Thailand is mainly known for its serene beauty, adventure sports and spicy night life. Kanchanaburi, located in western countryside, has some different experiences to offer. An important landmark in Thailand’s history, Kanchanaburi gained prominence due to events (some of them very unfortunate) during the World War II, and a visit to this place can be a sombre and thoughtful experience. Lets see some of the attractions that will take you down a memory lane with a heavy heart.
1. The Bridge on River Kwai
During the WWII, under the Japanese control, Kanchanaburi saw Asian labourers and Allied Prisoners of War put into forced labour to build the infamous Burma Railway also known as the Death Railway. Today, the bridge is fully functional and a major tourist attraction. The location has many good restaurants and some fabulous stores selling cool knick knacks.
2. Hell Fire Pass
This is the most difficult of the potions in the entire railway path where the allied Prisoners of War had to work under the harshest of conditions, to cut down the steep mountain to lay the railway tracks. Many POWs lost their lives here due to long work hours, malnutrition and diseases.
You can also visit the museum there to know about the history and stories of the Hell Fire Pass.
3. JEATH Museam and War Cemetery
Built in 1977, by chief abbot of Wat Chaichumpol Venerable Phra Theppanyasuthee as a salute to all prisoners who lost their lives while building the Railway and the Bridge on River Kwai. The Acronym JEATH stands for the nationalities of the prisoners – Japanese, English, Australian, American, Thai and Holland.
The War Cemetery, is a well maintained, beautiful yet a sad place where the POWs lay in peace and are still fondly remembered by their loved ones.
4. Tiger Temple
Every thought that you could play with a tiger? Feed a cub or take one in your lap? Yes, The Tiger Temple, also known as Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, is natural reserve where you can see many animals from a near vicinity, especially the tigers and deers. The Tiger Temple has over 120 tigers. Having been born in there, the tigers are friendly with the Monks and the trained staff. Experiencing the tigers up-close and playing with them can be a unique experience that can be enjoyed only here!
5. Sai Yok National Park
Sai Yok National park’s major attractions are its waterfalls. The largest and the most beautiful of the falls is the Sai Yok Yai waterfall which flows into the Khwae Noi river. The park also contains numerous caves, the largest of which is Tham Lawa with a length of 500 metres and five caverns.