A mid-sized town steeped in history, Kanchanaburi lies three hours north-west of Bangkok and offers a multitude of things to see and experience. It’s undoubtedly best known for the ‘Death Railway’ - it was con-structed by allied POWs and Asian forced labourers in 1942-3 while the town was under Japanese control. Designed as a military supply railway linking Thailand and Burma, the railway got its rather morbid name because some 60,000 workers were estimated to have died during its construction; they perished from things such as accidents, diseases and malnutrition. Two key parts of the railway that many see as attractions in their own rights are the Bridge over the River Kwai and the Hellfire Pass.
Not everything about Kanchanaburi is sombre, however, as the town has a rather pleasant riverside area lined with lush resorts and a decidedly modern town centre, plus it serves as a convenient gateway to the province’s many national parks and natural attractions. Some of these include Erawan National Park, whose waterfalls are regarded as some of the most scenic in all of Thailand, and the Sai Yok National Park, which is also known for its waterfalls, along with its vast cave systems, its abundant and diverse wildlife and its high, rugged mountain peaks.
The town has a very favourable climate with high temperatures throughout the year. The hottest month is April and the monsoon season is from May to October. From November to April, there’s very little rain, with temperatures remaining pleasantly warm. While the town is very much a year-round destination, perhaps the best time to visit is from November to March.