Kanchanaburi – Hidden Gem of Thailand

Scrolling across various tour packages of Thailand, you’d find predominantly the trio cities of Bangkok , Phuket and Pattaya being featured. Almost none of them features other beautiful cities in this country. One such gem is Kanchanaburi, a city 150kms away from Bangkok.This Kanchanaburi Thailand 2 day itinerary can help you explore this city in the perfect way.

How to reach Kanchanaburi from Bangkok

There are mini vans that go to Kanchanaburi almost every hour from Bangkok .Just head to the mini van terminal (exactly opp to the Bangkok Bus station in MoChit) and ask for a ticket to Kanchanaburi. Should cost you around 200 Baht and the tempo van will reach you in roughly than 2+ hours

Trains : There are also direct trains but takes slightly longer than vans. Boarding is from Hua Lampong station in Bangkok

Key Attractions in Kanchanaburi

  • Bridge on the River Kwai
  • Hellfire Pass & Memorial
  • Erawan National Park & Waterfalls
  • Jeath War Museum
  • Sai Yok Yai Waterfall
  • Elephants World
  • Khuean Srinagarindra National Park
  • War Museum at the Bridge
  • Three Pagodas Pass
  • Krasae Curve

Kanchanaburi Thailand 2 day Itinerary

You need 2 full days to explore this city with enough time to visit all the famous attractions around Kanchanaburi, esp Hellfire Pass , Bridge on the River Kwai and the Erawan National Park.

Kanchanaburi Day 1

If you are travelling alone, you can travel using the bike taxi ,zipping around all the streets inside the town. Else its best to opt for a private cab tour to cover all attractions for the day.

I hired a private car and the total cost for two people included 1500 Baht (3000INR) per day. Hire a cab either near the bus station or from hotel and it should work out cheaper than any online booking sites.

Stop 1 : Jeath War Museum

A small museum that showcases the history of the city and its tough working conditions during the world war.

Stop 2 : HellfirePass & War Memorial

hellfire pass memorial kanchanaburi Thailand

One of the biggest attractions of Kanchanaburi, the whole area is completely managed by the Govt of Australia in partnership with Thailand. The Hellfire Pass actually is part of the Thailand Burma railway route where more than 16000 Australian/British & Dutch POW (Prisoners of War) laid their lives building this railway line , due to ill treatment by Japanese army.

Hellfire Pass Memorial Kanchanaburi Thailand

With no modern equipments, proper food or safety materials and tough deadlines, the working hours went through the night, which resulted in thousands of deaths . The Hellfire Pass is actually a cutting , a path way for the railway lines across mountains and forest area, to transport troops across Burma .

Hellfire Pass Memorial Kanchanaburi Thailand

The walk ends at 4PM, so ensure you reach much earlier to walk the entire route (with free headphone guide provided at the museum centre). Towards the middle of the trail is the Hellfire Pass and the war memorial constructed. Definitely a must visit place to experience and witness a historical place.

Hellfire Pass Memorial Kanchanaburi Thailand

Stop 3: Sai Yok Waterfall

A mini waterfall in the Sai Yok district, you can cover this mini waterfall on your way back from Hellfire Pass. Though not a huge waterfall, it serves as a great picnic place to sit down and have food , right beside the waterfall. There are plenty of small eateries opposite to this waterfall as well

Kanchanaburi Day 2

Erawan National Park

One of the biggest waterfalls I’ve been to and probably the first of its kind “7 tiered” waterfalls across a massive national park. Erawan National Park is roughly 55kms away from Kanchanaburi (a 2 hour bus journey).

How to go to Erawan National Park & Waterfalls

Having checked out all possible options including private cab, group tours etc, the best and most convenient way to go there was by taking the bus from Kanchanaburi Bus Terminal. Leaving every one hour, the bus journey is very comfortable, less crowded and reaches directly inside the national park in less than 2 hours. The same bus is available every one hour from Erawan to Kanchanaburi till 5-6PM. The ticket costs only 50Baht and the best & cheapest way to go

Kanchanaburi Erawan bus timings

The same bus is available every one hour from Erawan to Kanchanaburi till 5-6PM. The ticket costs only 50Baht and the best & cheapest way to go

Erawan Waterfalls

Erawan National Park Kanchanaburi

There are 7 different waterfalls in this area, each separated by a distance of roughly 300-500 metres. There are many places where you need to climb some big boulders and walk across rough paths . The staircases and clear paths are available only till Level 3-4. Level 5 onwards can be a bit of a tough climb for elders though (In case you are not fit). However there are plenty of resting stops at Level 4

Erawan Waterfalls Kanchanaburi Thailand

Note : You are not allowed to take food , water bottles etc after Level 4, so ensure you are fully hydrated and have enough energy to do the climb, all the way till Level 7.

Erawan Waterfalls Kanchanaburi Thailand

Even if you aint have the capacity to climb all seven levels, the whole journey and visiting the park can be really exciting and worth spending your day. A min of 4 hours is required to go all the way and come back . So ensure you start early for this trip.

Erawan National Park Kanchanaburi Thailand

Bridge on the River Kwai

Bridge on the River Kwai Kanchanaburi

The most iconic and important tourist spot of Kanchanaburi, the railway Bridge built on the River Kwai is a must visit place. Known for its historical signficance and the role it played in the World War, this is one of the main reasons why people tend to visit this city. If you are lucky and time it right, you might even hop on to one of the trains that’s passing through the bridge. Do check for schedules when you are visiting it.

Shopping in Kanchanaburi

There’s a mini Evening / Night market right next to the main Train station where you can get to buy accessories, clothes , small electronic items and plenty of street foods. In case you prefer shopping in a mall, head to the big Tesco supermarket, where you can pretty much get everything at super low prices.

Once done with Kanchanaburi, head back to Bangkok for a shopping feast at these top 10 Bangkok Shopping Markets.

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