Located just 129 km from Bangkok, Kanchanburi is also a favourite holiday destination for Bangkokians and other Thais residing in the central region.
Most foreigners when they think of Kanchanaburi they think of the River Kwai Bridge and the history of the Second World War. Kanchanaburi however, has so much more in the way of waterfalls, mountains, dams, fishing, boating, trekking and cave exploration. Sai Yok National Park is very popular.
The province is most famous for The Bridge Over the River Kwai, which was built next to the town of Kanchanaburi crossing the Mae Klong river. The Death Railway ran all the way from the Kwae river valley up to the Three Pagodas Pass. Today only the lowest part of the railway to Nam Tok is still in use. In Kanchanaburi city, there is a war museum and a large cemetery of prisoners of war who died during construction of the Death Railway.
Nine Army War History national park (Uttayan Haeng Chart Songkram Kao Tab) located at Ladya field, Tambon Chongsadao. It’s around 40 kilometers from Kanchanaburi downtown. This place has provided historical evidence of the nine army war. The nine army war was the war between King Rama I of Thailand and King Padung of Burma. The war ended as a victorious one for Thailand.
In the Sai Yok district, there is a Buddhist Tiger Temple where tame tigers roam freely once a day. Also in Sai Yok is the Mueang Sing historical park, ruins of a Khmer town and temple, as well as the Sai Yok National Park with the two Sai Yok waterfalls.
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery (Don Rak) (สุสานทหารสัมพันธมิตรดอนรัก) The immaculately maintained cemetery contains the remains of 6,982 Allied POWs who perished during the construction of the ‘Death Railway’. Its settings remind visitors of the war and its after-effects.
Death Railway (ทางรถไฟสายมรณะ), the strategic railway tracks began from Nong Pla Duk Station in Amphoe Ban Pong, Ratchaburi, and ran via Kanchanaburi across the Khwae Yai River, westbound to the Three Pagodas Pass, to end at Thanbuyuzayat in Burma. The total distance within the Thai territory was 300 km., taking only one year to complete from October 1942 – October 1943. After the war, some part of the tracks was demolished and some submerged under the lake of Khao Laem Dam.
Mueang Sing Historical Park (อุทยานประวัติศาสตร์เมืองสิงห์) is better known as Prasat Mueang Sing (ปราสาทเมืองสิงห์), The laterite sanctuary was constructed in the late Lop Buri Period ca. 11th – 13th century A.D. Influenced by ancient Khmer culture, its principal tower is encircled by a laterite wall, moat and earthen mound and was built in a mixture of the folk school of art and Bayon style of King Jayavarman VII’s period in Cambodia.
Hell Fire Pass Memorial Museum (ช่องเขาขาดพิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งความทรงจำ), located within the Division of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Office of Development, Armed Forces Development Command. Established by the Australian Government, it houses a mini-theatre and collection of data, photographs, equipment and utensils used during the construction of the Death Railway.
Sai Yok National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติไทรโยค), a park since 1980, most of the area is limestone mountains with mixed deciduous forest. It is a former location of a Japanese camp during WWII as evident from traces of stoves.The park is also home to the world’s smallest species of bat.
Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yanasampanno (วัดป่าหลวงตาบัว ญาณสัมปันโน) or commonly referred to as the Tiger Temple is quite a controversial tiger conservation area where various kinds of wild as well as domestic animals live together freely in the nature and are friendly to the monks and visitors.
Erawan National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติเอราวัณ) Formerly called Khao Salop National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติเขาสลอบ), it was proclaimed a national park on 19 June 1975, with an area of 373,735 rai (597,976,000 square metres). Later, its name was changed to Erawan National Park as the highest level of the waterfall, Namtok Erawan, looks like Elephant Erawan’s head.
Khuean Srinagarindra National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติเขื่อนศรีนครินทร์) It was announced on 23 December 1981, to be a national park with an area of 953,500 rai (1,496,800,000 square metres). Interesting tourist attractions include Tham Sawan (ถ้ำสวรรค์), Tham Neramit (ถ้ำเนรมิต), Tham Nam Mut (ถ้ำน้ำมุด), Tham Phra Prang (ถ้ำพระปรางค์), Namtok Huai Mae Khamin (น้ำตกห้วยแม่ขมิ้น).
Safari Park (ซาฟารี ปาร์ค) It is the first open zoo in Kanchanaburi. It's about 40 kilometres from the city along Highway 3086 (Kanchanaburi - Bo Phloi) Through the 21 km you will see the sign of the open zoo at the left of you.