Although the third largest province of the country, Kanchanaburi is pleasant undeveloped region, which comprises a chain of rugged mountains along the border of Myanmar and attracts nature lovers with its waterfalls, parks national and caves lined crystal.
Visitors generally spend a few days in the city to see the sights of the Second World War and then joined the national parks northwest, home to tigers, elephants and gibbons.
In the north-west, remote villages welcome ethnic groups who fled the military regime in Myanmar. These border towns, peaceful and sleepy, often encourage travelers to extend their stay.
The chief town of the province is an ideal base for exploring the wild west of the country.
In this busy and dynamic city, memorials and museums World War II recalls a tragic past. Japanese forces used it to Allied prisoners of war and workers in Southeast Asia to build a railway to Burma (now Myanmar). Pierre Boulle told their tragic history in The Bridge on the River Kwai, adapted for the screen in 1957. The bridge is one of the main attractions of Kanchanaburi. In the area of pensions, streets bear the names of the countries involved in the conflict.
Located in the valley of the slightly elevated Mae Nam Mae Klong, the city is surrounded by fields of tapioca, sugar cane and corn. 130 km from Bangkok, it is popular weekend residents of the capital, who generally prefer to embark on boats that enjoy karaoke serenity.
Travelers gather in Th Mae Nam Khwae, which resembles a miniature version of the Th Khao San in Bangkok. The main street is a 10 minute walk from the train station. Most hotels are built near or on the river.
Most visited site in the city, 300 m from the railway bridge symbolizes the hard work of those who built the railway. Avoid many vendors and walk carefully along the wooden slats and iron. The central part of the bridge was destroyed by the Allies in 1945 and only the curved outer spans are original. On the other side of the bridge, cafes and parks along the river.
The first wooden bridge was completed in 1943, was then replaced by a metal bridge. During the last week of November and the first week of December, a sound and light show every evening commemorates the Allied attack on the Railway of Death in 1945. Hotels are so full, book well in advance.
The bridge spans the Mae Nam Khwae Yai, 2.5 km from the center of Kanchanaburi. You can walk to from Th Mae Nam Khwae or take a taxi (10 B) northbound in Th ¬ gchuto Saen. A mini-train (20 B) has crossed the bridge from the nearby railway station.
History of the bridge of the river Kwai
If the construction of the “Railway of Death” (Death Railway) was a technical feat, it cost of terrible suffering of prisoners and workers forced to participate. About 100,000 of them died due to extreme conditions.
The railway was built during the Japanese occupation of Thailand (1942 ¬ 1943) during the Second World War. Its aim was to link Thailand and Burma through 415 km of rugged terrain to create a supply route for the conquest of other countries of Western Asia. This project considered impossible by some successful, despite the shortage of equipment and appalling working conditions.
Construction began September 16, 1942 in Thanbyuzayat of existing stations in Burma and Nong Pladuk (Ban Pong) in Thailand. Japanese engineers felt to 5 years duration of the work to connect the two countries. In fact, the Japanese army forced the prisoners to complete this path 1 meter wide in 16 months. Much of the work was done by hand with simple tools to build bridges and dig passages mountainside.
Conditions worsened as the Japanese accelerated pace. The meager rations of rice were often sprinkled kerosene result of Allied bombing on reserves. Cholera, malaria and dysentery were rampant, and barbaric punishments sanctioned any difference.
Joined to the rails 37 km south of Three Pagodas Pass and inaugurated a series of prostitutes line.
The bridge over the River Kwai near Kanchanaburi (nicknamed the “Bridge Railway of Death”) was used for 20 months before the Allies bombing in 1945. More than a supply route, the line quickly became an escape route for Japanese troops. After the war, the British took control of the Burmese side of the track and tore 4 km near the Three Pagodas Pass lest it be used by separatists karen.
The Thai side. the State Railway of Thailand (SRT: Thai Railways) spoke the line and still trains on the 130 km of track between Nong Pladuk south of Kanchanaburi and Nam Tok
Visiting the Kanchanaburi area
The main sites are grouped in the center, which allows to see the most in 48 hours. Start at the center of the railway Thailand-Burma, then cross the street to visit the military cemetery of the Allies. Spend the afternoon around the bridge Railway of death before reaching the other side of town for a coffee and a stroll through the charming Heritage Walking Street. On the second day, take a train along the railway of death until the Sai Yok waterfall Christmas and discover the lush green countryside.
Go north of the city to explore the Erawan National Park and the Hellfire Pass (Pass of the Fire of Hell).
Seven days can discover more remote cities where you expect as Sangkhlaburt boat rides in the mornings and foggy
zipline course. Plan a night in the cabins installed in the trees of the National Park Thong Pha helium. where you see hornbills certainly bicornes.
Most units are grouped in 1 km Th Mae Nam Khwae. Pensions for many budget travelers overlook the river, sometimes on floating houses and are located close to the major sites. The upscale hotels are located on the other side of the river and outside the city. The old quarter of backpackers along the Soi Rong Hip Th 0i, has only a few accommodations due to, among other things, the noise from the karaoke boats, they do however go home and the street good addresses at low prices.
Th Saengchuto in several hotels are popular among middle class Thais come for the weekend.