Posted: Feb 2013

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Most people are here to visit the world-famous "Bridge over the river Kwai" (pronounced "quare" as in "square"), the war cemetery and to make a day trip up to Hell Fire Pass. There are also some fantastic parks with waterfalls a bus journey away and either other water activities, cooking schools and an elephant sanctuary to visit. Check the map out for the location of the Aeon Bank (they have no international card charges; other banks charge 150 baht per transaction).

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The real choice here is whether to stay on the river-side and the land-side of the road that runs through the middle of Kanchanaburi. There is a real mixture of accommodation to meet all requirements.
Featured Accommodation
Green View Guest House
Address: 40/2-5 Th Mae Nam Khwae
Prices from: Double 250-450B
Includes: En-suite, fan, balcony, cold-water, Wi-Fi
Tel: 03451 8910 Email: Web:
10 very well built terraced-chalets all facing into the garden area. Located down a side street from the main tourist strip, this family run guest house is a very tranquil place to base yourself. All of the rooms are a very good size for the price with top-end rooms having hot-water, AC and TV. 

    Apples Retreat
Address:  153/ 4 M.4 Bahn Tamakahn
Prices from: Double 690B
Includes: En-suite, AC, hot-water
Tel: 034 51 2017  Email:  Web: www. AppleNoi-Kanchanaburi.com
Based on the opposite side of the river to the cemetery etc. They also offer cooking classes

    Blue Star Guest House
Address:  241 Th Mae Nam Khwae
Prices from: Double 200-650B
Includes: En-suite, fan, Wi-Fi,cold-water
Tel: 03451 2161  Email: BlueStar_GuestHouse@Yahoo.com  Web:
Top-end price will get you AC and hot-water with a larger room. Well worth checking out the options here. They do have a great balcony area where you can sit and enjoy the sun set with a cold beer and the company of other guests.

    Chitanun Guest House
Address:  47/ 3 Th Mae Nam Khwae
Prices from: Double 250-600B
Includes: Shared bathroom, fan
Tel: 034  624 785 Email:  Web:
The bungalows are comfortable, but a little cramped and oddly laid out. Most accommodation is looking a little worn -- the fan rooms in the buildings at the far end of the gardens have seen better days. The best of the bunch here are the upgraded air-con bungalows closer to reception, as they have more character than the rest. 

    Jolly Frog Guest House
Address: Th Mae Nam Khwae
Prices from: Dorms 150B, Double B,  B
Includes: Shared bathroom, fan
Tel: 034  Email:  Web:
More information to follow

    PLOY Guest House
Address: 79/ 2 Th Mae Nam Khwae
Prices from: Double 900-2,400B, Family room 2,600B
Includes: En-suite, AC, Wi-Fi, breakfast, hot-water, swimming pool
Tel: 08 247 53443  Email:  reservation@ploygh.com Web: www.plygh.com
The upper-priced double room is a cottage with additional fridge, TV and a private-terrace. IF you go on-line and book, you’ll get a better price than arriving at the door.

    Pong Phen Guest House
Address: Th Mae Nam Khwae
Prices from: Double 400-1,300B, Triple 1,300B
Includes: En-suite, fan, hot-water, Wi-Fi, swimming pool
Tel: 03451 2981 Email:  Web: www.PongPhen.com
Upgrade and you’ll get AC, TV, fridge and breakfast. This comes as default on the triple room.

    Sabai@Kan Guest House
Address:  317/4 Th Mae Nam Khwae
Prices from: Double 1,300-1,600B, Family room 2,000B
Includes: En-suite, AC, TV, hot-water, breakfast, Wi-Fi, swimming pool
Tel: 03462 5544 Email:  Sabai_Kan@yahoo.com Web: www.SabaiAtKan.com 
Extra beds can be added to your room at 500B each. The upgrade gets you a larger room.

    Sam’s Guest House
Address: Th Mae Nam Khwae
Prices from: Double 500-800B, Family room 900,1,000B
Includes: En-suite, fan, Wi-Fi
Tel: 03451 5956  Email:  Web: www.SamsGuestHouse.com 
Room all have their own terraces, unless you go for one of the “stone bungalows” that obviously aren’t on the water. There are quite a few different options, so have a look on their “easy to read” web-site for more information. In short, top end prices for each option will get you AC and for a few rooms and bath instead of a shower.

    T&T Guest House
Address: Th Mae Nam Khwae
Prices from: Double 150-550B
Includes: En-suite, fan, Wi-Fi
Tel: 03451 4846 Email:  Web: 
More information to follow
    Tara Guest House
Address: 99/ 101 Th Mae Nam Khwae
Prices from: Double 250-790B, Triple 900-1,040B
Includes: Shared bathroom, fan, hot-water, TV, Wi-Fi
Tel: 08 633 74540 Email: TaraRoom@live.com  Web: www.TaraRoom.com 
If you upgrade you’ll get en-suite, Ac and breakfast. The basic for the triple room is en-suite and AC and the upgrade will get you breakfast, which looks a good deal to us!

