October 2012
M T W T F S S
« Sep   Nov »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Kanchanaburi – a city located at rivers Kwai Noi and Kwai Yai – Part 2




Kanchanaburi is a city located at the confluence of the rivers Kwai Noi and Kwai Yai.

Overview of Kanchanaburi

• The main sight of interest is the Bridge over the River Kwai.
• The start of the infamous World War II Death Railway to Burma (now Myanmar).
• There are many associated museums.
• There is an increasingly thriving backpacker scene taking advantage of the chilled-out riverside vibe.
• Kanchanaburi is also the gateway to the surrounding province.
• It has easily accessible waterfalls and national parks.
• The main road, Saeng Chuto Road, runs through the length of town from north to south connecting the River Kwai Bridge, the train station and the bus station.
• Closer to the river, is Mae Nam Kwae Road.

What is there around Kanchanaburi?

Hellfire Pass
• Only re-located in the 1980s, Konyu Cutting has been reclaimed from the jungle as a profound war memorial funded by the Australian government.
• This is an excellent museum and self-guided walking tour facilities are available.
• This is highly recommended.
• The descent through the jungle down to the Pass is a moving experience.
• Take a moment to reflect at the peace lookout overlooking the beautiful Kwai Noi Valley.
• More challenging walking options are available. Annual Anzac Day Dawn Service is held here.
• 80 km NW from Kanchanaburi.
• For a day trip, consider taking morning train from Kanchanaburi to Nam Tok (2.5 hrs), then saamlor to Memorial (20 min); return by bus (1 hr) or afternoon train.
• Namtok to the Museum is quite a distance.
• It may be that your only option is a bus from the main road.

Tiger Temple
• Wat Pa Luang Ta Bua, popularly known as the Tiger Temple, is the biggest tourist trap of the region.
• Admission starts at 600 baht per person.
• The tigers are lounging in a dusty canyon, surrounded by minders in yellow shirts and overseen by a monk off in the corner.
• The tigers are kept in barren concrete cells.
• It can also pay a 1,000 baht extra for a “special” photo with a tiger.
• Here you can have the head of a semi-unconscious one put in your lap.
• You are NOT allowed to wear bright yellow, pink or orange T-Shirts, or they will not allow you inside.
• You must also sign a release form.
• You MUST bring your own camera, because the trainers do not have any.
• The tiger temple is off the road heading to Sai Yok.
• You can take a bus heading towards Sai Yok or Sangkhlaburi.
• There is a sign about 1 km before the Tiger Temple.
• The temple itself is about 1-2 k down the side road.
• To get back to kanchanburi, you can either try and flag down a bus on the main road going towards kanchanaburi.

Erawan National Park
• The Erawan Falls are contenders for the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand, and a must see if time and budget allow.
• Entrance fee is 200 baht for foreigners.
• The falls are composed of seven tiers — all of which are picturesque and great for swimming.
• Plan to spend at least two hours hiking plus the time you want to spend swimming in the falls.
• Everyone can do the hike.

How to get to Erawan National Park?

Public Transport:
• Public bus 8170 leaves the Kanchanaburi bus terminal every 50-60 min. between 08:00-17:20.
• The fare is 50 baht and the ride takes ~90 minutes.
• The last bus leaves for Kanchanaburi at 16:00.

Srinakarind National Park
• Another area of beautiful natural scenery is the Srinakarind Reservoir.
• This is located right behind the Srinakarind Dam.
• Unfortunately, there is no public bus service here.
• The beginning of this water way is called Lumnam Jone.
• This is the beginning of the ever famous River Kwai.
• It has some beautiful surroundings and cystal clear water.
• It will take a few hours walk.
• By boat it takes around 5 hr from the ferry pier at Srinakarind Dam.
• Lumnam Jone can only be reached by one tour operator to limit the amount of visitors to the region.
• The trip takes two days and one night and can only be booked for the first weekend of the month.
• Some other interesting sights in the area are the Phra That Cave, the Huay Mae Khamin Waterfalls and the Tham Than Lot Cave.
• The Srinakarind Dam has a nice cafe serving mostly Thai food and is open every day.
• The area has two main ethnic groups, Thais and Karen.
• There are several villages of mostly Karen people in tambon Naasuan of Amphoe Sri Sawat.
• Near the Amphoe is a small Mon village.
• Beyond Ong Sit village and off a side road is a Lao village called Jerot.

Elephant camps
• Kanchanaburi features several elephant camps but one of the largest is Taweechai Elephant Camp.
• This camp is home to nearly 30 elephants.
• Taweechai offers elephant rides, bathing with elephants (suitable for children), bamboo rafting (swimming optional) and special elephant training mahout courses.
• You can also buy photo frames made from real elephant dung.
• The camp itself is well maintained and nicely decorated.
• The elephants are well-treated and fed almost constantly.

