Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Kanchanaburi, Thailand
The minivan from Nakon Pathom drops you at the Kanchanburi Bus Terminal, a pretty far walk to the main backpacker's stretch at Songkwai Road, where most of the cheaper accommodations can be found.

There are plenty of tuk-tuks lined up, but I didn't take any of those as I'm quite sure they'll cost me a bomb. Didn't spot any songthaews though, untypical of this part of the world. Me, for one, chose to walk. It was around 10-12km away, and I could look around the town for a bit, so why not?

Kanchanaburi Clock Tower
Streets of Kanchanaburi
Streets of Kanchanaburi
There's nothing much in Kanchanaburi, really. It is rich in history no doubt, but besides that, I don't see anything that's intriguing enough to attract a typical tourist. Do a search over Google and you might find interesting enough places just out of town, where you can access riding a bike. Sadly, I have zero knowledge on how to ride one, and I just didn't want to put myself at risk of ending my trip much earlier than expected. Besides, I didn't want to bust my budget taking tuk-tuks or taxis, so I stuck around in town, contenting myself with whatever attractions remained.

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
Kanchanaburi is well-known for its demise in World War 2, when it became a victim of Japanese Occupation. POWs captured from the war were sent here to build what's known as the Death Railway, to link here with Burma (now called Myanmar) so as to transport supplies and soldiers to and fro the war front in Burma.

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery is the main POW cemetery for the victims of the Japanese Occupation while building the Death Railway. There are 6,982 POWs buried here, consisting mostly of Australian, British and Dutch troops. American troops identified were repatriated.

The cemetery wasn't particularly spectacular per se. It however, lies the remains of the history of this town, and although it is located in the middle of town, it entertains very few visitors and remains somewhat peaceful and somber. Take note of wild dogs in the cemetery though as I got chased by a few when I stepped in. They'll back off after awhile, realising the fact that you are of no threat.

Admission: Free
Opening hours: 0830 - 1800

The Bridge on River Kwai

Made popular by the 1957 movie, The Bridge on the River Kwai, this bridge was built as part of the Death Railway connecting several parts of Thailand to the war front in Burma. I learnt that the bridge wasn't where it originally was. It had to move from its previous location, as it became structurally unsafe over the years, and it had to be reinforced and shifted to its currently location. The bridge runs over the Mae Klong River and you can catch a pretty good view of the river from the bridge itself.

The place, was however, swarmed with tourists taking selfies, photos and what not. It's hard to take even a photo without capturing anyone inside. That said, it's worth to give it a visit since it's one of the very few visit-worthy places in town.

Thailand-Burma Railway Centre

Just beside the War Cemetery lies the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre. You can learn the history of the Death Railway here, with plenty of artifacts from the war. Didn't manage to take a photo inside as photography is banned and well, I respect the rules. The centre/museum kinda creeped me out a little to be honest. I was the only one inside, and it was filled with life-like statues which felt like they were staring at me with every step I take. It doesn't help too, that the air conditioner was turned to freezing cold temperatures. No doubt, the museum was quite informative and you can learn one thing or two from it.

Opening hours: 0900 - 1700 daily
Admission: 140 baht (inclusive of a free coffee/tea at the end of the museum route)

JJ Night Market

The night market was essentially my source of food at night. To be honest, I didn't settle in well with the restaurants on Songkwai Road. They were a tad too expensive for my liking, and they didn't taste particularly well. 

The night market is located just in front of the Kanchanaburi Railway Station and the stalls start opening around 6-6.30 in the evening, going full fledged around 7.30. Here, you can find plenty of food, clothes, toys whatever, there's even a barber. I always go there a little early, as it starts getting real crowded at around 7.15. It kinda made me wonder where all the locals came from, given the fact that the streets were pretty empty in the day. No recommendations. Just try anything and everything.

These few places were the only ones I went to, given that it rained the entire time I was there, and many of the places to go listed online were too far to be reached on foot. Didn't stay too long and moved on as quick as the journey here (refer to previous post).

And so I moved on to my next destination .. Chiang Rai.

Stay tuned.
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