Travel to Kanchanaburi, Thailand – Episode 727

categories: asia travel

Things to do in Kanchanaburi, Thailand (Podcast)

Hear about travel to the province of Kanchanaburi, Thailand as the Amateur Traveler talks to Michael Desrosiers from the Ear Goggles Podcast about this historic and beautiful region.

Michael says, “I am an American ex-pat. I have lived in Bangkok since 2013. 7 years later it just feels like home. People come to Thailand for Bangkok or they come to Thailand to go to the beaches in the south. People come to Thailand to go to temples or to eat the food but Kanchanaburi has some things that people don’t normally think of when they go to Thailand. That’s WWII history. That’s trekking and hiking that you would not normally be able to do as a tourist here.”

Kanchanaburi is just a little bit north of Bangkok. It borders Myanmar and is the largest province in the western part of Thailand.

Kanchanaburi is rich in WWII history because of the building of the “Burma Death Railroad”. Kanchanaburi is the location of the bridge on the River Kwai where. 16,000 Allied POWs and 90,000 Asian laborers died trying to build a railway from Singapore to Myanmar under the Japanese occupation in WWII. There are a lot of historic sites like the Bridge on the River Kwai (pronounced Kway), the Allied War Cemetery, Hellfire Pass, and the Wong Po Viaduct. You can still take this railway from Bangkok to get to the region.

While you are in the region Michale also recommends visiting some of the national parks, especially Erawan National Park, Mueang Sing Historical Park, and Sai Yok National Park. Erawan National Park is known for Erawan Falls as well as a number of caves. Mueang Sing Historical Park has two Bayon-style Khmer temples that date back to the 13th and 14th centuries. Sai Yok National Park also has waterfalls and caves, and raft houses you can stay in along the River Kwai. 

Michael recommends a visit to the Elephant Haven which rescues elephants. You can’t ride on an elephant here (which is harmful to the elephant) but you can help bathe one.

[update: How ethical is the elephant ‘sanctuary’ you’re visiting?]

He tells us not to confuse the Tiger Temple (which has a dubious past for how it treated its tigers) with the spectacular Tiger Cave Temple (which has no tigers). He recommends a visit to the second one.

He recommends some places to stay in floating hotels on the river, suggests some dishes to order at the night market, and suggests the best Thai holiday to be in Kanchanaburi. See if Michael can lure you to this beautiful region of Thailand.

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Show Notes

Ear Goggles Podcast
Burma Railway
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
The Railway Man (film)
JEATH War Museum
Hellfire Pass
Erawan National Park
Mueang Sing Historical Park
Jayavarman VII
Travel to the Ancient Capitals of Thailand – Episode 210
Tham Krasae Bridge – Wampo Viaduct
A Walk Along the Death Railway – Paths Unwritten
Khmer Empire
Elephant Haven – Sai Yok Kanchanaburi – Elephant Nature Park
Pad thai
American fried rice
Tiger Temple
Getting to the Truth Behind Thailand’s Infamous Tiger Temple
Tiger Cave Temple
Sai Yok National Park
Loi Krathong
The Float House River Kwai
VN Guesthouse, Kanchanaburi City, Thailand
Hintok River Camp, Sai Yok


I want to thank you for the recent podcast on Wales! I attended a summer school in Aberywswyth back in 1991 and this brought back a lot of lovely memories. The day I was in Cardiff, we did go see Castell Coch (The Red Castle) along with Cardiff Castle. Embedded in the castle walls you can actually see the original Roman fortifications.

Up in north Wales, we went to Anglesey and Penmon church, which is the oldest stone church on the island along with St. Seiriol’s well.

If you want some pictures of my time there, I’ll gladly send them along!

Thank you!


Hi Chris,

I just wanted to tell you how my husband and I went to Iceland last year at this time. We would have never thought of going there if I had not been listening to your podcast. I listened to those episodes quite a few times before going. Our Hawaii trip that was coming up in a couple of weeks had to get canceled 🙁 so instead we are going to do a big US southeast trip starting with the Sea Islands of Georgia. I have never heard them from anyone else so I’m glad that information is out there. I have several episodes to listen to that will apply to the areas we are going to. I plan on getting to all 50 states (12 left) and you are nearly there with your episodes! 
Thank you to you and your guests that pitch the shows that are less obvious places to go.
Becky from Kansas

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Things to do in Kanchanaburi, Thailand (Podcast) | One Week Itinerary in Kanchanaburi, Thailand #Kanchanaburi #Thailand #travel #trip #vacation #things-to-do-in #itinerary #national-park #wwii #bridge #waterfall Things to do in Kanchanaburi, Thailand (Podcast) | One Week Itinerary in Kanchanaburi, Thailand #Kanchanaburi #Thailand #travel #trip #vacation #things-to-do-in #itinerary #national-park #wwii #bridge #waterfall

Kanchanaburi images by ???????????????? ???????, Squiddy Eak from Pixabay

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

6 Responses to “Travel to Kanchanaburi, Thailand – Episode 727”

Bikram Jeet


Normally people who visit Thailand writes about Bangkok, Pattaya etc, the so-called happening places. Glad that you explored this railroad. It has been on my bucket list for a long time.

Chris Christensen


We have a show coming up on Bangkok as well 🙂

Stephen Mitchell


Hi Chris,
Thanks for episode 727 on Thailand and thanks to your guest Michael for a good interview. I have been to Thailand about ten times but have never visited Kanchanaburi. After listening to this interview I have added it to my list of places to visit on my next Thailand trip. Sounds like a great place and an easy side trip from Bangkok. As Michael mentioned, travel in Thailand is easy – transportation is easy to organize, the people are friendly and many speak English, hotels are cheap and the food is great. I am also looking forward to your upcoming interview on Bangkok – a city that would surprise many by its livability and sophistication.

Ville Huuhka


Hello from Finland!
Love to listen to your podcasts. Makes the life so much better when you can dream about traveling in these times.
Would love to hear about Laos and Middle and/or South Vietnam.
Keep up the great work.
Best, Ville

Chris Christensen


We have some shows on South Vietnam. I have been looking for a guest to talk about Laos for a while now.

Chris Christensen


“Hey Chris! I’m just messaging you as I follow your podcast which has been super helpful for my travels. But I just wanted to let you know that one of the elephant sanctuary’s that you reccomended in your kanchanaburi episode is not actually very ethical and the elephants are kept in cages when there are no tourists around. Unfortunately this is very common in Thailand for places to say they are ‘sanctuary’s’ but don’t really let their elephants roam free. I’m asking that you please edit your podcast to not recommend it any further. This blow lists some conservation approved sanctuary’s. The one in Chiang Mai I have experienced for myself to be of the highest care and free range elephants.”

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