Kanchanaburi is a province, whereby the town is about 2.5 hours drive from Bangkok city. Taking a drive enroute from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi town, small shoplots, factories and even huts are dotted along the road. At any traffic lights in town areas, there will be people selling drinks, frozen ball of orange juice, dessert and even “chokdee” flower garland often hung on the car’s rear-view mirror!
Kanchanaburi is well-known for its World War II history relating to the Death Railway, with the railway still functioning from Bangkok (Thonburi Station) all the way to Nam Tok, nearby Sai Yok National Park. The train passes by the famous River Kwai Bridge, with at least 2 scheduled train in a day. On a normal basis, the railway along River Kwai Bridge is accessible to visitors to walk and enjoy the scenery from the railway.
Khwae Noi or River Kwai is a main river crossing along Kanchanaburi of western Thailand. The river passes by Kanchanaburi town area, whereby restaurants and resorts sprouted next to river.
Spending idle time resting next to the river while reading a book or listening to your favourite tune is relaxing. Experiencing sunset at the river is also beautiful, especially while tucking away at authentic Thai food at the restaurants, slowly waiting for the sun rays to rest for the day. Nearby the River Kwai Bridge, there is the Floating Restaurant. But look out a little further down the smaller lanes, and you will find Keeree Tara and Loft. Keeree Tara has quite a lot of local visitors. Unfortunately for me, Loft is in the midst of renovation.
However, the main attraction for me is the Erawan waterfall when I saw snippets of the beautiful 7-level waterfall in variety show Get Smart Dad! We started the day earlier to avoid crowd and got to the park entrance at 9 am. The Erawan National Park is about an hour’s drive from Kanchanaburi city centre. A little cloudy with visible droplets of rain, I was a little worried on the hike up. But it was a pleasant hike especially early morning.
The first three layers are pretty easy maneuvering with well-trodden cemented path. Subsequently, the hike becomes steeper but still on good pathways. As the ground was a little wet and slippery, it was good to ensure good grip on the shoes. Frankly, the hike up is not as daunting as it would seem as most of the path is well-paved. Perhaps the most difficult is to hike in the humid weather. Sweat is imminent, and after a while, I have had to unmasked to breath better. 😀
Many visitors take a cooling dip at the various waterfall stops. For safety purposes, you are required to rent a life-jacket. Some of the waterfall areas do seem deep, and waterflow is rapid and swift.
Wat Tham Sue is a sprawling temple about 30 minutes away from Kanchanaburi. The view of the surrounding green lush of paddy fields are beautiful to behold. Go up the pagoda to get a view of the beautiful views of the surroundings and the Buddha.
Another interesting place is the Khmer temple from 13th century of Prasat Mueng Sing. It is a very peaceful and calm place, greens everywhere and chirping birds as well.
Kanchanaburi is a sleepy town, laid-back and full of its own character. A short stay only covers the main attractions, and there are still so many places that can be visited. Sai Yok National Park and its waterfall, the many caves and the stalagtites & stalagmites, the ride from Nam Tok to Kanchanburi taking in the cliff views, and the various temples. Interestingly, there are even archaeological places to explore if these are your interests. Resorts are aplenty along the city centre and outside as well. Definitely worth another visit in the future.