Elephants and Friends Conservation Camp
• You can get there by (rented) motorbike or arrange a pick-up from Lat Ya or Kanchanaburi.
• For your day out, check out Hellfire Pass and the museum, 80 km from Kachanaburi.
• Erewan waterfall is too far away for this trip but well worth a look.
• On the road down to Wang Pho, the driver should veer off to the left near the bottom of the winding road leading towards the River Kwai.
• There are millions of wild monkeys or at least an awful lot of them.
• Enjoy yourself feeding them peanuts or bananas – they are not aggressive.
• Go to Tam Grasae – a cave a couple of kilometres distant where the railway crosses a trestle bridge.
• The River Kwai is immediately below you, and the trestle hugs the side of the cliff in skirting it.
• The cave itself is well worth a look.
• There is a tourist market here also.

Best time to visit / climate

• Thailand is largely tropical.
• It’s hot and humid all year around with temperatures in the 28-35°C range (82-95°F).
• From November to the end of February, it doesn’t rain much and temperatures are at their lowest.
• From March to June, Thailand swelters in temperatures as high as 40°C (104°F).
• From July to October, although it only really gets underway in September, tropical monsoons hit most of the country.

Location on Google Maps


View Larger Map

Or click and paste the URL below on your browser:
http://maps.google.co.in/maps?q=kanchanaburi&hl=en&hnear=Kanchanaburi,+Thailand&t=m&z=8

How to get there?

1. By Bus
– BKS public buses (line 81) leave from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal which is located far west in the suburb Thonburi.
– In Kanchanaburi, there are two separate but nearby bus terminals, with 1st class buses departing from an office off Thanon Saengchuto, and 2nd class buses from the larger terminal one block east.
– 1st class buses should leave Bangkok every 15 minutes from 05:00-22:30, take about 2 hours, and cost 99 baht, including a bottle of water.
– 2nd class buses (new route) leave Bangkok every 20 minutes from 03:30-19:00 and take about 2 hours. Cost 95 Baht.
– 2nd class buses (old route) leave Bangkok every 15-30 minutes from 04:00-18:00 and take about 3 hours.
– There are also tourist minibuses directly to/from Khao San Road, departing Kanchanaburi at 13:30 and 18:30.

From Sangkhlaburi to Kanchanaburi:
– Air-con VIP buses leave at 08:45, 10:45 and 14:30 and take 4 hours.
– Air-con minibuses leave at 06:30, 07:30, 11:30, 13:00, 15:30 and take 3.5 hours.
– Standard buses leave at 06:45, 08:15, 10:15, 13:15 and take 5 hours.

2. By Train
– Trains leave Bangkok’s Thonburi Train Station at 07:45 and arrive at Kanchanaburi at 10:20, also at 13:45 and arriving at 16:35.
– You may be interested in buying a ticket all the way to the River Kwai Bridge, since these two trains are the only ones which cross the bridge each day.
– The fare is 100 baht for foreigners.
– The best way is probably to take the passenger boat from Phra Arthit Pier and connect to a cross-river ferry that reaches the Thonburi Railway pier, then walk or take the open minibus from there.
– You can also walk a bit away from Khao San Road and find a metered taxi that will not rip you off.
– The fare should be about 70 or 80 baht from Khao San on the meter.
– Return trains leave at 07:25 and 14:48 from the main railway station; from the River Kwai Bridge they leave 6 minutes earlier.
– Riding 3rd class is an adventure in itself, and definitely recommended.

3. By Car
– Kanchanaburi is about 3 hours drive from Bangkok, along the highway no.4 (Phet Kasem) from Bangkok until it hooks up with Highway 323, this will take you all the way to Kanchanaburi.
– You can catch a taxi to Kanchanaburi, return to Bangkok for the day for around 2,000 baht.
– This should include stopping at the Bridge over River Kwai and museum, Kanchanaburi Township, the local dam and the cemetery for the prisoners of war.
– You may need to pay a bit extra to visit Erawan Falls which is about an hour out of the town center and the Tiger Temple.

4. By Minibus
– For shorter travel – day trips from Bangkok are commonly sold at Bangkok travel agencies.
– Typically these include Toyota minibus transport from one’s hotel to Kanchanaburi and back

Some Travel Books about Thailand

Lonely Planet Discover Thailand Thailand PhotoMazing Thailand

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at wikitravel.org
Hotels at tourismthailand.org
Hotels at gothailand.com

Blogs / Sites about Thailand – kanchanaburi

Blogs at wikipedia.org
Blogs at travelblog.org
Blogs at travbuddy.com
Blogs and reviews at lonelyplanet.com

Images and photos of Thailand – kanchanaburi

Images at google.com
Images at tripadvisor.in
Images at flickr.com
Images at trekearth.com

Videos of Thailand – kanchanaburi






Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>