If you love nature and history, you’ll love visiting Kanchanaburi, a western province of Thailand, bordering Myanmar, just 3 hours’ drive by car from Bangkok and conveniently accessible by train.
The blend of history during WWII, abundance of incredible nature and rich culture make Kanchanaburi an ideal travel destination – whether you decide to take a day trip, or spend a week or a month.
Kanchanaburi has plenty things to do that you’ll wish to stay even longer!
From visiting Malikka Village, an ancient town where you shop with ancient currency and experience how locals used to live – to staying at out-of-this-world floating river resorts… You’ll fall in love with Kanchanaburi just like we did.
6 fun weekend and day trips from Bangkok – including Khao Yai, Ayutthaya, Hua Hin, Kanchanaburi and more
Here are 23 truly incredible activities in Kanchanaburi that will make your vacation the epitome of unforgettable.
PS: To fully enjoy your Kanchanaburi trip, we recommend getting a private car charter. We personally used Klook’s Private Car Charter and it was not only convenient, but super comfortable too!
1. A floating barbeque, are you for real? – The Raft
Now, this is a pretty genius concept for a place like Kanchanaburi where the lake waters are so prominent, and what could be better than perhaps spending a day and night on them?
Here you can either choose to stay the night, where you’ll sleep in cabins on the boat on water, or you can go with the afternoon BBQ on water option.
It’s private which is perfect, and they’ve done up the boat to give it a homely feel – like a little home on water, so let’s call it a houseboat rather.
The insides are warm, clean and really quite beautiful and there’s the perfect amount of space to suit and fit a family.
Feel free to relax and really make it your home, jump off the raft, take leisurely swims, and spend the day on the deck in the sun, taking epic boat photos (and selfies).
2. Wake up to the sun rising over glistening waters – Thawsi Lake Hill
Ever dreamt of staying at a Lake House? You know, like the ones in all the movies – granted sometimes they’re horror movies – but nonetheless, you catch my drift. If so, this might be right up your alley, plus it’s a gorgeous little spot too!
Tucked among the tropical treetops, spend the night (or five) chilling out and rejuvenating the body at this bed and breakfast that is simply wow in my opinion.
Each villa-style house has its own deck patio area that directly faces the lake, which is so calming and brings the body back to zen – and a perfect way to wake up and enjoy your morning coffee.
The rooms are done beautifully, and each has a very natural raw feeling to it using lots of woods and clean cement.
As if it weren’t all enough there’s an infinity pool, plus massage chairs, table tennis table and hikes and sailing on the lake can be organised and done from here too!
Oh, and did we mention the outdoor tub that each room comes with? Set on the terrace of your villa, well…you can find me there tomorrow!
3. Water villas with Open-air Jacuzzi with an incredible view in Kanchanaburi – Raya Buri Resort
Wow, talk about luxurious! We’re loving all the homes on water, so we couldn’t leave this one off the list.
It’s different in that you stay in a floating house, and this one doesn’t move from its pier so you can access all the amenities that the resort offers just a short walk away.
Again, complete privacy is guaranteed but even more so here as this piece of water land, on the Srinakarin Dam. It is boarded off completely for the fun and use of Raya Buri guests only. You can also take canoes as well as swan boats, and have a whole lot of giggles on the water.
With the house still being on water, you have that feeling of serenity that being on water brings, but do expect to be living in a bit of luxury for while. This pad is full on glam with your private jacuzzi, breathtaking views and beautiful interiors.
Although each chalet is built next to each other, they are still private and closed off and each comes with its own private deck (which is where your jacuzzi sits, ah it’s dreamy really)
The rooms have a French/English feel to them, done in whites (although some of the suites vary in design) and everything is really beautiful and comfortable here.
4. Indulge in a bubble bath on water, with the most beautiful views – Phrae Khao Laem
If you’re looking to upgrade your water house dreams, especially if it’s a large group of you, you need to check out this next little piece of heaven, water villa style.
The rooms are a beaut, the beds are soft and it also comes equipped with a basic outdoor kitchen, so you don’t have to worry about getting hungry.
Jump off your private deck straight into the water, AND your villa comes equipped with its own set of water inflatables to play around with!
My favourite part is the patio terrace, and from here they’ve extended it using meshed nets – the ones so popular in Thailand – so you can cuddle up in your duvet here, admiring the morning clouds sipping on tea, as the day begins.
Take a boat out and go canoe at your own leisure and time, and get straight back into a hot warm bath right.
Lastly, you can grab snacks and things from local ladies floating past on shop boats so you won’t ever go hungry.
5. Have a digital detox at this floating water retreat – The Float House River Kwai
Undoubtedly one of the most luxurious on our list, your river adventure starts with a 7 minute longtail boat trip – as you transfer from the Phutakien Pier to your luxury villa – much more fun than a boring taxi!
The floating air-conditioned villas are large, with beautiful teakwood furniture and traditional thatched roofs.
Your private balcony complete with deck chairs and a porch swing, bobs gently on the river, the perfect place to relax.
For those who’d love a swim in the river, there’s a float on a rope for safety (and fun) too.
The hotel is based on ‘Contemporary Boutique Folk Style’ – and when you see the relaxing swing benches complete with straw roofs, and colourful soft furnishings you will totally understand.
Enjoy a sumptuous dinner at the riverside restaurant, watching the sun set across the surrounding jungle.
