Not only is the history of the town of Kanchanaburi steeped in pre-war memories, there are other highlights in this quaint little town that are gems in their own rights. Among these are the unusual temples of Kanchanaburi. A temple in Kanchanaburi does not mean just sightseeing but also an extremely unusual experience! As some of the temples are sanctuaries for the most ferocious predator in the jungle.
Take a temple tour of Kanchanaburi while you are here. The highly recommended temple tour in Kanchanaburi is the Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua or better known as Tiger Temple. It is not called a tiger temple because there are sculptures of tigers in the temple but rather because it is a sanctuary started by the monks of the temple for actual tigers. The things to see at Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua are full grown tigers, cubs and other wildlife that call this temple home. Tigers wonder the grounds freely but when there are visitors they are mostly accompanied by the temple monks and volunteers. You will have a chance to play with the tigers, pose for pictures, feed the cubs and even walk with the tigers..and all this in actual close contact with the animals. This temple has been successful in breeding the tigers and have significantly increased their numbers over the years so some of the cubs and tigers are as docile as family cats.
Next up is a temple called Wat Saam Prasob or better known as the Sunken Temple. It is located in Sangkhalaburi
a few kilometres from Kanchanaburi. This place is reminiscent of a mini Atlantis so you may wonder, if it is a sunken temple, how will you be able to see it? A sightseeing tour of Kanchanaburi will sometimes include this temple as part of the tour route but the best time to see the actual temple is in the months of January to March. The temple grounds are located in what is today a lake which is part of the Khao Leam Dam. The temple was deliberately flooded as part of the dam construction in the recent years. In the dry season when the water in the lake is at its lowest you can actually walk the temple grounds and observe the old ruins which are very different from typical Thai temples. This temple was constructed by the Mons and Karen tribes people who originated from Burma, hence the difference in architectural construction and decor. During the wet season, you take a boat ride from the Mon Bridge to the lake and you will be able to see the tallest structure which is the steeple of the stupa as well as the main entrance way to the temple. A morning boat ride is best when mist shrouds the lake and is the site for very good pictures of a mysterious temple lying hidden in the deep green waters of the lake.Last but not necessarily least of your tour of Kanchanaburi temples will include the twin sisters, Wat Tham Sua and Wat Tham Khao Noi.
These two temples are unique in the sense that they are located side by side but yet each is constructed of different architectural style. The beauty of these two temples is stunning. Located on the top of a hill that overlooks most of Kanchanaburi farmlands, river and mountains it is a sight to behold. The temples themselves are of Thai architecture for Wat Tham Sua and Chinese architecture for Wat Tham Khao Noi. Which means you see Thai temple chedis in one and Chinese Pagodas in the other. The intricate carvings and sculptures of these two temples are fascinating and a highlight of the Thai temple is the largest gold Buddha in Thailand that sits in a blessings position enclosed in the flanks by a shell structure.
These are just some of the highlights when you visit Kanchanaburi. Take your time for an adventure tour in Kanchanaburi to explore the town. Accommodations in Kanchanaburi are plentiful and the entertainment, food and other spectacular things to do in Kanchanaburi are endless.