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Eating and Drinking
There are simply lots of small bars along The Mae Nam Khwae, with some even smaller “un-official” side-street bars offering spirits for as little as 10 baht! Unfortunately the vast majority of the bars have gone for one of the following themes; sports bar with plasma screens, loud music and local girls, “live music” with instruments but no band or “get shit faced on a shoe string” bars. All of which are easy to find. We’ve listed some of the other places along the strip where you can eat and drink as an aside to visiting one of the fore mentioned bars (where we did watch both premiership football and international rugby!).

 Featured Restaurant
Bells Pizza
Address:  Th Mae Nam Khwae
Prices from: Starters/ Sides 50B, Mains 140B, Chang Beer 70B
Run (extremely efficiently) by a 40-something young Swiss guy and his lovely wife. The food is extremely well presented and the salads even have balsamic vinegar! The pizza is very good but is it the best pizza on the strip? Can’t answer that, but the food is very good indeed; in particular the Tom Yan. In all a great relaxed bar/ restaurant.

Address:  Th Mae Nam Khwae
Prices from: Pancake/ Roti 30B, Chang Beer 55B
Outside and as the look of a cheap place to eat and it is. But there are also several places along the street where you can get a dinner as oppose to a stomach filler for less.

Del Maria
Address:  Th Mae Nam Khwae
Prices from: Starters/ Sides 50B, Mains 80B, Water , Sinhga Beer 80B 
If you read the review of Bells and wondered why there was a question mark over the best pizza in town, it’s because of this place. The Italian owner/ chef has been making pizza for many many years and he’ll tell you all about it; though in Italian and it doesn’t matter if you understand or not. Really fantastic Italian favourites and when you can get a pizza for 80 baht? Well. 

Little Monster
Address:  Th Mae Nam Khwae
Prices from: Starters/ Sides 40B, Mains , Chang Beer 60B 
Named after their son, the little monster, this bar offers a very laid back approach to its neighbours. The owner has been travelling around Asia for the better part of the last 30 years and is a great source of information. 

Address:  Th Mae Nam Khwae
Prices from: Starters/ Sides 75B, Mains 100B, Water 20B, Chang Beer 80B 
You’ll notice the relaxed café/ bookshop place before you notice its sign. The atmosphere is mellow, the owner switched on. The food comes out well presented and they show their “Trip Advisor” certificate with pride. Their take on a jacket-potato is somewhat different to the English version, but they did try to get it right a second time without any extra charge.

On’s Thai-Issan (Vegetarian/ Vegan)
Address:  Th Mae Nam Khwae
Prices from: Starters 40B, Rice 10B, Mains 40B, Water 20B, Chang Beer 80B 
This vegetarian/ Vegan restaurant, come cooking-school, offers main dishes look good and at the price they charge it really is. Small and comfortable surroundings that you could fill with a small group of you. They offer cooking lessons for 600 baht where you get to cook and eat 3 dishes of your choice. The price includes a free dessert.

Snooker Bar
Address:  Th Mae Nam Khwae
Prices from: Starters/ Sides 75B, Mains 100B, Water 20B, Chang Beer 80B 
The tables have long gone but the name has stayed. Offering possibly the cheapest beer along the strip (other than special offers) at 45 baht their ethos is to serve food and beer at a very good price. And the food is good as well; whole fried fish only costs 150 baht. They are linked to the Tara hotel, so they work hard at keeping their residents in their restaurant.

Tai Thai
Address:  Th Mae Nam Khwae
Prices from: Starters/ Sides 50B, Mains 50B,  Chang Beer 75B 
Well-presented food and at a very good price. A relaxed atmosphere meaning that conversations strike up between tables quite easily. The Masa-man curry and the morning glory are quite something.

The Hut
Address:  Th Mae Nam Khwae
Prices from: Starters/ Sides 75B, Mains 100B, Water 20B, Chang Beer 80B 
Open air surroundings, The Hut offers snacks and sandwiches as well as mains.

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All trains from Kanchanaburi cost 100 baht for non-Thai nationals. The line takes you through to Bangkok, though if you are heading south, check out some of the earlier stations which may save you some time and effort.

All of the travel agents on the main strip offer the same luxury bus services through to other destinations in Thailand and into Cambodia. Prices are generally fixed and the bus takes you to your hotel of choice.

