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River Kwai

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River Kwai

Hi all,

I'll be visiting Bangkok in a couple months and am hoping to do a day trip to Kanchanaburi. I'm getting a lot of mixed messages about Bridge on the River Kwai/surrounding attractions and so want to ask some questions.

(1) Are there any highly recommended tour agencies I should contact in advance? Would it be fine to wait until I'm in Bangkok to arrange this? I would like to avoid tour companies that offer elephant riding on any of their tours.

(2) Is independently traveling and touring Kanchanaburi possible for just a day trip? I have never been to Thailand and am a bit of a nervous traveler, so I assume a tour would be best. But I'm also on a bit of a budget and don't know if I can shell out for a private tour based on the prices I've seen.

(3) Which museum (if any) is worth it-- JEATH or the Thailand-Burma Railway Center?

(4) A lot of tours seem to offer the following, and I'm wondering which are really worth it: train ride, Hellfire pass, floating markets, long boat ride

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Bangkok
Bangkok
Thailand
Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand
River Kwai
River Kwai
1,354 Reviews
Kanchanaburi, Thailand
9 replies to this topic
Gold Coast
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1. Re: River Kwai

You can do it yourself by getting the train to Kanchanaburi. It will be a lot cheaper than hiring a driver etc.

We went through Tong tours and got a diver and a tour guide for the day and went to the Kwai and then on to Hellfire Pass. It was a very long day, not cheap, but for us well worth the effort.

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Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand
Chonburi, Thailand
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2. Re: River Kwai

I think if you want just to take a day trip, you are best off doing the organised tour.

However why just a day?

If you go alone you might find a one or two overnight trip a lot more enjoyable and relaxed.

Once in the area your hotel etc will be able to give you info about tours etc.

Harbin, China
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for Kanchanaburi
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3. Re: River Kwai

Hi,

It is easy to visit Kanchanaburi in a day by using public transport. Indeed, I suggest you take the 07.50 train from Thonburi to Kanchanaburi, the train stops at a halt just before the Bridge. From the Bridge you can walk (about 30 minutes) or take a songtaow to the Thai-Burma Railway Museum. Do note that the Hellfire Pass is some distance away from Kanchanaburi and is presently closed due to upgrading. Later in the day you can return to Bangkok by bus or minivan. Whatever, you will have sufficient time to visit the Bridge, have lunch and visit the museum mentioned above.

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Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand
Bangkok
Bangkok
Thailand
Chonburi, Thailand
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4. Re: River Kwai

Quite frankly the bridge itself is a bit of a let down and a day trip to see that would be a rathe disappointing day out. There is a lot to see and do in the region but it requires further travelling.E.G. river;/ldams/mountains National parks etc etc...

Hobart, Australia
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5. Re: River Kwai

Best way to visit would be by private tour by car, if you are willing to pay the cost. Maybe 4000-6000 baht inclusive of a guide, depending on the quality of the service. You can fit more stuff in with a car and driver at your disposal, and can choose where you go. If you take a train a lot of time is spent in transport.

Ho Chi Minh City...
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6. Re: River Kwai

I visited Kanchanaburi province last month and spent three nights there, so I can't recommend any specific day tours from Bangkok. But here are my two cents regarding your options:

I agree with the posts above suggesting that you either (a) hire a private driver, (b) go with a tour group, or (c) stay longer, if that option is available. If you go by public transport, you won't have much time left to see some of the sites that are not in Kanchanaburi City, such as Hellfire Pass, Thamkrasae Bridge, or some of the waterfalls and caves that dot this province. Though the museum at Hellfire Pass is closed for renovations, the trail itself is still open, but it's some 50km from River Kwai bridge, which makes it difficult to see if you're relying on public transport in a single day trip.

If you do decide to go by train, I would do the following: Visit the River Kwai bridge, go to the Thai-Burma Railway Museum, then visit the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, which is adjacent to that museum. I think your time is better spent there than at the Jeath Museum, which is poorly maintained. I guess you could do more than that in a single day, but you'd have to plan it very carefully and spend at least half of it in transit.

Edited: 28 March 2018, 10:48
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Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand
Bangkok
Bangkok
Thailand
River Kwai
River Kwai
1,354 Reviews
Kanchanaburi, Thailand
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7. Re: River Kwai

Thank you all! Looks like I have some trip restructuring to do. Might save Kanchanaburi for another visit when I have more time, or might go there for a few days rather than Chiang Mai.

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Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand
Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Province, Thailand
Harbin, China
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8. Re: River Kwai

Hi,

Should you decide to visit both note that there is a direct bus service between Kanchanaburi and Chiang Mai.

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Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand
Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Province, Thailand
Watford, United...
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22 reviews
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9. Re: River Kwai

Wesley, if going for a day, the main train station is only 500 metres from the CWGC cemetery and the Death Railway museum. For me they’re the main things to visit, you can then walk up to the bridge in 15 minutes and take the opportunity to have a drink and something to eat on the way.

Don’t worry about traveling on your own, I’ve always found it easier as you don’t have to worry about anyone else 😉

I was in kanchanaburi earlier this month, was just going to do a day but decided to stay overnight when I got there (Did take a small bag with spare tshirt etc). Plenty of cheapish guesthouses, I only paid 350 baht, spotless and great location , but had a drink and used WiFi to find one on Booking.com rather than trawl around choosing one.

All the guesthouse’s will help you sort out going to Hellfire Pass or get the train at around 6am from the bridge and then taxi/bus.

Edited: 31 March 2018, 09:31
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