Kanchanburi & Bridge Over The River Kwai Tour

Kanchanaburi City is 150 km west of Bangkok on an excellent, scenic highway. The way to Kanchanaburi also leads pass the historic town of Nakorn Pathom with the world's highest Buddhist monument. Kanchanaburi city, itself a popular resort town, is on the bank of the picturesque Mae Klong River at the meeting point of its two tributaries - Kwai Noi and Kwai Yai rivers. The city also serves, as overnight base for tourists to visit the province's many attractions, beside that bridge on the River Kwai.

There are spectacular waterfalls, river cruises and jungle tours for the nature lovers. For the foot-loose travelers, there is the thrilling 200 km drive through newly opened jungle areas to the Thai Myanmar border to visit ethnic Mon and Karen settlements. For the sporting types, Kanchanaburi provides the best freshwater fishing grounds in remote jungle backwater and streams.

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The Death Railway line is still in operation. The rail line snakes through scenic and thrilling natural terrain. The whole train, hugging the mountainside at a dizzy height over raging river far below, creeps over the World War II rail line laid on creaking wood-trestles.

The Death Railway train ride runs on a regular schedule. The train leaves Kanchanaburi Station at 10.31 am., chugs over the Bridge on the River Kwai at 10.35am., or thereabout, en route Namtok Station at 12.30pm There is a combination tour to the renowned Saiyoke Waterfall. Picnic on the train is not frowned upon.

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This cemetery contains the remains of 6,982 prisoners of war who lost their lives during their captivity in the camps of the Japanese Army that forced them to build the Bridge over the River Khwae and the Death Railway. The Japanese following their invasion of Thailand during World War II, brought British, Dutch, Australian and American prisoners to Thailand by the southern route.

Impressed laborers were also used to complete the rush construction of the railroad which was planned as an alternative to the sea route to Rangoon via Singapore and the Strait of Malacca. The Japanese considered the railroad a necessity since the sea route was subject to attack by Allied submarines and aircraft.

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The jungle, the rugged terrain, and wild rivers now combine to make Kanchanaburi the most rewarding tourist destination for nature lovers and sportsmen. A large jungle area of the province has been declared national wildlife sanctuary, called Thungyai National Park, which remains the most pristine area in the whole country. The sanctuary was recently listed as a world natural heritage by the United Nations.

If one chooses to stay overnight out in the wild, there are the float bungalows on rafts moored off the River Kwai bank in remote jungle areas. A night on a float hotel is an unforgettable experience. By nightfall, hushed stillness settles over the jungle, with only occasional night bird calls.

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