cave

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple, Cave, Observatory

    Address: 1 kilometer from the Chong-Kai War Cemetery, Kanchanapuri, Thailand

    Timings: 07:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    This is a temple cave. It is situated in the limestone hills that surround Kanchanaburi. This is a place of animistic spirit worship and also traditional Buddhism. There are interesting stalactites an...Read more

  15. # 15 of 41 Things To Do in Kanchanaburi | Added 333 times in trip plans
    Kaeng Lawa Cave

    Tags: Cave, View Point, Observatory, Statue

    Address: Kaeng lawa Cake, Pak Saeng Pier, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

    Timings: 09:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    This is the biggest cave in Kanchanaburi and is also one of the most popular destinations in the region. The cave is 75 kilometres away from the city. It’s accessible by both water and road. The...Read more

Activities And Tours

Explore these activities and tours for awesome experiences in Kanchanaburi:

  • Save 4% Kanchanaburi Day Trip
    Kanchanaburi Day TripNew on TripHobo

    Duration: 8 Hrs

    Travel to places rich in World War II history in Kanchanaburi Province.Recommend for culture, war history and museum lover. Y...

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  • Save 4% Chiang Mai Temples and Local Markets by Trishaw with Street Food
    Chiang Mai Temples and Local Markets by Trishaw with Street FoodNew on TripHobo

    Duration: 6 Hrs

    Explore the city of Chiang Mai and learn about it's historic temples, take a ride on a trishaw through the old town, visit te...

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  • Save 4% Cycling the River Kwai
    Cycling the River KwaiNew on TripHobo

    Duration: 3 Days

    Venture beyond Bangkok to discover the history and nature of Thailand’s Kanchanaburi province, the site of the infamous...

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    Duration: 10 Hrs

    Kanchanaburi Province, in western Thailand, is known for its national parks of dense jungle, waterfalls and limestone caves. ...

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