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Bridge over the River Khwae
Address: Th Mae Nam Khwae
Admission: Free, Miniature-Train 20B
This is the bridge, built by British, Australian and Dutch prisoners of war along with a ‘hired’ work force from various Asian countries that was made famous by the film of the same name and seemingly Kanchanaburi’s star attraction. The outer curved spans are the only remaining parts of the original bridge after the centre was destroyed in 1945 by Allied bombs. You can walk across to the opposite side of the river where it is nice to sit on the bank and watch the tourists go by or take the mini-train for 20 baht.

Thailand-Burma Railaway Centre
Address: 73 Th Chaokanen
Admission: Child/ Adult 60/ 120B
This is the place to go to really understand the importance of the bridge over the River Khwae and the death railway. Clear, well written signs take you through the story of the Japanese invasion and how it came about that around 12 000 prisoners of war and 100 000 Asian labourers (Coolies) lost their lives whilst building the railway line. 

Allied War Cemetery
Address: Opposite Thailand Burma Railway Centre
Admission: Free
Immaculately kept by the War Graves Commission this is one of three cemeteries where the soldiers who lost their lives building the Thai Burma railway are laid to rest. Of the 6982 prisoners of war buried here over half were British, the others Dutch and Australian. The remains of American soldiers were sent back to the USA. There is also a memorial to the 100 000 Asian workers who were never identified. In the centre is a war memorial where a service of remembrance is held each November.

Jeath Museum
Address: Th Wisuttharangsi
Admission: 30B
Established in 1977 this has everything that the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre does not, badly translated signs, poor quality photographs and newspaper cuttings that are so faded and damaged they wouldn’t even be any use in a rabbit hutch. By all means go and make up our own mind but it really isn’t worth the walk.

World War 2 Museum
Address: Next to the River Kwae Bridge
Admission: 50B

Other sites
You’ll have to travel to get to these. There are a few blogs already written, so probably have a look at them before travelling off.

Erawan Waterfalls
Admission: 200B
A seven tiered waterfall within the Erawan National Park. You can follow the signs all the way to the top, stopping for a swim on the way up or down. The first 3 tiers are relatively straight forward and therefore the most popular with tour groups. After this the track gets quite awkward in places, with tree roots, rocks and mud making for a slippery climb so make sure you have decent foot wear. The seventh level is a 1.5km climb up but levels 5 and 6.5 offer much nicer scenes.

Getting there: Take the 8170 bus, 50B, from Kanchanaburi bus station or at a bus stop on Th Saengchuto. The first bus there is at 08:00 the last bus back to Kanchanaburi is as 16:00 and it gets very full!

Hell Fire pass
Admission: By donation
The museum here is small as the main attraction is the walking tour. Either down load the audio guide before you go or hire one when you get there. This provides the background to everything that a visit to Kanchanaburi is about. The walk will take you along the track of the railway line (this part is no longer used) and the guide sets the scene for the conditions that the prisoners were forced to work in. This pass was perhaps the most arduous of all as the prisoners had to cut through vast amounts of rock in order to lay the line. The name ‘Hell Fire’ came from the site of the prisoners working at night by firelight which was said to resemble Dante’s inferno. This really is a must to try and begin to understand what an impossible task building this railway was.

When we visited in Nov 2012 the last third of the walk was off limits but this still leaves 2.5km in use. You will have to walk back the way that you came.

Getting there: Take the Sangkhalaburi bus, 50B, from Kanchanaburi bus station or at a bus stop on Th Saengchuto. Alternatively take the train, 100B, from Kanchanaburi to Nam Tok along the last remaining section of the Death Railway and then a bus, 20B, from Nam Tok to the museum.

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Local Information
Bike Hire
Motorbikes can be hired for 150 baht manual, 200 baht automatic. Bicycles can be hired for 50 baht a day. There a lots of places along Th Mae Nam Khwae, or ask at your guest house.

Most guest houses, restaurants and bars offer free Wi-Fi. There are internet cafes along Th Mae Nam Khwae charging from 15 baht an hour.

There are many many many places along Th Mae Nam Khwae that all charge 20 baht a kg for laundry, one day service.

There are ATMS along Th Mae Nam Khwae but these will charge you 150 baht per transaction. There is a branch of AEON bank with two ATMS that do not charge on Th Saengchitu, before you get to the post office. It is about a 30 minute walk from the main guest house area. There are also a number of currency exchangers close to the River Khwae Bridge. Aeon is is highlighted on the Lemur Map for this area.

There are a number of pharmacies along Th Mae Nam Khwae who all speak very good English. The pharmacy that we'd recommend is highlighted on the Lemur Map for this area.

Post Office
The main post office is 2km from the train station but there is a smaller branch on Th Mae Nam Khwae which sells stamps for international postage.

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