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River Kwai - can you do it in a day?

Pretoria, South...
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River Kwai - can you do it in a day?

We have a last day in Bangkok and my husband would love to see the River Kwai. We can check out of the hotel early and do not need to be at the airport until midnight, so is it possible to hire a driver and get it all done in a day? If so, I will try contacting some of the recommended guides, but before I do, is this too much at once?

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Bangkok
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1. Re: River Kwai - can you do it in a day?

Hi,

Yes, it's very do-able... but... a few things cross my mind..

First, it is do-able, but it will end up being a long day... a very long day...but it is a good way to maximize your last day... Are you OK with having a very full day like that? not all people on vacation like to do this..

Second, do know that unless you arrange for a shower somewhere, you're probably going to be bit-- well.. sweaty-- after your day trip.. and do you want to travel like that? Again, some people are OK with this, others aren't... it might be wise to see if your hotel as couresy rooms or even pay for an 'extra night' just so you can shower, freshen up and change clothes before flying out.

Third.. time planning.. While you say your flight leaves at midnight, remember to account for the check-in times.. that's commonly :60 to departure *at minimum*, so just be sure you plan to be back in town well in advance of that.. and if you plan to eat or shower first... It's not all that far when in private car, and you do have the vast majority of the day, but just be sure to leave a margin for delays and to take care of things you need/want to do after you gate back, but before flying..

Travel Safe,

Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: River Kwai - can you do it in a day?

I did the River Kwai tour a couple of years ago, as a public tour; hotel pickup by minivan then bus. It was a 6.15am pickup with a 6pm advertised return, but due to evening traffic I didn't make it back to the hotel until 7.30pm. If I were you I'd arrange a private tour as (a) you can tailor the tour and if you like avoid the elephant ride or other activity, and (b) you'll probably shave off an hour or two heading straight out from/to your hotel. GOPBI has a very valid point about freshening up though, the first thing you'd want to do after that tour is shower.

Cheshire, United...
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3. Re: River Kwai - can you do it in a day?

You can do Kanchanaburi by AC bus, I've done this myself with ease, just make sure that you catch the "new route" bus back to BKK as the "old route" takes longer. Also I'd advise taking the bus from BKK's Southern Bus Terminal as it's much faster than the bus from the Norther Terminal.

Info can be found at: http://www.kanchanaburi-info.com/en/bus.html

Once you arrive at Kanchanaburi hire a Rikshaw to take you to the Bridge on the River Kwai and stop off on the way at the war cemetery. Take a Longtail down river from the Bridge to the Jeath War Museum. A nice day out easily done under your own steam.

BA

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Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand
Bangkok Intl Airport
Bangkok Intl Airport
Bangkok, Thailand
River Kwai
River Kwai
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Kanchanaburi, Thailand
JEATH War Museum
JEATH War Museum
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4. Re: River Kwai - can you do it in a day?

Hi do listen to Gopbi so much good advice there, I do agree with other contributors you could do on your own but I would urge you to engage a guide and let them take the strain of getting you to the airport on time for check in and yes a shower before flight home.

There are many guides in the forum our preference has been Wandee

( wandee@wandeetours.com) who has taken us to the River Kwai in the past, fascinating place and you will want to go back t. But do go and get some quotes and see what comes back that appeals to you.

Have a great vacation- we are planning our next trip back to Thailand

9 wqndeewho has taken us to the River Kwai but go get a couple of quotes and trust your instincts.

Have a great journey

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Pattaya, Thailand
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5. Re: River Kwai - can you do it in a day?

Took day trip from Pattaya so yes it can be done. ;)

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Pattaya
Pattaya
Chonburi Province, Thailand
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6. Re: River Kwai - can you do it in a day?

Hi

Would love to do a day trip to the River Kwai from Bangkok also, but wondering about doing it by train. Has anyone done that and have any thoughts/comments? Cheers

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Bangkok
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7. Re: River Kwai - can you do it in a day?

Absolutely no problems! I would not bother with trying to do it yourself - less of a chance of missing a bus and missing your flight.

I did a tour a few years ago - not sure if this is the same one, but it was very similar to www.bangkok.com/beyond-the-city/riverkwai.htm (this one is due to return to Bangkok at 1800, so no issues with your departure flight).

It was a long day, but not too tiring - we travelling in a large AC bus and the pace of the day was pretty relaxed. It included a few hours at the bridge itself to roam, explore and photograph, a boat ride, a visit to a war cemetary and museum, and a ride on the train itself. I had a blast and would rate it was highly recommended.

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Bangkok
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8. Re: River Kwai - can you do it in a day?

Thanks. Looking at doing it on a Monday and then fly back to Phuket at 11 am next morning. Cheers.

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Phuket
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Pretoria, South...
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9. Re: River Kwai - can you do it in a day?

OK Update as we just got back. Booked Wandee as our guide. Have to say she was not informative - left us to wander around on our own at the cemetery, at the bridge, on the train and at Hellfire Pass museum. Also her English is not great, her voice is quiet and pronunciation hard to understand. However, Hellfire Pass museum is a must see. Make sure you take sturdy shoes if you want to do the 4km trail. As for timings, Wandee suggested pickup from hotel at 9am, do all the above, go on to Amphawa Floating Night Market and see the fireflies and then carry on to the airport. Too much in one day. Train was late, lunch was rushed (and awful), rainstorm spoiled the market and fireflies and we were rushed to get to the airport so had no supper. A total of 8 hours spent in a small car is not much fun. Anyone else thinking of doing this, miss out the market/fireflies and perhaps insert the Jeath museum which we did not have time for and you will have a great time. Oh, and get a guide who talks to you! We paid 8000 and do not consider it worth the money spent. Being British, we paid the full amount as we were not offered a discount despite not completing the tour as booked. Perhaps we should "man up" and complain next time. Lesson learned.

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Amphawa
Amphawa
Samut Songkhram Province, Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand
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10. Re: River Kwai - can you do it in a day?

Have read positive things about "Wandee". Possibly, Kanchanaburi isn't within her field of expertise.

"Good food" is subjective and open to endless debate. Take durian for example!

Maybe you should email her with your perceptions and concerns. If written constructively, she might take note and research the area a bit deeper. This could benefit both her, and her future clients.

Then again, ...

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Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand