When the rain starts to fall, the charismatic province on the western Thailand, Kanchanaburi reveals it best parts to all visitors. This is the most popular natural retreat within reach from Bangkok, locates only a couple hour from the city. But not only nature you will find, there are much more to discover.
Here, we will take you to discover the best things what you will experience in Kanchanaburi. For many years, visitors from all over the world visit this province as a side trip and harvest bountiful memorable memory in return, and now it's your turn!
Thank to the unique shape and location of Kanchanaburi that spans for almost 300 kms in length, bordered to the Union of Myanmar to one side and mountainous area of the country's most pristine forest "Thung Yai - Huay Kha Kaeng" to the other, making this area filled with abundant of natural wonders.
There are hundreds of waterfalls dotting in the province. If you want to catch the best, it is a good idea heading to Erawan Falls in Srisawat District, and Sai Yok Noi Waterfall in Sai Yok District. With only a short walk through the Jungle you will see magnificent limestone waterfall hidden inside unspoiled rainforest. Huay Mae Khamin and Sai Yok waterfalls more tranquil mood where you can relax in its emerald-coloured pools with ultimate privacy as if it was your own paradise.
Old Siamese Charm
It is not very often you get to play dress up and experience what life would have been like back in the days in so many detail! At Kanchanaburi, there is a newly opened theme park "Mallika R.E.124" which will take you back to the year 124th of Rattanakosin Era (1905 A.D.) just after the abolition of slavery in Siam.
You can clad in "sabai" traditional dress and hop on a rickshaw or walk around to closely observe the old Siamese charm which before this was only remain in the picture. Sit at the waterfront pavilion to call a passing by shop boat bargaining for noodle and fruits. See children play, visit traditional house, or made and taste Thai traditional sweets and food which are hard to be found these days. If you want to know how Siamese people live in the past or catch the scene that was long gone, Mallika R.E.124 will is the place you should not miss.
Lazy Mood by the River
Your trip to Kanchanaburi will not complete unless you spend a night on plentiful available float house and resorts on the Kiver Kwai. Kanchanaburi has 2 rivers run through its heart offers tranquillity and picturesque panorama as well as great choice of resort by (and on) the river.
These hotels come with ample choices of style and cost. You can get primitive at resorts with no air-con and no-electric or stay in style at 5 stars float house with your private riverside deck and sun lounger. The things you will find in common are relax atmosphere with plenty of opportunity to dip in the nature swimming pool (the river) during the day and starry sky at the night.
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Famous Remnants from the War
Apart from the nature, Kanchanaburi also earns its status as one of the vital pages in the WWII history. This area is home to the "Death Railway", 415 kilometres long railroad that connecting Thailand to Myanmar (Thailand-Burma Railway) -- passing harsh terrain and dense forest, claiming hundred thousand lives of local labourers and Allied prisoners of war. Some 70 years has passed, but stories and remnants of the war time still draws myriads visitors to Kanchanaburi each year.
You can start explore at River Kwai Bridge the centrepiece of the story, then go to Kanchanaburi War Cemetery and Hell fire pass which all hold infamous story dated back to the World War II. Also, try hopping on the popular train journey to Nam Tok Station which runs through a part of Death Railway itself. Along the way you will find impressive view of the River Kwai Noi bamboo forests as well as the famous Tham Krasae Bridge.
Fascinating Rural Life
At the far side of the province near to the border to Myanmar lies Sangkla Buri, a small town which is known for peaceful living way of Mon people and soothing atmosphere.
Many Thai people visit here during weekend solely to enjoy seeing (and experiencing) the fascinating life of the local which different from other part of Thailand and humbly rely on Buddhism. You will see the Mon people visit temple, make merit, and event see "pink nuns" (nuns wearing pink) which can only be seen in Thailand at this town.
If you thirst for adventurous stuffs Kanchanaburi will never let you down. You will find plenty opportunity for perfect adventure and nature exploration into an unspoilt lush evergreen forest along with excitements of elephant riding and bamboo rafting along the River Kwai.
Hike on the trekking trails to Khao Chang Phuek and San Nok Vua to see the stunning above. These natural trail are so popular among Thai adventurers, provide all visitors a real sense of being in the tropical rainforest housing diverse species of plants and palm trees, including giant bamboo and other standing trees along the way. If you have only a short visit, try canoeing or rafting on the river Kwai, Tree Top Adventure Park at Home Phu Toey Resort, ATV ride at Phu Aiyara Resort, or be on an off-road trip to discover Thung Yai NAraesuan, one of the most pristine forest in Thailand.
Dip into the Hot Pool
Nothing will be better than finish your trip by enjoys bathing at the hot springs to relief a cramp from exploration Kanchanaburi. There are several hot spring dotting in the province, but Hin Dad Hot Spring and Wat Wang Khanai Hot Spring are two best known and also the most popular venues.
Hin Dad is open-air bath located in Thong Pha Phum district, setting under lush foliage at a foot hill by a stream – a more scenic "onsen" like atmosphere. Conversely, Wat Wang Khanai Hot Spring is in a temple at Tha Muang district offer more convenient bathing room and a lot closer to Bangkok. If you have some time, don't forget to have a stop and enjoy a nice peaceful afternoon in open air hot pool --- mineral spring will help rejuvenate your body, increase blood circulation and will definitely be a great wrap up for your trip.
Photo from: ShutterStock - Em7, nop16, Aeypix, Arun Roisri, wsnann.weebly.com, mallika124.com