Kanchanaburi: Step Into History on a Thailand Tour

Those who opt to take a Thailand tour packages from delhi have a wonderful, diverse country ahead of them, with many different regions and cities to explore – all different and interesting in their own right. Those interested in history and nature will be in luck almost everywhere they go, but to name one highly worthwhile destination, Kanchanaburi stands out both for its verdant beauty and its haunting past. It was here, during the Second World War, that huge numbers of Asian and Allied prisoners of war lived and died while working to build the ‘Death Railway’ to Burma, under the Japanese army. The railway’s tragic legacy is commemorated here, but Kanchanaburi is also a colourful Thai town with its own character, and the surrounding forests are fantastic to explore.

Around the Town

As with many of the towns that can be visited as part of a Thailand tour, Kanchanaburi is a pleasant place to spend some time exploring or just relaxing, with an easy-going atmosphere along the riverfront, and interesting shops and markets around the main road, Thanon Saeng Chuto. Quirky features of the town include street signs shaped like fish – the town’s symbol is a river fish – and raft-borne restaurants on the water. Venture away from the main road to find antique shophouses and local temples. After settling in, the town provides a good base of operations for visiting the nearby historical monuments and national parks.

The War Legacy

At the far northern end of the main road is the most easily accessible remnant of Kanchanaburi’s troubled history: the infamous River Kwai Bridge. It is still in use as a railway bridge today, although in a reconstructed form – sections of the original were destroyed by Allied bombs. Important sights nearby for those on a Thailand tour are the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre, which offers a look into the railway’s history, the JEATH War Museum, and the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery. Further afield, the deceptively peaceful Hellfire Pass – which was cut through solid rock by POWs – is now a beautiful jungle walk accompanied by an understated memorial.

Erawan National Park

For something very different, an excursion to Erawan National Park is the ideal way to get away from it all and see the province’s natural beauty at its best. The highlight of the park is its seven tiered waterfall, pale turquoise from the mineral deposits in the water, and cascading down rocks into several pools that are deep enough to swim in. The Erawan Falls are often described as the most beautiful falls to see on a Thailand tour, and thanks to their extensiveness it is possible to avoid the crowding that happens at smaller waterfalls by venturing further up. A relaxing afternoon can be spent here before returning to town.

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