Getting to Kanchanaburi


Kanchanaburi is relatively easy to get to, although it is in that zone of places that are a long way from Bangkok, yet too close to for a flight to be practical. That leaves the car, bus and train as the three most practical options for getting to Kanchanaburi.

Bridge on River Kwaii - Kanchanaburi

River Kwaii - Kanchanaburi

By car

Kanchanaburi is about 3 hours drive from Bangkok, along the highway no.4 (Phet Kasem) from Bangkok until it meets up with highway 323, which will take you all the way to Kanchanaburi.

You can also catch a taxi to Kanchanaburi, returning to Bangkok the same day for around  1,500 – 3,000 baht, depending on your bargaining skills!  This should include stopping at the Bridge over River Kwai and museum, Kanchanaburi township and the prisoners of war cemetery. For a small additional fee you could also visit Erawan Falls which is about an hour out of Kanchanaburi and the Tiger Temple.

By bus

Buses are the faster but less scenic option for getting to or from Kanchanaburi. Buses from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi depart from both the Southern (Sai Tai Mai) and Northern (Mochit) bus terminals in Bangkok.

Buses leave from the Southern Bus Terminal every fifteen to twenty minutes between 5:00 to 22:30 and cost 99 baht. At two hours, the trip is slightly shorter than from the Northern Bus Terminal.

Buses leave from the Northern Bus Terminal hourly, taking just over two hours and thirty minutes, and costing 105 baht.

Buses from both terminals arrive at the same bus station in central Kanchanaburi, from where it’s a 50 to 60 baht samlor (three-wheeled bike) ride to the backpacker centre of town.


By train

For a more relaxing, although slower approach to Kanchanaburi, you can take the train from Bangkok. Rather than leaving from the main Hua Lamphong station, the two daily trains depart from across the river at the Thonburi Station. Costing 100 baht for a ticket, the trains depart from the Thonburi station at 07:35 and 13:45, and take just over three hours to reach Kanchanaburi. On weekends and holidays, you can also take a special “tourist” train from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong station.  These tickets cost 75 baht, and the train departs at 06:30.

Trains also run daily from Kanchanaburi to the line’s terminus at Nam Tok (for the Australia War Museum). Primarily a tourist train, the trip is a spectacular run, passing by some stunning riverside scenery. The train leaves Kanchanaburi at 06:07, 10:30 and 16:30. Take a seat on the left hand side of the car (leaving from Kanchanaburi) for the best river views. The train also stops at Krasae cave (alight at Tham Krasae) and Prasat Muang Singh (alight at Thakilen).


Onwards travel without returning to Bangkok

If you want to continue on elsewhere without returning to Bangkok, there are a few options. For destinations south, like Phetburi, Hua Hin, Chumphon and further south, catch a bus to Ratchaburi and change there for the bus you want. For Ayutthaya, Lopburi and other destinations to the north, catch the bus to Suphanaburi and change there.

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Updated: September 10, 2011 by admin

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