Elephant Riding

Adventures in Kanchanaburi


Elephant Riding

Kanchanaburi is not located very far from Bangkok city and not only tourist find this place interesting but also the local Thais. There are many adventures in Kanchanaburi that can keep one coming back for more. Among some of the activities in Kanchanaburi that one can indulge in will include treks through the rainforest and national parks, swimming in the many beautiful waterfalls, white-water rafting and elephant trekking. Other attractions in Kanchanaburi include visits to the northern hill tribe villages, walking down memory lane in the war museums, old war cemeteries and taking a train ride down the Death Railway or a cruise on the River Kwai. Not only is this town full of post and pre-war memories but the abundance of natural wonders make it an ideal place for outdoor activities in Kanchanaburi that will not only thrill but excite you. There are so many different types of animal sanctuaries that you can also visit as part of the Kanchanaburi things to do while you are visiting this town. Tour arrangements in Kanchanaburican include visits to temples, the tiger temple, elephant camps, extreme sport adventures, city

Erawan waterfall

 

visit and shopping as well as visits to the zoo and aquarium. There are ample activities for visitors of all ages and abilities. Accommodations in Kanchanaburi are also aplenty and choices between budget and spa resorts leave a visitor spoilt for choice. A recommendation is to try one of the river resorts where in the evenings you can enjoy a view of the River Kwai during sunset. Eco tours in Kanchanaburi include a trip to the waterfalls of which Kanchanaburi is famous for. A dip in the cool waters is absolutely refreshing and the more adventurous traveller can engage in white-water rafting activities that are thrilling and exciting as well as jungle treks that will yield an unusual plethora of flora and fauna to those observant enough.

Children will find Kanchanaburi just as exciting, as here they get the opportunity to try an elephant ride, play with the elephants as well as get to see tigers for real. They can even have the opportunity to feed the baby tigers in the tiger temple tour. Taking a train ride is just as exciting or playing in the waterfalls. There is no shortage of activities for parents who are travelling with children to keep them occupied. Another interesting place that traveller can visit is the Mon hill tribe village located in Sangkhalaburi about 48 kms from Kanchanaburi. A stay there is just as refreshing and a visit to the morning market in the village will be a different experience as these ethnic tribes are very much on the decline. During an overnight stay you will get to try traditional Mon cooking and a cultural show. The uniqueness of the costumes which are colourful and the dance is something to remember.

Kanchanaburi Experience

For the adults, there are many entertainment places where you can get a good beer or drinks at very reasonable prices, also because of the diversity of people who live in Kanchanaburi which includes foreigners, there is a fairly colonial feel to the ambience of the hotels and pubs that are in business in the town. The variety of restaurants and other places of interest will keep travellers coming back for more year after year. So a Kanchanaburi experience is not only interesting but just as educating and the memories of the place will touch the heart strings of many who visit the memorials attributed to the fallen warriors of the war.

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Unusual Temples of Kanchanaburi


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.

wat tham sue
Wat tham sua

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

Wat Sam Pra Sob
Wat Sam Pra Sob

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.

Wat Tham Khao Noi
Wat Tham Khao Noi Picture By http://sundanclubs.multiply.com

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.

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Down Memory Lane in Kanchanaburi


River KwaiThere are memories which are nostalgic and yet some where it is a tribute and commemoration. In the town of Kanchanaburi located about an hour out of Bangkok city. If by the name of the town itself most will not remember it but if anyone was to mention the River Kwai, made famous by the movie Bridge over the River Kwai” or even the Death Railway, then memories will come flooding back. Kanchanaburi, which is located close to the Burmese border was the scene of much sadness and loss of lives during the Second World War.

Popular tours of Kanchanaburi includes a visit to the Hell Fire Pass, a train ride on the Death Railway and a cruise down the River Kwai. To experience the full extent of a walk down memory lane in Kanchanaburi, there are sightseeing tours in Kanchanaburi that will also take you to several other places related to these past incidences. However, here are the three main Kanchanaburi tour and sightseeing that we recommend to experience the walk into the past.

Starting with a cruise on the River Kwai, you can arrange for the tour that will bring you along the part of the river that extends from the River Kwai bridge and back along the river. On this trip you will be able to see the massive construction of the bridge by the prisoners of war who were forced to build the passageway between Malaya, Thailand and Burma by the occupying Japanese forces to keep their troops supplied in the war efforts. The River Kwai bridge was one of the primary causes on the loss of many POWs lives due to the conditions they were subjected too which included lack of food, malaria, dysentery, septic wounds, lack of sleep and forced hard labour. It is believed that a total of over 100,000 POWs and locals lost their lives constructing the bridge, the railway lines and the pass.

 

The River Kwai boat trip takes approximately an hour from point to point and there is a tour guide who will provide the narrative on the history of the bridge and the river. When you disembark from the boat trip, you can make your way to the bridge itself. Here the things to see in Kanchanaburi River Kwai sightseeing includes the walk along the span of the bridge itself or you could take the very brief train ride up and down the bridge, visit the souvenir shops in the area or the war museum that has a history in pictures on the construction of the bridge. There are also several old train heads on display including a rusting old Japanese war train.

The next place to head too is for a long train ride on the Death Railway. Part of the railway ride is on the actual tracks built and still in use today as a regular train line. This ride is from Namtok to the Hellfire Pass  which is the next venue of interest. However a part of the things to see on the Death Railway is the great scenery that is left very much as it was during the pre-war days, old riverside villages and a stunning experience as you ride in the train that actually hugs the sides of the cliff walls along the length of the journey. Which makes you wonder the feat and difficulties the POWs must have gone through to construct this railway in such harsh conditions.

The last stop along the way is the Hellfire Pass. This place was notoriously crowned the name as a result of the night time construction carried out in the area by the light of bamboo and carbide lamps. The pass was a cutting through a hill to enable the train tracks to run through the hill on a shorter route. The shadow of the gaunt men at work resembled a great suffering of skeletal images at work in the fires of hell, hence its nickname. Once a year on Armistice day, the nations such as Australia, UK, Holland and the USA will have visitors who will come to Hellfire Pass for a commemoration ceremony to their fallen comrades during the war. All along the walk in Hellfire Pass you will see tributes in memory to the men who lost their lives as well as a war museum at the entrance to the pass where you can read all about the history. Take a tour of Hellfire Pass but it is recommended you use the audio tour where there are narrations to tell you the importance of each point you visit. So if you want to know more about the history and Kanchanaburi and its role during the Second World War, make it a point to visit these places, it can be a very sobering experience and a lesson in the atrocities of war.

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