Home to lush surroundings, ancient temple ruins and harrowing events in modern history, Kanachanaburi and the River Kwai along the Thai-Myanmar border are important pilgrimage sites for any WWII history buff. As you travel from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi via Samut Songkhram, the “garden province,” you’ll gain deeper insights into Thai history and the country’s role in the making of modern Asia.
This brief tour of Kanchanaburi and the River Kwai takes you on visits to charming country markets, floating markets and the bustling waterways of the Mae Klong Delta. A short paddleboat ride will introduce you to local forms of trade, worship and daily life, while a visit to the Thai-Burma Railway Center Museum will reveal the massive scale of human labor that went into building the railway. Stroll down the alleyways of the historic Pak Phreak neighborhood for a glance at old-world Kanchanaburi, then opt to trek through the beautiful canyon of Hellfire Pass or to go for a swim at Erawan Waterfalls before you embark on a short train journey on the famed Death Railway itself.