Kanchanaburi is a small town a few hours from Bangkok, its popular with European tourists looking to explore the nearby countryside, but it doesn’t have the same crowded feel that a lot of Thailand’s tourist spots have.
We didn’t spend long exploring the town centre, although Kanchanaburi was the perfect base for 2 amazing day trips:
Day 1: Erawan Falls,
This was such a fun day, the water in the falls is so warm and clear. The pools are filled with tiny fish that nip away at your dead skin. The waterfall itself is split into 7 levels. The first two are really busy and it gets less crowded the further you climb (about 2KM to the top).
Entrance to the national park costs 300B per person, I thought that was expensive until we reached the first waterfall and all my hesitation melted away.
There are toilets at level 1 and 2 and in the main car park. If you plan to walk all the way to level 7 you will be better off in trainers. We did it in flip flops but there were a few near slips.
I’ve attached a photo of the latest bus time table below, (taken March 2018) the bus costs 50B each way and stops at Kanchanaburi main bus terminal.
Day 2: Elephants World,
After an internet search for the most ethical elephant sanctuaries in Thailand, we settled on Elephants World in Kanchanaburi, it was between this one or the bigger one in Chang Mai. (Chang Mai was fully booked so that was an easy decision for us.)
Elephants are either rescued or donated by their owners, the medical team will help any elephant and they never turn one away. The staff and volunteers at the sanctuary were all very passionate about their jobs and loved the elephants. If your in Thailand then this really is the best way to see elephants and know that they are fully taken care of.
When visiting the centre we were able to help cut down food for the elephants and hand feed them, we watched their daily mud bath then got in the water with them as they took their afternoon swim.
A full day experience cost 2,500B per person including hotel pick, lunch and all activities. You can book online through their website and pay when you get there. (www.elephantsworld.org)
It was the most expensive thing we did in Thailand but was certainly worth it to get up close to these beautiful giants, plus it’s all for a good cause.
Where To Eat:
I mentioned the night market earlier, it’s just outside the train station (not the bus station) and it’s open every night. For budget backpackers like us it was perfect.
From Bangkok Northern Terminal there is a mini bus that leaves every 30 minutes, it costs 120B and takes just under 3 hours.
Or, you can take the train, it’s slightly cheaper (100B) and much more scenic but takes about 4 hours. You can’t catch the train from Bangkok Main Station, you’ll need to get to Thonburi Station first.
Where To Stay:
We stayed at the beautiful LKP Apartments just outside of town, we were about a 30 minute walk from the main restaurant/bar area and about 15 minutes walk from the bus terminal. The hotel was perfect if you don’t mind a walk. We paid £19 per night through hotels.com.