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                Visitors may not have heard of this province but it’s likely they know about the nearby bridge over the River Kwai. Many Allied prisoners of war perished during World War II building the infamous Death Railway. The bridge itself is very unassuming; today it’s still used occasionally by local train traffic.Whilst on the subject of bridges Kanchanaburi also boasts the longest wooden bridge in Thailand in Sangkhlaburi district, Kanchanaburi province across the Mekhong, you can see Mon villages. Visit the nearby museum which chronicles life in the POW camps and the history of the jungle railroad’s construction (there is even a simulated Allied bombardment). Also take a walk through the immaculately maintained Allied War Cemetery where you’ll find the graves of more than 8 000 POWs who died working on the bridge and railway for the Japanese imperial Army. It’s a very moving experience. Kanchanaburi can be seen as a day trip from Bangkok try to include a trip to Nakhon Pathom a must if you plan a couple of days.

If you’re spending a couple of nights in Kanchanaburi consider taking a day trip to Erawan National Park. Easily reached by bus the park sits in the middle of thick jungle and contains a series of small waterfalls descending a hill and flowing into a series of pools. It’s a delight to swim in the cold clear pools as an antidote to the thick tropical heat. Outside of Kanchanaburi the unique Jungle Rafts Hotel lies on the River Kwai about two hours by boat from nearby Pak Saeng (reached by car or bus from Bangkok). Built on the edge of the river the hotel provides a perfect base from which to tour caves take walks in teak and bamboo forests swim in the river see picturesque waterfalls and wild orchids and indulge in either western or Thai food. Plan two nights if time permits.

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