What you need to know before traveling to Kanchanaburi

Best known as the site of the bridge on the river Kwai - which gave the film its name - this pocket of northern Thailand is a tranquil getaway bursting with history to explore. The town is located where the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai rivers feed into the Mae Klong river, and where, under Japanese control in 1942, the famous bridge was built by prisoners of war. A museum, dedicated to the Japanese, English, Australia and Thai workers involved in the construction, stands here, as does a memorial to those who lost their lives and who are buried at the war cemetery.

The town stretches across the northern banks of the river and is a very popular place for travelers to visit, especially as its location at the edge of a mountain range keeps it much cooler than the more humid regions of Thailand. Once a year a colorful carnival, typical of the Thai style, comes to town and sets up in the area next to the bridge. At night there is a small pyrotechnics display that reenacts the Allied bombing of the bridge – a must-see for all visitors.

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