Why not take a trip out and go for a hike to check out the local scenery? Simply head to the restaurant and cross the small bridge there to get to the starting point. From here, you’ll be able to head to the cavernous Lawa Cave, Mon Village, Wat Mon and more!
The Float House River Kwai Resort has a strong sustainability and environmental ethos, making sure they fit in with the beautiful jungle surroundings – making you feel even closer to nature.
Be at one with the river and let your worries float away at the gorgeous Float House River Kwai Resort.
PS: It’s an extraordinary sensation every time a longtail boat passes by. Your villa and balcony will bob along to the moving current of the river!
6. Walk the walk of death and take in WWII history – Death Railway @ Tham Krasae Overlook
The name “Death Railway” was formed as a reminder of the many deaths of the allied POWs and slaves who constructed the Thai-Burma Railway during WWII.
Despite its horrendous history, this section of the Death Railway at Tham Krasae Station is very scenic. The rail track was built on high wooden structures, curving and bending along the cliff of the mountain on one side, and the peaceful River Kwai on the other side.
The best (or horrifying, for some) part is that you will be able to walk along the track.
But we have to warn you – it’s pretty high from the ground and there’s a train. Yes, a train runs through this track several times a day. So if you see a train coming, make sure to run really fast.
Don’t forget to grab a drink or meal at one of the restaurants overlook the river!
You will get a better view of the train coming toward the station. Remember to check out the market at Tham Krasae station for souvenirs before you leave too!
7. Spend a night on the face of the cliff – Khao Phu Mai Daeng Mountain
We’re not kidding. You read it right. At Khao Phu Mai Daeng Mountain, you will be sleeping on a stretcher hanging off the face of the cliff – secured by ropes 180 meter above the ground below.
A professional rock-climbing team offers a trip of a lifetime, known as Big Wall Rock Trip.
Start off by propelling from the top of a 200 meter cliff, down 20 meters below to where the setup – by professionals – is located.
You will quite literally hang out here in the afternoon, have dinner and spend the night, before propelling down the next morning after breakfast back to the ground below.
If you can get over the fear, the view up here is pretty amazing, and this will be the most thrilling night you might ever have.
PS: Recommended for people with a level of high fitness only!
8. Dress in the old Siam attire and chill – Malika R E 124 Village
Malika R E 124 is the newest, exciting attraction in Kanchanaburi that you definitely have to visit.
It’s a fun activity that gives you the opportunity to ‘live’ in Thailand during 1903 – when it was called Siam and was considered the Golden Age of Thailand!
Malika R E 124 goes above and beyond to provide the full “Living Heritage” experience. Staff dress and talk as if they were authentically living back in that time – and you will see how they prepare, cook food, work, and live their lives over 100 years ago.
The food and dessert is pretty delicious too!
If you want to play the part of living history, rent a traditional period Thai costume for a day to walk around the village, and exchange money to old coins in order to buy things inside.
There are plenty of beautiful corners and charming people for you to take photos of in the village.
PS: We recommend getting a colorful parasol to help shield yourself from the sun – it makes a great photo prop too!
9. Ride a cable car to a stunning temple with breathtaking views – Wat Tham Sua
This temple sits on a hill top, and you can take a short cable car ride to visit it – or climb 157 steps to reach the top.
First off, pay homage to a striking giant golden seated Buddha image resting in an open dome. Feel free to drop coins in a tray on a conveyor belt that carries them to the center bowl – a Thai tradition of making merit for good luck and fortune.
Next, go to “Ket Kaew” pagoda, an 8-story polygonal structure that holds Buddhist relics, and climb up to the top – sorry no cable car this time – for a feast for your eyes. The view is totally worth the climb!
Panoramic views of rural Kanchanaburi with rice paddies, the mountain range, and river stretching far beyond the horizon are unbelievably picturesque.
Without a doubt, you’ll find peace and tranquility up here.
Tip: Appropriate attire is required for women to visit this temple. No shorts allowed. But no worries, sarongs are available for rent at the entrance to temple.
10. There’s a new cafe in town and it’s in the rice fields – Rak Kanna (รักษ์คันนา กาญจนบุรี)
The true beauty of this cafe lies in its natural surroundings and you’ll find it by driving to fields of emerald rice paddies fields. This is where you’ll spend the next hour or so sitting in the most gorgeous settings.
The cafe is built from raw wood and thatch-stick and the little spot is completely open, so there are complete 360-degree panoramic views.
They’ve built a full observation deck with a bridged pathway that runs into the paddies themselves so you really feel like you’re in them! It also makes for amazing photos with that backdrop!
Not only do they sell noodles, and noodle soups, but they serve coffee, cakes and traditional Thai desserts – so if you’re looking for something sweet you’ll find it here too!
PS: Around the golden hour, just before the sun sets, the lighting here becomes breathtaking as streaks of yellow sun dance across the grass tips and sets over the Tiger Cave Temple!
11. Dangle your feet, or hang out on a net over the river – Dejtosapak Restaurant
Serene, calm and relaxing ambience are some of the words to describe Dejtosapak Restaurant.
This open-air restaurant with river, mountains and green vistas is exactly what you need to have a memorable dining experience in Kanchanaburi. Head indoors and the rustic wooden décor is perfectly placed to provide the right amount of privacy for diners.