During a trip from Bangkok to Ayutthaya or the Floating Market Damnoen Saduak, you should consider leaving so early, that you have time to drive to Kanchanaburi afterwards. This is the capital of the Kanchanaburi Province, but known international for the famous Bridge over the River Kwai, and the start of Death Railway. In 1942 Kanchanaburi was under Japanese control, and it was here that Asian forced laboureres and allied prisoners of war build the infamous Burma Railway and constructed a bridge across the river. During the work, almost half of the prisoners died from diseases, maltreatment or accidents. These events was immortilised in the movie Bridge over the River Kwai and The Railway Man, which is a big part of the knowledge about the bridge. This place is beautiful for a great photoshoot, and the history about all the casualties during the build of the bridge, makes you think a little over his convient a live we all are living in these days.
At Kanchanaburi there is a memorial and two museums to commentate the dead. There is also two museums, the Thailand-Burma Railway Museum and the JEATH War Museum dedicated to the bridge and the Death Railway. This railway was a 415 km railway between Bangkok in Thailand and Rangoon in Burma to support the Japanese forces in the Burma campaign in World War II, build in 1943. The most famous part of the railway was bridge 277 – better known as the bridge over River Kwai. The river is a part of the Mae Klong in the valley the Khwae Noi River, and “Kwai” is mispronounced of the Thai “Khwae” which means tributary. Due to the discrepancy between faction an fact, the name of the river was in 1960 changed to Khwae Yai.
Kanchanburi is great for a stop on a one day trip, and if you are a lot into the historic parts of the river and railway, you should consider spending an entire day jost on this, and have a ride with the train. There is a lot to see here, and as it is about 130 km vest of Bangkok, it is a good idea to calculate to hours transportation each way, if you go directly. Are you going from Ayutthaya, the drive is a little over an hour to get here. We rented a private van to take us heres from Bangkok, this is of course a little more expensive, but we would by far recommend this way of traveling to the sights outside Bangkok, as the flexibility of having your own driver, own time schedule and most important don’t have to wait on other tourists. The prices that your can bargain with the drivers are quite fair, and the experience you get is a lot better.